Fifty Shades Freed 'tops' North American box office

Doane Gregory  Universal

Doane Gregory Universal

All three films starred Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele and Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey. The family comedy, which stars Rose Byrne and Domhnall Gleeson and features the voice of James Corden as the titular talking animal, lands in the second place with a strong $25 million. Warner Bros.' introduction of Clint Eastwood's thriller 15:17 to Paris arrived above conjectures at $12.6 million at 3,042 settings for the end of the week.

With ticket sales rebounding sharply from totals depressed a week ago by football's Super Bowl, Freed led three new releases to the top, with Peter Rabbit coming in second and The 15:17 To Paris placing third, industry tracker Exhibitor Relations reported. The opening weekend domestic box office numbers were also down $47 million from 2015's Fifty Shades of Grey's first weekend box office numbers.

It opened with an estimated $38.8 million, about what was predicted.

According to ComScore, overall box office is down 3.6 percent year-to-date. The studio expects a healthy mid-week bump on Valentine's Day and to serve as counter-programming against Marvel's "Black Panther" next weekend.

Glue and bags were used to keep everything in place during scenes in "Fifty Shades Freed".

"Fifty Shades Freed" generated a B+ CinemaScore with an audience that was 75% female with 55% under 30.

When will Fifty Shades Freed be on Amazon Video, DVD/Blu-ray?

"We are exhilarated with the results", said Jim Orr of the franchise's distributor, Universal Pictures.

"Peter Rabbit", a live-action/CGI animated film from Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation, saw an uptick in Saturday business to finish well above recent projections.

That left the Older Guy market, a niche that Clint Eastwood's "The 15:17 to Paris" seemed created to fill. In an unusual twist, the American men, Spencer Stone, Anthony Sadler and Alek Skarlatos, play themselves in the film. Judy Greer and Jenna Fischer also star.

Maze Runner: The Death Cure ($6 million), Winchester ($5.1 million) and Den of Thieves ($2.9 million) round out the top ten. It added $9.8 million to its haul, bringing its cumulative total to $365.7 million. No other movie in the subgenre has come anywhere near that movie's $350 million domestic take, but that hasn't stopped Hollywood from trying.

Starring Hugh Jackman as the colorful P.T. Barnum who founded the Barnum & Bailey circus in the 1800s, it's earned $146.5 million domestically and $314.2 million globally.

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