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Film proves a hit with female movie-goers

Fifty Shades dominates cinemas in blockbuster debut screenings

Fifty ShadesFifty Shades of Grey may be dividing film critics but it is proving a smash hit at the box office by heading for $240 million (£156m) in takings worldwide over its debut weekend, including $158m outside the US.

It has earned $81.7m in the US so far and is expected to top $90m by tomorrow, ranking it among the biggest 18-rated debuts in history.

The takings make it the biggest ever opening weekend in the US for a film directed by a woman (Sam Taylor-Johnson), beating the $69.6m debut of Catherine Hardwicke’s Twilight, the $67.3m debut of Frozen, and the $66.3m debut of Brave.

According to US business magazine Forbes, Fifty Shades of Grey is more generally a victory for women. The lead role is female (Dakota Johnson) and screenplay was written by a woman (Kelly Marcel) based on the book written by a woman (E L James).

It is also aimed at women, with 68% of the audiences at US theatres being women.

According to Rentrak, the film has already posted the biggest opening day for any film released in February, its $30.2m takings beating The Passion of the Christ’s first day gross of $26.6m in 2004.

>> Fifty Shades review


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