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“Fifty Shades of Grey” rises to top of box office

"Fifty Shades" was expected to make $81.2 million in the U.S.  and Canada. (Thinkstock)
“Fifty Shades” was expected to make $81.2 million in the U.S. and Canada. (Thinkstock)

“Fifty Shades Of Grey” is on track to see 81 million shades of green this weekend, as it shot into first place at the nation’s box offices.

The R-rated romp exceeded even the industry experts’ expectations for satisfying the public’s needs on a Valentine’s Day weekend, movie analysts said. Its opening gross was expected to total $81.2 million in the U.S.  and Canada.

“An incredible President’s weekend and yet another 2015 to far exceed expectations,” gushed Rentrak’s Paul Dergarabedian as his firm released the totals. He predicted “50 Shades” will bring in more than $90 million by the end of the holiday weekend, Monday night.

An R-rated action movie, “Kingsman: The Secret” opened with a $35.6 million estimated take over three days, and $41 million through Monday.

And at the squishier end of the demographics, “Spongebob Squarepants: Sponge Out Of Water” soaked up another $30.5 million over three days, and an estimated $37.6 million for the extended weekend. That’s good enough to take it over the $100 million mark.

And “American Sniper” added another $16.4 million — $20 million through Monday — to its four week total. By the end of the night Monday, it will be at the $304.1 million mark in the U.S. and Canada alone.

Rounding out the five most-popular films in North America, as estimated by the studios and collated by Rentrak, was “Jupiter Ascending,” with $9.4 million in its second weekend of showings.

 

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