Multiplex employees everywhere can finally begin to breathe a sigh of relief, for they’re finally in the Fifty Shades homestretch. Only a few more weekends of holding down their gag reflex when a middle-aged woman asks them for the 6,379th time if they’re so excited for the “climax” of the series. And if the box office numbers are any indication, they might have to suffer just a little longer.
Variety reports that Fifty Shades Freed, the third and final film of the series, brought in $38.8 million on its opening weekend and landed the number one spot at the box office at the domestic box office. Following behind in second place was Peter Rabbit with $25 million, and coming in third was Clint Eastwood’s new dad movie The 15:17 to Paris with $12.6 million. Rounding out the top five were Jumanji and The Greatest Showman. If there was ever a weekend to open the third Fifty Shades film, this was it. There was no competition for the horny lady market. Well, there is a chance they lost some ticket sales to women who didn’t do any research ahead of time and foolishly assumed Peter Rabbit was about the vibrator.
All those ticket buyers helped the Fifty Shades series break the $1 billion box office mark. So far, all that light spanking and barely enthusiastic sex has brought in $1.089 billion.
Universal, the studio responsible for the Fifty Shades franchise, told Variety that they believe the weekend box office success of the film was because they were able to reach a larger demographic group with their aggressive marketing. But also because of the chemistry of Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson. I’m sure Universal meant the good chemistry between Jamie and Dakota. But a shadier part of me wants to believe Universal just admitted what we all know: that half the allure of Fifty Shades is watching Jamie and Dakota give the performances of two pieces of lumber. And yes, there are people who would pay $14 for that. Guilty as charged!