‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ earns stunning $81.7 million

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — “Fifty Shades of Grey” raked in the Valentine’s Day dollars, earning an estimated $81.7 million from 3,646 theaters in its first three days, distributor Universal Studios said on Sunday. The chart-topping erotic drama could be on track to earn over $90 million during the four-day holiday weekend.

This total includes the $8.6 million from showings late Thursday night.

Internationally, the R-rated adaptation of E L James’ book is projected to earn a massive $158.3 million from 58 territories.

Director Matthew Vaughn’s “Kingsman: The Secret Service” also exceeded expectations with an estimated $35.6 million across the three-day for a second place debut, according to box office tracker Rentrak.

Animated children’s film “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water” came in third with $30.5 million.