Indeed, younger female audience members were the driving force in pushing the three Fifty Shades films to their current collective worldwide total of US$1.09 billion.
Overall the marketplace is still down around 1.8 percent for the year and around 27 percent from the same weekend last year, which, comScore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian notes, saw the launch of "The Lego Batman Movie, " "Fifty Shades Darker',' and "John Wick: Chapter 2, " all of which opened over $30 million". "And of course having a holiday weekend is great as well". But the series is an undeniable box office success.
Fellow newcomer "Peter Rabbit", which debuts at #2, earned $25.0 million in its inaugural frame.
A modern-day computer-animated/live-action take on the Beatrix Potter character, estimated to have cost $50 million, the film stars James Corden as the voice of a mischievous bunny at war with his neighbor. Will Gluck directed the movie, which has garnered mixed reviews but a respectable A-minus CinemaScore.
Man with Sword Attacks Church in Yogyakarta, Injures Four
Three months later, a church in Samarinda, East Kalimantan, was struck by a homemade bomb which injured four people. Churches are a common target for Islamic militants in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation.
While it had the lowest opening of all three movies, Fifty Shades Freed still brought home a solid $38.8 million domestically in its opening weekend, debuting in 3,678 stateside locations, per Variety. The film notably stars non-actors Stone, Sadler, and Skarlatos as themselves. It earned a B- on CinemaScore and a 20% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
If you're curious about the breakdown, the Germans REALLY loved Fifty Shades ($10.8 million), followed by the United Kingdom/Ireland, France, and Italy rounding out the top five biggest draws, all behind the United States and North America.
And Clint Eastwood's terrorism movie The 15:17 to Paris got disgusting reviews by critics, taking in just $12.6 million on the weekend.
Coming in fourth, Sony's "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle", now in its eighth week, added $9.8 million in earnings, for a cumulative $365.6 million.
Next week, Disney opens the highly anticipated "Black Panther", Lionsgate debuts the animated "Early Man" and Pure Flix premieres the drama "Samson".