Fifty Shades Freed is flogging its box office competition.
The final installment of Universal’s erotic trilogy based on the books of E.L. James is on track to debut with about $38.8 million from 3,768 theaters in the U.S. and Canada this weekend, outpacing fellow newcomers Peter Rabbit and 15:17 to Paris while unseating Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.
Freed’s bow will come in below those of its predecessors: Fifty Shades Darker opened to $46.6 million last year, and Fifty Shades of Grey opened to a whopping $85.2 million in 2015. But the series is an undeniable box office success. The trilogy reportedly cost a combined $150 million to produce, and on it Friday crossed the $1 billion mark worldwide. (Through Sunday, Freed is poised to take in about $98.1 million overseas, for a global total of $136.9 million.)
Directed by James Foley and once again starring Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, Fifty Shades Freed continues the story of budding book editor Anastasia Steele, kinky billionaire Christian Grey, and their tumultuous romance. The film received largely negative reviews from critics but a so-so B-plus CinemaScore from moviegoers.
Hopping to second place and coming in ahead of analysts’ projections is Sony’s hybrid live-action and animated family comedy Peter Rabbit, with an estimated $25 million from 3,725 locations.
Based on Beatrix Potter’s children’s stories about a mischievous bunny, Peter Rabbit stars James Corden in the title role, along with Domhnall Gleeson, Rose Byrne, and Daisy Ridley. Will Gluck directed the movie, which has garnered mixed reviews but a respectable A-minus CinemaScore.
The weekend’s third new release, Warner Bros’. thriller The 15:17 to Paris, will pull into the station with an estimated $12.6 million from 3,042 theaters — in line with analysts’ modest expectations and good for the No. 3 spot.
Based on the true story of three Americans — Spencer Stone, Anthony Sadler and Alek Skarlatos — who helped thwart a terrorist attack on a Paris-bound train, the film comes as the third installment of director Clint Eastwood’s unofficial trilogy about modern-day heroism, following Sully and American Sniper. The film notably stars non-actors Stone, Sadler, and Skarlatos as themselves.
Reviews for 15:17 have been poor, and moviegoers gave it a B-minus CinemaScore.
Filling out the top five are two holdovers that have demonstrated impressive staying power: Sony’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (last week’s No. 1 movie), with about $9.8 million, and Fox’s The Greatest Showman, with about $6.4 million. Those figures bring their respective domestic totals to $365.7 million and $146.5 million.
According to ComScore, overall box office is down 1.8 percent year-to-date. Check out the Feb. 9-11 figures below.
1. Fifty Shades Freed — $38.8 million
2. Peter Rabbit — $25 million
3. The 15:17 to Paris — $12.6 million
4. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle — $9.8 million
5. The Greatest Showman — $6.4 million
6. Maze Runner: The Death Cure — $6 million
7. Winchester — $5.1 million
8. The Post — $3.5 million
9. The Shape of Water — $3 million
10. Den of Thieves — $2.9 million