'Fifty Shades of Grey' cleaned up at the worldwide box office over its opening weekend, smashing a raft of records in the process.
It made a staggering $240 million (£155 million) worldwide, making it the highest-grossing movie in history by a female director – British helms-woman Sam Taylor-Johnson.
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Taylor-Wood trounced the previous record-holder, Catherine Hardwicke, whose ‘Twilight’ made $69.5 million (£45 million) on its opening weekend in the US, compared to ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’s $81.7 million (£53 million).
It’s also the biggest debut for an adult-rated movie, while in the UK alone it made £14 million.
Dwarfing its $40 million (£26 million) budget, the movie was scarcely out of the headlines for weeks leading up to its release, thanks to a huge marketing push.
It also became the biggest opening movie of all time in 11 countries, including Italy, Argentina, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic.
“The universality of the turnout was amazing,” said Universal international president Duncan Clark. “The results have been spectacular in places where the book was a big seller.”
Starring Jamie Dornan as billionaire business mogul and part-time S&M enthusiast Christian Grey and Dakota Johnson as ingenue student Anastasia Steele, the movie received decent reviews from the worldwide movie press, many deeming it superior to the much-criticised but massive-selling novel.
However, many critics rounded on the lack of actual sex in the movie, with around 15-minutes of sex scenes in a two-hour-plus movie.
EL James’s novel, released in 2011, has sold over 100 million copies worldwide and has been translated into 52 languages.
The movie is yet to open in South Korean and the UAE, but has been banned in Malaysia and Indonesia.
Image credits: Universal