‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Hits $240 Million Globally and Shatters Overseas Record

The $158 million foreign debut by Universal’s steamy adaptation is the biggest ever for an R-rated movie

The steamy “Fifty Shades of Grey” dominated the international box office this weekend, debuting at No. 1 in 55 foreign markets with $158 million, the best opening ever for an R-rated movie.

The huge overseas haul, combined with a domestic debut projected to hit $90 million over the Presidents Day holiday, brings the film’s global total for the weekend to $239.7 million for the Universal Pictures and Focus Features release. That’s an impressive return on a movie that cost $40 million to make and virtually assures a sequel. Michael DeLuca, Dana Brunetti and James produced.

The big-screen adaptation of E.L. James‘s erotic bestseller, starring Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson blew past the first-weekend record of 2003’s “The Matrix Revolutions” at $117 million.

“Fifty Shades” played in 9,637 theaters in 58 territories. It delivered the best opening ever in 11 of them and the studio’s best first weekends in 30 markets. For perspective, 60 percent of the people who went to the movies around the world this weekend saw “Fifty Shades,” Universal said.

The U.K. was the top overseas market, with a $21.1 million debut that was the best ever for a movie in February and the studio. “Fifty Shades” brought in $15.2 million from Germany and France delivered $12 million. Its $10.5 million debut in Russia was the biggest ever for a non-franchise movie there.

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