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‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Arousing Overseas Audiences Too

The steamy Jamie Dornan-Dakota Johnson romance has sold 4.5 million advance tickets in 39 foreign markets

E.L. James’ “Fifty Shades of Grey” book trilogy has been translated into 52 foreign languages and sold more than 100 million copies worldwide. That’s translating into massive overseas ticket sales for the movie, Universal Pictures said Wednesday.

“Fifty Shades of Grey,” which stars Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson as kinky lovers, has sold more than 4.5 million advance tickets in the 39 foreign markets in which it rolls out this weekend.

Exhibitors are seeing “unprecedented” advance sales for the opening, according to Universal.

More than 750,000 tickets have sold for the “Fifty Shades” opening in Germany. That’s more than “The Avengers,” “The Dark Knight” and “Avatar,” according to Empire Cinemas chief executive Justin Ribbons.

It has sold the same number in the U.K; Australia, Ireland and New Zealand are also among the top-selling countries.

There are currently no plans to play in China, the second-largest market in the world. Universal didn’t comment Wednesday, but it’s hard to imagine the steamy “Fifty Shades” clearing Beijing’s strict censors without major alterations.

The studio will have a major hit if the foreign performance of the film, produced for $39 million, can match or top its numbers in the U.S., where analysts are projecting a $60 million opening for this weekend.

“Fifty Shades of Grey” is directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson and produced by Michael De Luca, Dana Brunetti and James. The screenplay was written by Kelly Marcel.