‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Debuts at No. 1 at French Box Office

Universal’s steamy romance takes in $3.7 million from four markets as overseas rollout begins

New 'Fifty Shades of Grey' Trailer

The sexy romance “Fifty Shades of Grey” is off and running at the international box office, breaking records and opening at No. 1 in four overseas markets Wednesday.

The adaptation of E.L. James’ novel took in $3.7 million from France, Belgium, French-speaking Switzerland and the Philippines for Universal Pictures, two days before its U.S. debut in 3,645 theaters.

Analysts are predicting that “Fifty Shades” will bring in more than $60 million over the four-day President’s Day holiday weekend, which includes Valentine’s Day on Saturday. With openings in most foreign markets as well, it has a shot at a $100 million global debut this weekend.

The $2.7 million grossed in France by “Fifty Shades,” which stars Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson, is Universal’s biggest opening day ever in that market, topping 2013’s “Fast & Furious 6.”

Its $543,000 haul in Belgium was another Universal record, ahead of “Fast and Furious.” It was in 72 theaters and dominated with a 70 percent market share. In the Philippines, “Fifty Shades” scored the biggest opening day ever for an R-18-rated movie and the best for a non-local film in February, bringing in $340,000 from 84 locations.

“Fifty Shades of Grey” opens in 30 more international markets Thursday. Among them — Australia, and Universal said that the $2 million the film has grossed in early shows at 277 locations put it on track to be the best opening of the year there, and the biggest ever for an R-rated or February release.