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.
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.