Fifty Shades whips film rivals
Fifty Shades Of Grey has had a strong opening weekend in the US, ranking among the country's biggest R-rated debuts in history.
The film based on EL James' erotic novel took 81.7 million US dollars (£53 million) over three days, according to Variety.
Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson star in the bondage-themed romance, which was the second biggest February debut ever in the US, behind Mel Gibson's The Passion Of The Christ.
Weekend takings made it the fourth-biggest R-rated US premiere, after The Matrix Reloaded, The Hangover: Part II and The Passion Of The Christ.
In the UK, the film also did well, taking £13.5 million since it opened on Friday.
It outstripped the competition - taking in more in ticket sales than the rest of the top 10 films combined and becoming the most successful 18-certificate film ever in the UK and Ireland.
The controversial film has been so successful that its star said he was going to flee the country to avoid the hype.
Appearing on The Graham Norton Show, Jamie said: "I am fleeing the country. I am certainly not going to stand in Leicester Square without my shirt, asking people if they enjoyed the movie! I am keeping a low profile."