Two years ago, the film version of the E.L. James novel Fifty Shades of Grey made a killing in theaters. This prompted the back to back shooting of second and third sequels Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed. Next weekend, Darker hits screens and hopes to keep the momentum going.
Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan are back in the roles of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey as their, shall we say, unique love life is further explored. Costars include Marcia Gay Harden, Kim Basinger, Luke Grimes, and Rita Ora. James Foley takes over directorial duties from Sam Taylor-Johnson (Foley will also helm the third installment out in February 2018).
The initial pairing of these kinky leads led to a box office bonanza in February 2015 when Grey took in an astonishing $85 million in its first weekend with an eventual domestic haul of $166 million.
Early tracking suggests Darker is highly unlikely to compete with that opening frame gross. In fact, it’s been speculated that this follow-up may only earn about half that number. This sounds about right. While Grey easily took the #1 spot out of the gate, this opens against The Lego Batman Movie and probably won’t whip that serious competition. I’ll say Darker gets to the mid 40s for its start, which is still pretty solid considering its reported $55M budget.
Fifty Shades Darker opening weekend prediction: $44.8 million
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