‘Fifty Shades Freed’ dominates the weekend box office with $38.8 million

“Fifty Shades Freed.”

  • “Fifty Shades Freed” is the last movie in the trilogy adapting the popular E.L. James books.
  • It won the weekend box office with an estimated $38.8 million.
  • The franchise has already taken in $1 billion at the global box office for Universal.

With the release of “Fifty Shades Freed,” the third movie in Universal’s “Fifty Shades” trilogy, based on the popular erotic E.L. James books, we have now hit the end of the franchise. Despite not being a favorite of critics, it gave a boost for the February box office the last few years, which often has few moneymakers.

“Fifty Shades Freed,” which continues the relationship evolution of Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) and Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan), took in an estimated $38.8 million over the weekend, according to Variety.

Though that’s the lowest opening of the three movies – for a trilogy that was slaughtered by the critics (“Freed” got an 11% rating, “Darker” got 10%, and “Grey” got 25%) and was mostly attended by the books’ loyal fans – Universal can’t be too disappointed overall.

Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele in

Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele in “Fifty Shades Freed.”

The three movies have a worldwide total of $1 billion, and if “Freed” is like the other two releases, it will easily gross over $100 million domestically by the end of its theatrical run.

Now, that’s not “Fast & Furious” franchise money for Universal, but for a franchise that was a staple in the studios’ February release plans for the last few years with very little critical (or word-of-mouth) support and constant complaints that the leads had zero chemistry, it’s impressive what the franchise pulled off financially.

Coming in second place was Sony’s “Peter Rabbit,” with James Corden voicing the iconic character, earning $25 million.

In third was Clint Eastwood’s look at the three Americans who prevented a terrorist act on a train traveling through France (and using the actual heroes in the roles), “The 15:17 to Paris” from Warner Bros., which took in $12.6 million.