'Fifty Shades Freed' commands $38.8 million to top box office

Fifty Shades Freed whips Peter Rabbit, 15:17 to Paris at the box office

In a pattern set by recent trilogies including "The Maze Runner" and "Pitch Perfect", "Fifty Shades Freed" opened lower than its predecessor though Universal anticipates that the film will continue to play strongly throughout the week, particularly on Valentine's Day this Wednesday.

The third and final installment in the "Fifty Shades" franchise generated a B+ CinemaScore with an audience that was 75 percent female. "'Fifty Shades Darker' past year on Valentine's Day was up about 180% over one day".

Universal's "Fifty Shades Freed" dominated North American box office in its opening weekend with an estimated 38.8 million US dollars, pushing the "Fifty Shades" franchise total to over 1 billion USA dollars worldwide.

Rounding out the top five, Fox's "The Greatest Showman", also in its eighth week, added $6.4 million for a cumulative $146.5 million.

What'd U go see in theaters this weekend??

Hopping to second place and coming in ahead of analysts' projections is Sony's hybrid live-action and animated family comedy Peter Rabbit, with an estimated $25 million from 3,725 locations. Directed by Will Gluck ("Easy A"), the PG-rated "Peter Rabbit" features vocal performances by James Corden (Peter) and Margot Robbie (Flopsy).

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And Clint Eastwood's terrorism movie The 15:17 to Paris got terrible reviews by critics, taking in just $12.6 million on the weekend.

"The 15:17 to Paris" follows a handful of Eastwood-directed hits about homegrown heroism, including "Sully" and "American Sniper".

Poor reviews and the absence of marketable stars (the servicemen starred as themselves) likely hurt the film, which cost Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow a modest $30 million to make.

Fifty Shades of Grey opened to a shocking $85.2 million in 2015, and the sequel, Fifty Shades Darker, brought home a little more than half that with $46.6 million in its first weekend a year ago.

Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle, starring Dwayne Johnson and Jack Black, fell from No. 1 to fourth place with $9.8 million in it's eighth week on release, bringing its domestic take to healthy $365.6 million.

"This is the calm before the Marvel storm, " Dergarabedian said. "I think it's going to break records and spark a huge conversation".

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