Box Office: ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Explodes With Record-Breaking $81.7 Million

“Fifty Shades of Grey” sizzled at the box office, setting new records for the highest grossing Presidents Day Weekend opener of all time and ranking among the biggest R-rated debuts in history.

The erotic drama performed like a comic book movie, albeit one with much naughtier costumes, picking up $81.7 million from 3,646 locations over the three-day period. That easily trumped the holiday’s previous record-holder, the 2010 debut of the romantic comedy “Valentine’s Day,” which kicked off with $56.3 million.

“Fifty Shades of Grey” will do more than $90 million over the four-day holiday, in addition to triggering a massive increase in heart palpitations across the moviegoing public. Among the many high-water marks the saucy tale has hit, the film’s debut is the second-biggest in February history behind “The Passion of the Christ” and the fourth-biggest R-rated premiere, trailing “The Matrix Reloaded,” “The Hangover: Part II” and Mel Gibson’s aforementioned crucifixion tale.

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