If you've been near a TV, radio, computer or civilisation in general for the past few weeks, you'll undoubtedly be aware that the big screen adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey is now in cinemas. The film yesterday opened day and date in most of the biggest markets around the world.
Expectations for how much money it would make were pretty all over the place. Universal Pictures, who released the film, did a superb job marketing it and creating buzz - rendering the actually not bad reviews somewhat redundant. The fan base was going to turn up no matter what. Throw in an estimated budget of $40 million and the first film in the planned trilogy was primed for success.
Box office estimates in America have it pegged to take upwards of $85 million in its first four days of release, taking $8.6 million of that in midnight screenings alone on Thursday. Audiences are turning up in their droves. While estimates are placing the flick between $75-$85 million, that number could easily rise - especially with the Valentine's Day jump. Worldwide grosses will post similar numbers, just take longer to come in.
Not to be outdone, the ace Kingsman: The Secret Service did excellent numbers as Fox counter-programmed Fifty Shades and gave lads an option of an action film over the American holiday weekend (President's Day). Kingsman scored strong reviews which obviously helped propel it to a $40 million plus debut.
Final numbers for both films will come in Monday.