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Whisper Number: Fifty Shades of Grey about to turn green

With Valentine’s Day falling on Saturday this year, the long President’s Day holiday weekend is shaping up to be a record-breaker at the box office. Adapted from E.L. James’ erotic fiction, Fifty Shades of Grey [50SHD] stars Jamie Dornan [JDORN] and Dakota Johnson [DJOHN] as a couple indulging in S&M sexual fantasies. The book trilogy has been a best-selling phenomenon dubbed “mommy porn” for its appeal with older women. The rabid fanbase is already planning group outings ala Sex and the City, while others will be dragging their more-than-likely willing boyfriends and husbands. Advance sales have already surpassed the current 4-day weekend record holder Valentine’s Day, which grossed $63 million in 2010, and is pacing to be number four of all times behind Twilight: New Moon ($142.8M), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 ($169.2M) and The Hunger Games ($152.5M). Ironically, the erotic romance is attracting higher sales in more religious, conservative states. The only question remains is whether attendance will be frontloaded to Friday and Saturday. Playing in the widest ever for an R-rated film at 3645 theaters, Fifty Shades of Grey could whip up more than $85 million over the 4-day holiday weekend.

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water [SPBO2] blew the competition out of the water. With both new releases R-rated, SpongeBob can sop up the family and teen audiences to another $36 million.

Director Matthew Vaughn [MVAUG] takes on the spy action genre with Kingsman: The Secret Service [TSSRV]. Colin Firth [CFIRT] stars as a debonair British secret agent who brings on a protégé played by Taron Egerton [TEGER]. Fox delayed the release to build up buzz, and the response to the marketing and advance screenings have been positive. The R-rating may cut out a portion of male teenagers though, while Fifty Shades of Grey will siphon away business from couples. Stirring in 3204 theaters, Kingsman: The Secret may shake up $34 million over the long weekend.

American Sniper looks to cross the $300 million milestone with another $15 million over the President’s Day weekend. Meanwhile, Jupiter Ascending [JUPTR] may flame out with $10 million in its sophomore weekend through Monday.

That’s the whisper from the virtual trading floor.



Tag(s): 50SHD, JDORN, DJOHN, SPBO2, MVAUG, TSSRV, CFIRT, TEGER, JUPTR

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By Box Office Whisperer on Thursday, February 12, 2015 @ 02:46 PM 2588 views

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