Universal Pictures / "Fifty Shades of Grey"

Box Office Top 3: 'Fifty Shades' Locks Up Box Office Records

"Fifty Shades" blew past every other Valentine's Day opening with an $81 million weekend, beating the record holder by more than $20 million.

By Jamal Andress | February 15, 2015

Let's see how many of these I can come up with: "Fifty Shades" dominates the box office; "Fifty Shades" restrains all movie challengers; moviegoers submit to the allure of "Fifty Shades"; "Fifty Shades" spanks box office records.

Okay, okay I'm done now.

The book was a pop culture phenomenon, and it turns out the movie might be, too. "Fifty Shades of Grey," despite god-awful reviews, pulled in a record-breaking $81 million Valentine's Day weekend. 

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The $81 million weekend blows past every other Valentine's Day opening, beating the record holder "Valentine's Day" by more than $20 million. And with a $30 million haul on Friday alone, it also had the best box office opening day of any movie ever released in February. Who held the record before? 

Yep, "The Passion of the Christ." Be proud, America.

Even for those who had no desire to see the "Fifty Shades of Grey," it was hard not to get swept up by the hype.

Between the controversy over who would bring Christian Grey to life, the question of chemistry on set and a weeklong series on the Today show, the film was constantly in the news.

Bottom line, "Fifty Shades of Grey" performed like a Marvel flick at the box office, inspired bondage bears, handcuff necklaces and a Wal-Mart gourmet gift basket all the while generating terrible reviews from critics. So in other words, it's just like the book. 

And considering Focus Features broke even on the second day of release, I'm willing to bet Ms. Steele and company get roped into a sequel. 

And now the movie you should have seen this weekend. 

"Kingsman: The Secret Service" brought in an estimated $35 million and served as the saving grace for male moviegoers.

The James Bond-Austin Powers hybrid didn't break any box office records, but did pull in solid reviews and, frankly, did its job at the box office. 

Back in August, Fox announced "Kingsman" would be moved from its October release to Valentine's Day 2015 opposite the erotic novel turned feature film. Fox's distribution chief told Variety"We knew [‘Fifty Shades of Grey’] was going to be a big movie, but it seemed like everyone else was staying away, and we saw an opportunity. ... This is a terrific, smart action movie that's primarily geared toward males."

All credit for this great take on an overused concept goes to Matthew Vaughn, the director behind "X-Men: First Class" and the original "Kick-Ass."

IGN's Scott Collura said, "Director Matthew Vaughn once again proves his talent for taking well established genres and tropes and re-energizing them."

As for all the moviegoers under 21: rounding out third place on this very adult weekend is "The SpongeBob Squarepants Movie," bringing in an estimated $30 million in its second weekend out. 

As for next week, a Disney channel original movie.

This video includes an image from Getty Images.

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