'Fifty Shades Freed' commands $38.8 million to top charts

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A scene from "Fifty Shades Freed".



LOS ANGELES - Newcomers like "Fifty Shades Freed," ''Peter Rabbit" and "The 15:17 to Paris" breathed some fresh life into a marketplace that has for weeks been dominated by "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle," ''The Greatest Showman" and various Oscar contenders. But it's all just setting the stage for "Black Panther," which opens next week.

"Fifty Shades Freed"managed to take the top spot on the charts in North American theaters. Universal Pictures estimated Monday that the final chapter in the Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele saga earned $38.8 million over the weekend - down significantly from the first film's $85.2 million debut and even the sequel's $46.6 million opening, but enough to bump the three-film franchise over $1 billion globally. Women once again made up the vast majority (75 percent) of the opening weekend audience.

The steamy romance outdid other new competitors like Sony's CG and live-action update of "Peter Rabbit," featuring the voice of James Corden, and Clint Eastwood's "The 15:17 to Paris," starring the real men who thwarted an attack on a Paris-bound train in the summer of 2015.

"Peter Rabbit," which cost around $50 million to produce, hopped to second place with a solid $25 million and an A- CinemaScore.

"The 15:17 to Paris" pulled into third place with $12.6 million. Eastwood's dramatic thriller about the true story was not well-received by critics or audiences, who gave the film a poor B- CinemaScore.

Two films that just won't quit rounded out the top five: "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" fell to fourth place with $9.8 million and "The Greatest Showman" took fifth with $6.4 million. - AP


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