Fans of the Fifty Shades franchise were eager to catch the climax early because Fifty Shades Freed grossed an impressive $5.6 million in Thursday night previews.
Last year, Fifty Shades Darker‘s previews (beginning at 7 PM) played at 3,120 venues, making it the sixth-best R-rated Thursday night preview of all time. Three years ago, Fifty Shades of Grey opened to $8.6 million at 2,830 theaters on its first Thursday night and currently ranks as the third-best R-rated Thursday night preview behind Deadpool ($12.7 million) and The Hangover 2 ($10.4 million). It’s only running 2% behind the $5.72 million Fifty Shades Darker grossed in Thursday night previews last year so that’s good news for the franchise which is about to gross $1 billion worldwide after the opening weekend of the latest film.
I predicted a $35-40 million opening but with these grosses, it could come in on the higher end of expectations unless it becomes extremely frontloaded due to the rush factor.