'Fifty Shades Darker' locks in $21.5 million at Friday box office


Universal's "Fifty Shades Darker" attracted plenty of Friday night moviegoers, as the sexy drama reeled in $21.5 million at 3,710 locations.

The studio is projecting an opening weekend of $39 to $44 million for the "Fifty Shades of Grey" sequel, which would be a significant drop from the original, which opened to $85 million on Valentine's Day weekend two years ago. "Fifty Shades of Grey" went on to reel in $571 million worldwide.

"Fifty Shades Darker" also topped the Thursday charts with $5.7 million despite an abysmal 10 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but it's not expected to win the weekend, as "The Lego Batman Movie" should draw plenty of Saturday and Sunday daytime moviegoers.

The film is based on the erotic novel series by E.L. James and stars Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan reprising their roles as main characters Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey, respectively. Marcia Gay Harden, Rita Ora, Luke Grimes, Kim Basinger and Bella Heathcote also feature in the movie. James Foley directs "Fifty Shades Darker," while Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti return to produce alongside James.

See photos from the film's premiere:

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All the looks at the 'Fifty Shades Darker' premiere
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All the looks at the 'Fifty Shades Darker' premiere
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 02: Actress Dakota Johnson arrives for the Premiere Of Universal Pictures' 'Fifty Shades Darker' at The Theatre at Ace Hotel on February 2, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 02: Actor Jamie Dornan arrives for the Premiere Of Universal Pictures' 'Fifty Shades Darker' at The Theatre at Ace Hotel on February 2, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
From the cast, actor Jamie Dorner and actress Dakota Johnson pose on arrival for the premiere of the film 'Fifty Shades Darker' in Los Angeles, California on February 2, 2017. / AFP / Frederic J. Brown (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 02: Actress/singer Noah Cyrus attends the Premiere of Universal Pictures' 'Fifty Shades Darker' at The Theatre at Ace Hotel on February 2, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 02: Actress/singer Noah Cyrus arrives for the Premiere Of Universal Pictures' 'Fifty Shades Darker' at The Theatre at Ace Hotel on February 2, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 02: Actress Noah Lindsey Cyrus attends the premiere of Universal Pictures' 'Fifty Shades Darker' at The Theatre at Ace Hotel on February 2, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frank Trapper/Corbis via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 02: Actress/singer Noah Cyrus arrives for the Premiere Of Universal Pictures' 'Fifty Shades Darker' at The Theatre at Ace Hotel on February 2, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 02: Singer/actress Rita Ora attends the Premiere of Universal Pictures' 'Fifty Shades Darker' at The Theatre at Ace Hotel on February 2, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 02: Singer/actress Rita Ora attends the Premiere of Universal Pictures' 'Fifty Shades Darker' at The Theatre at Ace Hotel on February 2, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 02: Singer/actress Rita Ora arrives for the Premiere Of Universal Pictures' 'Fifty Shades Darker' at The Theatre at Ace Hotel on February 2, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 02: Actress Bella Heathcote arrives for the Premiere Of Universal Pictures' 'Fifty Shades Darker' at The Theatre at Ace Hotel on February 2, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 02: Singer Halsey arrives for the Premiere Of Universal Pictures' 'Fifty Shades Darker' at The Theatre at Ace Hotel on February 2, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 02: Actress Violett Beane arrives at the Los Angeles premiere 'Fifty Shades Darker' at The Theatre at Ace Hotel on February 2, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 02: Actor Luke Grimes arrives at the Los Angeles premiere 'Fifty Shades Darker' at The Theatre at Ace Hotel on February 2, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 02: Actor Eric Johnson arrives at the Los Angeles premiere 'Fifty Shades Darker' at The Theatre at Ace Hotel on February 2, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 02: Tameka 'Tiny' Cottle arrives at the Los Angeles premiere 'Fifty Shades Darker' at The Theatre at Ace Hotel on February 2, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 02: Actress Laura Govan arrives at the Los Angeles premiere 'Fifty Shades Darker' at The Theatre at Ace Hotel on February 2, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 02: Actress Ashleigh LaThrop arrives at the premiere of Universal Pictures' 'Fifty Shades Darker' at The Theatre at Ace Hotel on February 2, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 02: Robinne Lee arrives at the premiere of Universal Pictures' 'Fifty Shades Darker' at The Theatre at Ace Hotel on February 2, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
Actor Eloise Mumford rocks Randall Scott Fine Jewelry at the premiere of Universal Pictures' 'Fifty Shades Darker' at The Theatre at Ace Hotel on February 2, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frank Trapper/Corbis via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 02: Lily Marston arrives at the premiere of Universal Pictures' 'Fifty Shades Darker' at The Theatre at Ace Hotel on February 2, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 02: TV personality/actress Kristen Doute attends the premiere of Universal Pictures' 'Fifty Shades Darker' at The Theatre at Ace Hotel on February 2, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frank Trapper/Corbis via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 02: Recording artist attends the Premiere of Universal Pictures' 'Fifty Shades Darker' at The Theatre at Ace Hotel on February 2, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 02: Erin Robinson attends the Premiere of Universal Pictures' 'Fifty Shades Darker' at The Theatre at Ace Hotel on February 2, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 02: Actress Kim Basinger arrives for the Premiere Of Universal Pictures' 'Fifty Shades Darker' at The Theatre at Ace Hotel on February 2, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 02: Vocalist Jose James (RI and a guest attend the Premiere of Universal Pictures' 'Fifty Shades Darker' at The Theatre at Ace Hotel on February 2, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/WireImage)
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"The Lego Batman Movie" placed second at the Saturday box office, clicking its way to $15 million at 4,088 locations. Chris McKay wrote and directed the Warner Bros. film, which stars Will Arnett as the title character, reprising his role from "The Lego Movie." The film also features Zach Galifianakis, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson and Ralph Fiennes, and carries an estimated $80 million production budget. Critics seem to love the animated movie based on the iconic toys, giving it a 91 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

"Lego Batman" began its run with a modest $2.2 million at the Thursday night box office and couldn't pass "Fifty Shades Darker" on Friday, but its family target audience should turn out for earlier showtimes later in the weekend. The first "Lego Movie" made just $400,000 in Thursday night preview shows, which didn't stop it from a $69 million opening weekend. Warner Bros. had projected a $60 million opening weekend for "Lego Batman," but others have forecast as much as $70 million. Lego Batman will play on 376 bigger — and more expensive — IMAX screens, which should help boost its box office gross.

Read original story 'Fifty Shades Darker' Locks In $21.5 Million at Friday Box Office At TheWrap


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