Hit 'Fifty Shades of Grey' retains top spot at U.S. box office
By Chris Michaud
(Reuters) - The hit film "Fifty Shades of Grey", an adaptation of the best-selling novel about a kinky relationship between a businessman and a college student, raked in another $23.2 million in ticket sales to lead U.S. and Canadian box office charts for a second week.
The film, which stars James Dornan and Dakota Johnson as the libidinous couple, again outpaced the No. 2 release, "Kingsman: The Secret Service", which took in $17.5 million from Friday through Sunday, according to studio estimates.
Third place on Oscar weekend, when Hollywood is buzzing with anticipation of Sunday's annual Academy Awards ceremony, again went to the family-friendly "The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water", based on the popular television show about a talking animated sponge. It sold $15.5 million in tickets.
The three films replicated their standings from a week ago, and also outperformed a trio of new films that opened this week.
"Fifty Shades", a bona-fide box office bonanza, has already racked up $410 million in global sales in less than two weeks, according to Universal Pictures, the Comcast Corp unit that released the film.
"Despite an expected steep second weekend drop, the film is an unqualified success and a profit-making machine," noted Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at box office tracking firm Rentrak.
Fourth place went to "McFarland, USA", which stars Kevin Costner as a track coach in a small California town. The film, released by Walt Disney, made $11.3 million for the three days from Friday to Sunday.
Rounding out the top five, high school comedy "The DUFF", which stars Mae Whitman, took in $11 million. Both films scored solid reviews before proving popular with audiences. Continued...