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‘Fifty Shades’ Becomes Universal’s Highest-Grossing R-Rated International Release

Sex, even of the kinky variety, apparently knows no boundaries and crosses all borders.

Fifty Shades of Grey” has become Universal Pictures’ highest-grossing R-rated international release with $338.4 million, topping the $330 million made by “Ted.” The erotic drama topped foreign charts for the third consecutive week, adding $36 million from 59 territories to its haul.

Globally, the film should hit $500 million next week — an impressive return on the $40 million Universal spent to make Christian Grey’s red room come to life on screen.

Domestically, the film has slowed down, dropping more than 50% in its third week to $10.9 million. Due to its steamy subject matter, “Fifty Shades of Grey” has been banned in much of the Middle East. There are two territories left in its international rollout — India and Egypt.

“Focus,” the weekend’s top Stateside grosser, pulled in $12.2 million across 31 international markets. The heist film with Will Smith and Margot Robbie has opened in roughly 30% of the overseas markets where it will play, including two major territories, Russia and the United Kingdom, where it kicked off to $3.1 million and $3 million, respectively. Next week, the film opens in Germany, Italy, Australia and Mexico.

China made its presence felt on the foreign chart. “From Vegas to Macau 2,” a Hong Kong-Chinese crime comedy with Chow Yun-fat, took second place overseas, pulling in $22 million and pushing its total to $108 million.

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Third place finisher “Big Hero 6” scored the biggest opening weekend in China for a Disney Animation release when it bowed to $14.8 million. The film about a lovable robot earned $21.6 million overseas and has made $572.2 million worldwide since it debuted last fall.

“Kingsman: The Secret Service” added $25.8 million to its take after opening in several new markets such Mexico, Spain and Italy. The spy thriller has made $124.6 million at the foreign box office and $210.3 million worldwide.

On the family front, “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water” continued to do strong business overseas, picking up $14.2 million from 46 territories. Internationally the film has made $96.3 million and its global total stands at $236.6 million.

Also of note, “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” earned $9.4 million after debuting in three international markets, including the United Kingdom and Australia. The snowbirds in India follow-up debuts next Friday in the U.S.

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