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‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Set for 75 Imax Screens

Fifty Shades of Grey” continues to generate pre-release heat with Imax coming onboard at the last minute for a release on 75 large-screen locations this weekend.

Imax Entertainment CEO Greg Foster made the announcement Monday at the Stifel Technology, Internet and Media Conference. He indicated that taking on “Fifty Shades” reflects Imax’s effort to expand its offerings beyond franchise tentpoles: Currently eight titles account for two-thirds of Imax’s annual box office revenues.

Universal-Focus’ “Fifty Shades of Grey” has been strong in early tracking, with projections for as much as $60 million for its Friday-Monday launch. The R-rated “Fifty Shades” appears to be heading toward significant profitability given the $40 million pricetag for the adaptation of E.L. James’ sex-saturated bestseller.

Universal’s promo campaign suggests both romance and steamy sex between Dakota Johnson (as Anastasia Steele) and Jamie Dornan (Christian Grey). Showtimes start at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 12.

Online ticketing site Fandango, owned by studio parent NBCUniversal, reported last week that “Fifty Shades” is the fastest-selling R-rated title in the site’s 15-year history.

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