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Box Office: ‘Fifty Shades Freed’ to Top ‘Peter Rabbit,’ ‘The 15:17 to Paris’

Universal’s last installment of the “Fifty Shades” franchise, “Fifty Shades Freed,” is poised to dominate the box office in its opening weekend, with $40 million from 3,768 North American locations.

The film sees the return of Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey and Dakota Johnson as his now wife, Anastasia Grey. It took in $18.5 million in Friday previews, which includes $5.6 million from Thursday screenings. The finale of the “Fifty Shades” trilogy is also launching in 57 international markets this weekend after its Feb. 6 premiere in France and has already grossed $50 million outside North America in its first three days.

With this weekend’s take, the “Fifty Shades” franchise is set to pass $1 billion in total revenue. The second installment, “Fifty Shades Darker,” opened to $46.6 million the same weekend last year, and “Fifty Shades of Grey” debuted to $85.2 million in 2015.

In second place is Sony’s adaptation of “Peter Rabbit,” which is set to draw in $22 million from 3,725 domestic sites, ahead of forecasts. The film stars James Corden as the voice of the titular rabbit, with Domhnall Gleeson as the heir to Mr. McGregor’s farm and Margot Robbie, Elizabeth Debicki, and Daisy Ridley as the voices of Peter Rabbit’s sisters. The film is directed by Will Gluck and received an A- CinemaScore.

Warner Bros.’ “The 15:17 to Paris,” directed by Clint Eastwood, is heading towards a $11 million opening from 3,042 locations to take third place. The film tells the story of three Americans who foiled an attempted attack that took place on a train headed to Paris in 2015, with the actual men involved cast as themselves. The film received a B- CinemaScore, and it’s set to perform in line with early forecasts.

Sony’s “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” was unseated from its first place spot after reducing its reach and is set to take in around $9 million from 3,126 sites in its eighth weekend. The film will finish the weekend with about $365 million in 38th place on the all-time domestic grosser list, $3 million behind “Despicable Me 2,” and is also set to become Sony’s second highest grossing film of all time domestically, behind 2002’s “Spider-Man.”

In fifth and also in its eighth weekend is Fox’s durable “The Greatest Showman,” which should gross about $6 million from 2,373 locations. The musical, which stars Hugh Jackman as P.T. Barnum, should cross $300 million worldwide this weekend.

Last weekend’s sole opener “Winchester,” starring Helen Mirren and distributed by Lionsgate, is set to bring in an estimated $4 million from 2,840 locations, marking a 52% drop from its opening weekend — down by less than the second weekend slip of last year’s big horror title “Rings” (57%).

This weekend should see a significant increase in activity at theaters in the wake of a slow Super Bowl session, and box offices should receive an even bigger boost over the Presidents Day weekend with Disney-Marvel’s “Black Panther” forecasted to take in as much as $150 million in its opening weekend.

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