'Fifty Shades of Grey' trumps 'Kingsman' at Friday box office

'Fifty Shades of Grey' leads Friday box office

True to expectations, “Fifty Shades of Grey” wooed its way to the top of the Friday box office ahead of Valentine’s Day.

The adaptation of E.L. James' popular erotic novel pulled in $30.2 million, well on its way to a projected $76 million four-day weekend which includes President’s Day.

The Universal Pictures film, about kinky billionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) and his reserved love interest Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson), has had potential viewers reeling on social media since it’s trailer release last July, but critics haven’t responded similarly. Directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, the film received a measly 27% fresh rating from critic site Rotten Tomatoes and a C-plus grade from audience polling firm CinemaScore.

Regardless, the film is poised to break records for the weekend currently held by Garry Marshall’s “Valentine’s Day.” The romantic comedy debuted to a solid $56.3 million in the U.S. and Canada in February 2010. 

In second place, this week’s other new release, “Kingsman: The Secret Service,” grossed a respectable $10.5 million. Based on a comic book, the film follows a street kid (Taron Egerton) after he is recruited into a secret spy organization by Harry Hart (Colin Firth).

The action-packed picture, which also stars Samuel L. Jackson and Michael Caine, is expected to draw audiences that want to avoid the “Fifty Shades” fervor.

Last week’s box office champion, Paramount Pictures’ family-friendly movie  “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water,” came in third at Friday’s box office, adding another $6.5 million to its $56-million debut.

Rounding out the top five, respectively, are Clint Eastwood’s war drama “American Sniper,” which pulled in another $3.8 million, and sci-fi film “Jupiter Ascending,” with $2 million.

Follow the reporter on Twitter: @TrevellAnderson.

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