Entertainment & Arts

Fifty Shades holds top spot at North American box office

Fifty Shades of Grey Image copyright publicity
Image caption Fifty Shades of Grey held the top spot but saw a 73% drop in takings since last week

Fifty Shades of Grey held on to the number one spot at the North American box office for a second weekend, taking an estimated $23.2m (£15m).

The adaptation of EL James's best-selling erotic novel earned an additional $68m (£44m) overseas.

Fifty Shades of Grey is directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson and stars Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson.

Despite its continued success, its takings fell by 73% from its record-breaking $85m (£55m) holiday debut.

"There was a pent-up demand and excitement for Fifty Shades of Grey last weekend, so this was its destiny after it broke the box-office record for the biggest opening in February and didn't have the added bonus of a holiday weekend," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box office firm Rentrak.

Fifty Shades of Grey's opening weekend takings beat previous record-holder The Passion of the Christ's $83.9m (£54.5m) in 2004 .

James's trilogy of Fifty Shades books have reportedly sold more than 100 million copies worldwide and been translated into more than 50 languages.

The film, which contains "strong sex and nudity", is R-rated in the US - meaning those under 17 years old can watch it if accompanied by an adult - and has an 18 certificate in the UK.

Image copyright publicity
Image caption Still Alice's release was extended to 765 cinemas this weekend ahead of Julianne Moore's best actress Oscar win

Following on from Fifty Shades in the chart was action spy film Kingsman: The Secret Service, which held on to the number two spot in the box office chart for a second week, taking $17.5m (£11m).

Animated children's film The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water similarly maintained its position at number three, earning $15.5m (£10m) in its third week of release.

Rounding up the top five films were two new releases.

Disney's cross-country racing tale McFarland, USA starring Kevin Costner opened at number four with $11.3m (£7.3m).

While high school comedy The DUFF opened at number five, taking $11m (£7m).

A few Oscar contenders received a boost at the box office ahead of Sunday's 87th annual Academy Awards.

American Sniper, which was up for six awards and won one for sound editing, took another $9.6m (£6m), putting it in the number six position in its ninth weekend of release.

The Imitation Game, nominated for eight Academy Awards and winning one for best adapted screenplay, came in at number nine with $2.5m (£1.6m) in its 13th weekend.

Still Alice, for which Julianne Moore won the best actress Oscar, earned $2.2m (£1.4m) after its release was extended to 765 cinemas in its sixth weekend.

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