'Fifty Shades of Grey' Posts Biggest Non-3D Russian Opening

Fifty Shades of Grey Still 5 - H 2015
Courtesy of Universal

Fifty Shades of Grey Still 5 - H 2015

The movie was also celebrated as Universal's biggest opening in Russia.

Despite being pulled from theaters in North Caucasus, Fifty Shades of Grey secured the biggest non-3D opening in Russia, as well as the biggest start for a film with an 18-plus or 16-plus age restriction and the biggest Universal opening in Russia.

The erotic thriller opened in Russia on 1,100 screens on Feb. 12 and grossed $10.7 million (705.2 million rubles) during the opening weekend, according to data provided by the local trade journal Exhibitor's Bulletin.

The movie's box office performance surpassed the trade's forecast, which was 600 million rubles.

The start of Fifty Shades of Grey was Universal's biggest in Russia ever, the company said in a press release, adding that it was also the best start in Russia for any non-3D movie.

Pirates of the Caribbean's fourth installment, released in 2014, still holds the opening weekend record for all movies, with a gross of $11.9 million (749.1 million rubles).

Meanwhile, the Russian release of Fifty Shades of Grey did not avoid controversy. The movie was pulled from theaters in the predominantly Muslim North Caucasian region following protests from public and religious leaders who claimed it contradicted the region's "mentality and religion."

Similar calls to ban the film from Orthodox Christian activists in neighboring Krasnodar Krai remained unheard, but local authorities sent a letter to exhibitors, calling on them to make sure that the age restriction is thoroughly observed and recommending that the film only be shown late at night.