Italian audiences like it kinky. Fifty Shades of Grey had the highest opening in Italy for a film rated VM14 (restricted to audiences 14 and over), raking in $9.1 million (8.5 million euros) with 1.1 million admissions.
It also had the biggest opening of the year, beating out the New Year’s phenomenon Si Accettano Miracoli, which pulled in $8.5 million over the holiday weekend.
Theaters in Italy are rejoicing with the rise in ticket sales, compared to last year’s lackluster numbers. This year continues on a high note, with other top earners, including American Sniper and The Imitation Game.
Fifty Shades has crushed last year’s record held by Maleficent, which took in 4.9 million euros in five days. But nothing has come close to 2013’s Checco Zalone‘s Sun in Buckets, which took in an unheard of 18.6 million euros in four days.
French film Qu’est-ce qu’on a fait au bon dieu? stayed strong, coming in at No. 2 with $1.3 million. And Birdman rose to the No. 3 spot with $1.03 million, beating out Night at the Museum 3 ($1.02 million). Taken 3, which has never been a hit franchise in Italy, debuted at $924,347.
Jupiter Ascending fell to the No. 7 spot with $788,767. Yet it still beat out Selma, which pulled in $751,511, premiering at the No. 8 spot despite its best picture Oscar nomination.