After just a few days in theaters, Fifty Shades of Grey is already a box office hit, taking in $94.4 million domestically over the four-day holiday weekend, and $266.4 million worldwide. The adaptation of E.L. James' racy novel is also extremely popular among file-sharing services, with nearly 300,000 users downloading pirated copies of the drama over the weekend. Despite the low-resolution quality of the film, presumably shot with handheld cameras in theaters, the piracy-tracking firm Excipio reveals that 298,037 unique Internet addresses downloaded the movie, as of 6 PM ET on Sunday night. The U.S. had the most downloads with 44,896, followed by the U.K. (33,839), India (19,298) and the Philippines (16,952).
In comparison, Guardians of the Galaxy, which was the second-highest grossing movie of 2014 with $333.1 million, was downloaded by 198,873 users over its first weekend in theaters, where it grossed $94.3 million. Those versions were also of low quality, and DVD-quality versions didn't appear on piracy sites until October. We'll have to wait and see if this widespread piracy will adversely affect Fifty Shades of Grey's box office haul as it enters its first full week in theaters.
It's worth noting that Fifty Shades of Grey did overperform at the box office, with several analysts predicting the adaptation would earn between $50 million and $60 million over the three-day weekend. Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan star as Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey, a college student and a young billionaire who engage in a steamy affair. The supporting cast is rounded out by Luke Grimes, Jennifer Ehle, Eloise Mumford, Rita Ora, Marcia Gay Harden, Max Martini and Victor Rasuk. How do you think Fifty Shades of Grey will fare next weekend at the box office? Let us know what you think, and stay tuned for more updates.