‘Fifty Shades’ Trails ‘Passion of the Christ’ for February Openers

By Brittany M. Hughes | February 16, 2015 | 11:00am EST

(CNSNews.com) -- During its opening weekend at the box office, ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ came close to being the top grossing R-rated movie with a February opening in history, raking in $81.67 million during its first weekend in theaters – Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Feb. 13-15 -- but it still fell short of the $83.85 million record set by ‘The Passion of the Christ’ in 2004.

Two of the actors who starred in "50 Shades of Grey," which earned $81.67 million its opening weekend in February. (AP Photo)

According to a weekend box office report from Universal Pictures, ‘Fifty Shades” easily dominated movie theaters on Valentine’s Day weekend, but failed to top Mel Gibson’s hit depicting the death of Christ released more than a decade ago on Feb. 25, 2004, the Ash Wednesday of that year.

Though thousands flocked to see the erotic, sex-centered movie based on best-selling books by British author E. L. James, ‘Fifty Shades’ only received an overall 26% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a popular film-rating website. Metacritic gave the film a better-but-lackluster 47% approval rating, while International Movie Database (IMDb) scored it a 4.0/10.

Mel Gibson's movie, "The Passion of the Christ," which earned $83.5 million its opening weekend in February 2004. (AP)

In its review, The Huffington Post admitted they were “sorry” for sending 10 people to review the movie, who ended up describing the movie as “not sexy,” having “not much of a plot” and “very, very bad.” (Note: Some of the language in the HuffPost review is graphic.)

One critic from The New Yorker dubbed the movie “not just unromantic but specifically anti-romantic,” while another reviewer from Slate Magazine stated the film consisted of just “three shades of pornography.”

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