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Fifty Shades of Grey outstrips opposition at Irish box offices

FIFTY Shades Of Grey dominated cinemas at the weekend with ticket sales of around €1.34m across Irish movie houses.

The big screen adaptation of EL James's hit erotic novel, starring Jamie Dornan, outstripped all competition at the box office since its release on Friday.

Ticket sales over the first three days saw it enter the top 10 of all-time Irish box office takings.

The figures from the film's distributors Universal Ireland show that ticket sales of €423,709 were recorded in Northern Ireland, while cinemas across the Republic took in €917,548 over the opening weekend.

Universal Pictures released the figures in Euros for both north and south.

It beat the massive opening weekend for Mrs Brown's Boys of €1.02m in June last year.

The massive ticket sales saw it become the 10th biggest all-time opening behind Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (€2.05m), The Dark Knight Rises (€2.02m), The Simpsons (€1.97m), Shrek the Third (€1.81m), Quantum of Solace (€1.75m), Shrek 2 (€1.68m), Skyfall (€1.6m), The Dark Knight (€1.45m), Harry Potter & The Philosopher's Stone (€1.37m).

The erotic romance has also broken box office records in both the US and UK.

The film sees Dornan star as suave businessman Christian Grey who seduces college student Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson).

Meanwhile, there have been complaints of marauding packs of drunken women disrupting the screenings.

In Belfast, security staff were brought into the Movie House on Dublin Road to deal with crowds of noisy women watching the film.

Cinema owner Michael McAdam told how many women were drunk before they arrived at the venue on Friday, with some disrupting the film with bad behaviour.

"The afternoon screenings were fine but when it came to eight o'clock or nine o'clock, that's when the problems began to appear," he said.

"Particularly in the city centre, where people were certainly high-spirited, I think there were people who came along with groups of girls, maybe one or two didn't re-ally want to be there - there's nothing more annoying that when you go to the cinema, people are just sitting talking.

Mr McAdam said the presence of security staff was to make it "very, very clear, that if you have bought your tickets you have the right to watch the film in peace" and that those who misbehaved would be asked to leave.

In Scotland, three women were arrested after a man was attacked during a Fifty Shades of Grey screening.

Reports suggested that the victim was attacked with a glass when he asked a group of rowdy women to keep quiet at a Glasgow cinema.

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