'Fifty Shades of Grey' stays on top at US box office

LOS ANGELES - Racy bondage flick "Fifty Shades of Grey" kept its spot atop the North American box office this weekend, a week after scoring the biggest February opening ever, industry data showed Monday.

The erotic tale of billionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) and his sadomasochistic relationship with college graduate Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) grabbed US$22.3 million (S$30.3 million), according to box office tracker Exhibitor Relations.

That gave it a total of US$129 million since it first opened in theatres. The film pulled in US$93 million over its first weekend - more than 40 per cent of the top dozen movies' sales.

The movie scored the record haul despite some decidedly mixed reviews.

Following in second place was British spy-comedy flick "Kingsman: The Secret Service," starring Colin Firth and Samuel L. Jackson, also in its second weekend, with a haul of US$18.3 million.

Keeping its third spot was "The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water," down to third place, with US$16.6 million in sales.

New sport drama "McFarland, USA," featuring Kevin Costner as a teacher who launches a cross-country team with students from immigrant families, got US$11 million to land in fourth.

Following closely behind was "The Duff," a teen comedy in which high school senior Bianca (Mae Whitman) gets a jock to help her shake up the school's social order. It scored US$10.8 million.

"American Sniper," relegated to sixth place, had US$10.1 million in ticket sales.

Since its release, the highly acclaimed "Sniper" has raked in about US$320 million.

Despite being nominated for a half-dozen Oscars, the controversial film only pulled in one Academy Award on Sunday - for best sound editing.

New release "Hot Tub Time Machine 2," about a magical hot tub that sends Lou (Rob Corddry), Nick (Craig Robinson) and Jacob (Clark Duke) 10 years into the future to prevent Lou from getting shot, sold the seventh most tickets, with a US$6 million haul.

In eighth place was "Jupiter Ascending," with US$3.8 million.

The fantasy flick pairs Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum and is a first foray into the genre for sibling directors Lana and Andy Wachowski since their work on "The Matrix" series.

"The Imitation Game," which stars Benedict Cumberbatch as codebreaking genius Alan Turing, took US$2.5 million for ninth place.

"Paddington," a big-screen adaptation of the family classic about a bear lost in the big city, rounded out the top 10 by earning US$2.4 million.