John Madden’s comedy drama sequel, which also stars Bill Nighy, Dev Patel, Celia Imrie and Richard Gere, proved the grey pound is stronger than ever as the film opened at number one in the UK, with takings of around £3.74m, including £700,000 in previews.
Fifty Shades — Sam Taylor- Johnson’s big-screen adaptation of EL James’s erotic novel, starring Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson — dropped to second place with sales of £2.24m, with Will Smith’s conman caper Focus taking third spot in its opening weekend with about £1.9m, according to figures by Screen Daily.
While The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’s strong debut surpassed its predecessor, with £2.2m on its opening weekend, it proved no match for Fifty Shades, which broke UK box office records with a £13.5m opening in February.
In the US, Focus dominated Fifty Shades. Box office takings for the former were estimated at $19.1m (£12.4m), overtaking the latter’s £7.66 million.
Colin Firth’s spy thriller Kingsman: The Secret Service took second place, followed The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water.