Fifty Shades Freed earns $5.6 million in Thursday previews

Fifty Shades Freed is already sizzling at the box office. According to Box Office Mojo, the trilogy capping romance film pulled in $5.6 million in Thursday previews, ahead of a projected $38 million opening weekend.

Fifty Shades Freed sees the return of Dakota Johnson's Anastasia Steele and Jamie Dornan's Christian Grey, featuring the pair's wedding and the continued trials their relationship faces. The movie was trashed by critics, sitting at a 14 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, but that isn't unusual for the franchise– the first film holds a 25 percent, while the second holds a 10 percent.

However, that hasn't stopped the franchise from taking over the box office. The movies have had a strong hold on Valentine's Day weekend for the past few years, and Freed's preview showings hint that it is on its way to a strong opening. The first film earned $8.6 million in previews and went on to have a $85.1 million opening; the second earned $5.7 million and debuted to $46.6 million. (via Variety)

This weekend's other new releases, Peter Rabbit and The 15:17 to Paris, did not hold preview screenings. Peter Rabbit, which features Domhnall Gleeson and Rose Byrne taking on the classic Beatrix Potter children's tale, is projected to take second place with $23 million after receiving mixed from critics. The film currently sits at a 57 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

Clint Eastwood's gamble The 15:17 to Paris is projected to take third place with $16.5 million. The film features three real-life heroes playing themselves, recounting an incident in which they prevented a terrorist attack on a Paris-bound train. Jenna Fischer and Judy Greer join soldiers Spencer Stone, Anthony Sadler, and Alek Skarlatos in the film, which currently sits at a 21 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

The slew of new releases should be enough to finally unseat Dwayne Johnson's Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, which has held the top box office spot for five of the past six weeks. Karen Gillan, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, and Nick Jonas also star in the film, which is projected to bring in an additional $8.5 million. The rest of the top ten should be filled out by familiar films, including Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water, which is still receiving a box office bump after the Oscar nominations; Christian Bale's Western drama Hostile; and Helen Mirren's horror film Winchester.