Humans have spent more than US$1 billion on the Fifty Shades movies

With the release of its third and final film, the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy has passed the US$1 billion milestone at the global box office.

Fifty Shades Freed whipped up US$137 million (NZ$189 million) internationally over the weekend, topping the North American market with US$38.8 million.

Reviews slated the climactic film as the worst entry in a terrible franchise, but the wild success of each Fifty Shades movie has proven that - like the Transformers movies - they're critic-proof.

"We are exhilarated with the results," said Jim Orr of the franchise's distributor, Universal Pictures.

"To have a trilogy engineered primarily for a female audience that we were then able to broaden out into a billion-dollar franchise is just a fantastic result."

Indeed, younger female audience members were the driving force in pushing the three Fifty Shades films to their current collective worldwide total of US$1.09 billion.

In North America, Fifty Shades Freed's opening weekend audience was 75 percent female and 55 percent under 30.

The only other R-rated franchise's to total over US$1 billion internationally are The Matrix, Resident Evil, The Conjuring, The Hangover, Alien (not counting the PG-13 Alien vs Predator), Die Hard (not counting the PG-13 Die Hard 4.0) and The Terminator (just counting the first three R-rated films).

Newshub.