Fifty Shades of Grey sets preview screening records

Fifty Shades of Grey is already setting records at the box office.

The film adaptation of the hit book made $8.6 million in late Thursday/overnight screenings across the United States, according to

That's the highest ever for a February release and the best ever early screening performance for a Universal film.

It's the second-highest Thursday preview screening in history, behind The Hangover 2.

The movie opens in wide release on Friday. It's based on a best-selling book by E L James about a college student and her torrid affair with a 27-year-old billionaire with a penchant for bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism.