Saturday, November 21, 2009
As a PG-rated Robin might cry, "Holy crap, Batman!"
New Moon smashed The Dark Knight's single-day and opening-day box-office records with an estimated $72.7 million Friday, its studio reported today.
If the movie's unprecedented midnight business was "absolutely freakish," then its unprecedented full-day take was simply phenomenal.
"It doubled the opening day of the first movie—and Twilight was no slouch itself," Box Office Mojo's Brandon Gray said. "It's just sensational."
With New Moon having already eclipsed its $50 million budget, two of Dark Knight's showiest records, and Twilight's entire opening-weekend gross, about the only question left is: How big can this thing get?
In two words, really big. Although maybe not record big.
Gray guessed New Moon will end up with a $140 million Friday-Sunday, which would leave it shy ofDark Knight's ultimate speed record: the 2008 film's $158.4 million opening weekend. (It would also leave it shy of the No. 2 film, Spider-Man 3, which debuted with $151.1 million in 2007.)
At this point, though, it's dangerous to guess what New Moon might, or might not, do next.
Earlier in the week, the wolf-enhanced vampire sequel was expected to score a big $80 million opening weekend. Then a bigger $100 million looked more like it. By yesterday, after setting its $26.3 million midnight mark, Exhibitor Relations was calling for a gigantic $125 million-$130 million.
Until further notice, Twi-hards—and the cinematic object of their desire—will not be underestimated.
Here's a by-the-numbers look at what New Moon has done so far:
• $36 million: The Twilight opening-day figure it blew past.
• $62.2 million: The single- and opening-day Dark Knight grosses it eclipsed.
• $69.6 million: The Twilight opening weekend it's already exceeded.
• $104 million: What Friday's Top 10 films, led by you-know-what, grossed in a single day—yet another record, per Box Office Mojo.
The thought of Robert Pattinson getting hurt is just too much too bear, isn't it?
But that's exactly what could have happened if anything had gone wrong during his and DanielCudmore's big, violent fight scene in New Moon.
Cudmore, the Tom Brady-esque hunkster who plays Volturi vampire Felix, said some of the stunts got a little too close for comfort when he and Pattinson went at it.
"Because of my contacts, my peripheral vision was off, so there were a couple of times where I thought I was going to really hit him," Cudmore recalled at the New Moon premiere in L.A. "Luckily, I didn't."
Maybe that's why Pattinson seemed a bit nervous when they first began working on the scene...
"Rob hasn't done a lot of stunt work, so he was kind of apprehensive about getting into it," Cudmore said. "But the very cool thing about it is he really started to enjoy and embrace it."
Christopher Heyerdahl, who plays Volturi badass Marcus, agrees.
"Rob was a real pro, and he was being chucked around like a rag doll," Heyerdahl said. "It was hair-raising, but fun to watch. We got to sit back in our fancy robes and just watch."
What more did we learn at the premiere earlier this week? Here are the highlights:
• Pattinson would jam with costar and fellow musician Jackson Rathbone in their hotel rooms. "We'd do 'Let It Shine,' " Rathbone said.
• Alex Mraz insists his wife doesn't mind all the attention he's getting for being one of the shirtless werewolf boys. "She's good," he said. "It could be worse. I could be doing porn."
• Cast members do worry that fans sometimes have problems distinguishing between the actors and the characters they play. Xavier Samuel plays Riley in the just-wrapped Eclipse: "We just had a great time hatching plans to seek revenge on Bella," Samuel said of his work opposite Bryce Dallas Howard(Victoria). "I hope the fans will forgive me for attempting to kill their beloved Bella."
• Nikki Reed insisted on wearing a wig for New Moon. "In Twilight, it was my real hair," she said. "But I put my foot down because I went bald after the first movie."
• Sweet-faced li'l Dakota Fanning, who plays the Volturi's evil-eyed Jane, is really digging the dark side: "It's more fun to play the bad girl than the good girl."
Here's part 1 if you missed it from the other day:
FRIDAY NUMBERS: Summit Entertainment has announced that The Twilight Saga: New Moon took in $72.7M from 4024 theaters on Friday, setting a new all-time single day box office record.
Friday's number includes the previously reported all-time record $26.27M in midnight screenings. This one-day total is also not far below the $85M 3-day weekend estimate originally proffered by Summit and accepted by many industry insiders. Few expected the film to approach the $100M mark. My personal guess, which I made last Tuesday, was $110M. Based on the numbers already in, advance sales, and tracking polls, some are now predicting a $125M weekend. That wouldn't top The Dark Knight's $158.4M opening but would be the biggest non-summer 3-day opening weekend of all time.
This opening day number far surpasses that for The Dark Knight, which took in $67.17M on July 18, 2008 (including $18.4M from midnights). That film's take dropped 29.1% from Friday to Saturday to bring in another $47.65M, and ended with $43.6M on Sunday for an opening weekend total of $158.4M.
As I've been saying all week on my Twitter, though, the key to the total weekend box office will be the percentage drop (or increase) from Friday to Saturday. One year ago this weekend, Twilight dropped 40.8% from Friday to Saturday. As terrific as that film's opening day's numbers were, they didn't hold up. So that's the key to this weekend. No matter how well New Moon did on Friday it won't surpass 3-day record holder The Dark Knight if there's a significant decline today. This one day total, by the way, is slightly more than double Twilight's$36M opening day a year ago and surpasses its total opening weekend take of $69.6M.
Let's crunch some numbers. Keep in mind that The Dark Knight dropped 29.1% from Friday to Saturday and 8.5% from Saturday to Sunday. A modest 20% drop today would bring in another $58.16M. That totals $130.86M going into Sunday. That's not far from The Dark Knight territory already. Cutting Saturday's total in half on Sunday equals a 3-day total of just under $160M. Even a decline of 40% today adds $43.62M on Saturday, totaling $116.32 heading into Sunday.
No matter what the totals turn out to be, this will be the biggest opening of all time for an independent film. The top four places are held by major Hollywood studio
FRIDAY NUMBERS: Sources estimate that The Twilight Saga: New Moon took in $80M on Friday, setting a new all-time single day box office record.
Friday's number includes the previously reported all-time record $26.27M in midnight screenings. This one-day total is also just barely below the $85M 3-day weekend estimate originally proffered by Summit and accepted by many industry insiders. Few expected the film to approach the $100M mark. My personal guess, which I made last Tuesday, was $110M. Based on the numbers already in, advance sales, and tracking polls, some are now predicting a $135M weekend. That wouldn't top The Dark Knight's $158.4M opening but would be the biggest non-summer 3-day opening weekend of all time.
These numbers are unofficial and likely won't be announced by Summit until several hours from now, when I'll post an update. If that number for Friday's opening holds up, it would far surpass that of The Dark Knight, which took in $67.17M on July 18, 2008 (including $18.4M from midnights). That film's take dropped 29.1% from Friday to Saturday to bring in another $47.65M, and ended with $43.6M on Sunday for an opening weekend total of $158.4M.
As I've been saying all week on my Twitter, though, the key to the total weekend box office will be the percentage drop (or increase) from Friday to Saturday. One year ago this weekend, Twilight dropped 40.8% from Friday to Saturday. As terrific as that film's opening day's numbers were, they didn't hold up. So that's the key to this weekend. No matter how well New Moon did on Friday it won't surpass 3-day record holder The Dark Knight if there's a significant decline today.
Robert Pattinson spent his Friday night out in NYC at dinner at La Esquina, still smiling after a rigorous few weeks promoting New Moon around the world. Rob was spotted checking out a guitar shop and then heading to La Esquina restaurant WITH KRISTEN in New York City.
"The Twilight Saga: New Moon" is poised to break its second box office record in a single day.
According to four people who have closely watched ticket sales data today but requested anonymity because they are not authorized to release the information, the teen vampire phenomenon is all but certain to gross more than $67.2 million, the record set by "The Dark Knight" last year for the biggest single-day take at the box office.
By 5 p.m., the movie had already sold more than $50 million worth of tickets in the U.S. and Canada. When evening shows are included, the total will likely be more than $70 million, the people said.
Given the huge amount of pent-up interest among fans, who are rushing out to theaters on opening day, ticket sales are expected to drop significantly on Saturday and Sunday. Nonetheless, a total weekend gross of more than $110 million is all but certain and more than $120 million is very possible. That would give "New Moon" the biggest weekend gross for any movie this year and make it one of the top five pictures of all time at the domestic box office, not accounting for ticket price inflation.
Ticket sales from the 25 foreign countries where "New Moon" is opening this weekend will almost certainly push the worldwide weekend gross to more than $150 million.
Summit Entertainment, the studio behind the "Twilight" films, will release an official total for Friday ticket sales on Saturday morning.
Friday, November 20, 2009
New Moon is going to open huge today, no doubt about it, so it's never too soon to look ahead.
We recently chatted with producer Bill Bannerman and screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg about what fans can expect forEclipse—the third film in The Twilight Saga, due next summer. Many reports have called itmuch darker, with new director David Slade(Hard Candy, 30 Days of Night), so we asked if the PG-13 audience would still be able to hang.
Plus, we've got more updates for you on the fate of Breaking Dawn...
First up, Eclipse.
"It is a little edgier, only because there's more action in book three," Twilight and N.M.producer Bannerman tells us. "We have the advance of the newborn army, and our Cullens have to defend themselves, and the wolves become allies. That doesn't happen inNew Moon, yet."
Don't worry, tho, Rosenberg said she kept the third script very true to the book.
"[The movie] expands on [the book] in some ways—in a movie we can go away from Bella's point of view. So we can go see what Victoria's up to. In some ways we get to see more than what the book can show."
As for whether Slade changed the tone at all? Melissa adds: "The book is darker, so I think the story is darker. David is the perfect director to bring that to life. He has such a great, intense sensibility. I'm really looking forward to seeing what he does."
Now onto what most of us are drooling to hear about: Breaking Dawn.
"I think the fans will define the fate of the franchise," Bannerman dishes. "There is no script yet, and if Melissa is working on one, I don't know about it. She's the one that would be first point of contact. I think everyone wants to see it happen, if the momentum gains I don't know why it wouldn't [happen]."
As for whether that would be one final movie or two: "I don't know. The book can either be simplified or stay intact. It's a longer book than the previous three; it's hard to tell what they'll do. I'm looking forward to the surprise!"
B.D. most definitely will happen, we can assure you. Plus, we know that Rosenberg is already signed on to pen the screenplay for the "Breaking Dawn films," as insiders refer to them.
Most likely, the holdup is Rob, Kristen and newly important Taylor. If they are up to making two more movies, the studio won't miss out on the opportunity to cash in double-time, trust. But from what we're hearing, they have so far only agreed to one more after Eclipse.
Also, insiders tell us how well New Moon does in theaters will influence how many more Twilight films Summit will squeeze out. Money talks, ya know? Even to tired and overpromoted actors.
The second-class Twi kids are eagerly awaiting a decision, too.
"I haven't received any word from Summit about the fourth film or what's going on with Breaking Dawn,"Jackson Rathbone told Team Awful. "As soon as I know, I'll tell everybody!"
"I don't know anything about Breaking Dawn," Michael Welch also added. "I assume it will be made. Idid hear a rumor it might be made into two films."
So what do you think, Twi fans, is this good news, or are you ready to set Robsten free?