Saturday, November 19, 2011
The question now is whether the third installment in Summit Entertainment's vampire franchise can hit $140 million for the weekend; "Happy Feet Two" looking at soft $22 million to $24 million debut, but is hoping for strong Thanksgiving legs.
Summit Entertainment's The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn-Part 1 is on course to score the second-best opening of 2011, but it remains to be seen whether it can match the $142.8 million debut of The Twilight Saga: New Moon on the same weekend two years ago.
For Friday itself, Breaking Dawn is looking at a gross of $73.5 million, which would represent a franchise best. New Moon grossed $72.7 million on its first Friday.
The weekend's other new entry, Warner Bros.' Happy Feet Two, got off to a slower-than-expected start, grossing an estimated $6 million on Friday for a projected weekend gross of $22 million to $24 million. The 3D family toon hopes to make up ground during Thanksgiving week.
Breaking Dawn began playing in 3,251 theaters at 12:01 a.m. Friday, earning $30.3 million in midnight grosses before moving into a total of 4,061 locations by mid-morning.
Until Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 came along this summer, the last two Twilight pics set records for best midnight performance. This summer, Deathly Hallows earned a massive $43.6 million in midnight grosses on its way to grossing north of $160 million in its first weekend. Breaking Dawn now stands at No. 2 in terms of all-time midnight best.
Starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner, Breaking Dawn was directed by Bill Condon.
As of Thursday, Breaking Dawn had already earned $8.9 million from a handful of foreign markets.
Friday, November 18, 2011
Breaking Dawn: Part 1 grossed an estimated $30.3 million in opening night, midnight screenings, its studio has reported.
The phenomenal take is a new high for the vampire series, but lacks the shock and awe of previous openings.
And its own track record—as well as Harry Potter's—are to blame.
In July, the eighth and final Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, blew away the midnight record previously held by Twilight's Eclipse.
While Breaking Dawn: Part 1 also beat Eclipse, it didn't get near HP8's $43.5 million, and, for the first time, the Robert Pattinson-Kristen Stewart-Taylor Lautner saga didn't grow by leaps and bounds from film to film, with Breaking Dawn: Part 1, the fourth film in the series, edging Eclipse, the third installment, by only $300,000.
By comparison, Eclipse outgrossed New Moon at midnight by $6 million, and New Moon improved on the original Twilight's night-owl take by $17 million.
"It's possible the series has hit a glass ceiling," Exhibitor Relations' Jeff Bock said this morning.
It's also possible, Bock said, Twilight will shatter the glass ceiling as soon as next year when Breaking Dawn: Part 2, the franchise's concluding film, arrives.
Heading into the midnight shows, Exhibitor Relations and other box-office prognosticators were calling for Breaking Dawn: Part 1 to make as much as $150 million by Sunday. Bock said he stood by that high-end projection today.
Anything over $143 million will establish the Bill Condon-directed movie as the biggest-opening Twilight film, ahead of New Moon; a three-day gross of $143 million-$150 million would establish Breaking Dawn: Part 1 as Hollywood's fourth-biggest opener ever, behind only Spider-Man 3, The Dark Knight, and, wait for it, HP8.