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‘Breaking Dawn Part 1’ Rises at Box Office

The twisted love triangle of Bella, Edward and Jacob in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 once again connected squarely with its female audience, biting off a dizzying $138.1 million in just three days. This was down a hair from the start of New Moon’s $142.7 million, but for half a movie all those involved are dancing their way to the (blood) bank.

This earth-shattering debut began with a $71.6 million Friday, which included midnight showings, before understandably dipping across Saturday and Sunday. The good news continued overseas as “Breaking Dawn” secured the tenth best worldwide start in history with a combined gross of $282.1 million, which was up from the start of New Moon.

“Breaking Dawn” is performing very much like the conclusion to “Harry Potter,” which began with a $125-million opening before topping out just shy of $300 million. With its true finale bringing in all the fans, it’s a feat that should be easy for "Breaking Dawn Part 2” to match.


Continuing in the parade of animated sequels that paled in comparison to their originals (Kung Fu Panda 2, Cars 2, Hoodwinked 2), George Miller’s Happy Feet Two danced off with a middling $21.2 million against the $41.5-million debut of the 2006 Oscar-winner. Poor reviews for an animated feature, the general lack of purpose for a sequel and the imminent arrival of The Muppets meant that this was simply not a must-see option for families.

The Top Ten

1. Twilight: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 – $138.1M(weekend)…$138.1M(gross)
2. Happy Feet Two – $21.1M…$21.1M
3. Immortals – $12.4M…$53.0M
4. Jack and Jill – $11.7M…$40.8M
5. Puss in Boots – $10.8M…$122.4M
6. Tower Heist – $7.1M…$53.3M
7. J. Edgar – $5.9M…$20.7M
8. A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas – $2.9M…$28.3M
9. In Time – $1.7M…$33.4M
10. The Descendants - $1.2M…$1.2M


The following seven films in the top 10 were rather unremarkable, that is until the last spot with George Clooney’s The Descendants, which took in $1.2 million from only 45 theaters which equated to an average of $41,000 per theater, better than the “Twilight” sequel. Starpower and buzz propelled the Oscar hopeful into the spotlight and should do great things into the coming months.

Next week three kid-pics will compete for an audience, beginning with The Muppets, which aims to capitalize on nostalgia and great reviews. The Jason Segel-led family movie will charm moviegoers in 3,300 theaters. In the same number of houses is the Aardman Animation film Arthur Christmas, which may not start big, but should have great legs throughout the Holiday season. Lastly, in 1,200 houses is the 3D Martin Scorsese movie Hugo, which is getting a stripped down release considering the competition and the less ordinary plot.


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