Summit's The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 opened in line with its lofty expectations this weekend with a massive three-day start of $138.12 million. Without adjusting for ticket-price inflation, Breaking Dawn - Part 1 registered the fifth largest opening weekend of all-time. When adjusting for ticket-price inflation Breaking Dawn - Part 1 registered the ninth largest opening weekend on record. Breaking Dawn - Part 1 was also responsible for the second largest November opening weekend of all-time, behind only the $142.84 million debut of 2009's The Twilight Saga: New Moon. Breaking Dawn - Part 1 opened a slim 3 percent behind the pace of New Moon.
With $71.64 million on Friday, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 claimed the third largest single-day gross of all-time, behind only the opening day performances of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 ($91.07 million) and New Moon ($72.70 million). Coming as no surprise, Breaking Dawn - Part 1 was extremely front-loaded towards Friday as the film generated an opening weekend to Friday ratio of 1.93 to 1 thanks in part to a huge midnight start on Friday. In comparison, New Moon generated an opening weekend to Friday ratio of 1.96 to 1. The audience break-down for Breaking Dawn - Part 1 skewed extremely heavily female (80 percent) and towards moviegoers over 21 (60 percent).
Internationally, Breaking Dawn - Part 1 has grossed $152.9 million. That places the film's worldwide start at $291.0 million. Key international grosses included $21.9 million in the United Kingdom, $16.1 million in Russia, $14.9 million in France, $12.8 million in Australia, $12.2 million in Italy and $11.8 million in Spain. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 is scheduled to be released on Nov. 16, 2012.
On the other end of the spectrum, Warner's Happy Feet Two was off to a very tough start this weekend with a second place debut of just $21.24 million. Despite strong online buzz for a family film in the weeks leading up to its release, the pricey computer animated sequel simply couldn't hold its own against Breaking Dawn - Part 1 this weekend. Even with the aid of higher priced 3D tickets, Happy Feet Two opened 49 percent weaker than the $41.53 million start of 2006's Happy Feet. The film also opened 19 percent softer than the $26.22 million start of 2008's Bolt. With Happy Feet Two taking a clear backseat to Breaking Dawn - Part 1 this weekend, there is a chance that Happy Feet Two could pick up steam over the Thanksgiving holiday. However, with three new family films entering the marketplace on Wednesday (Disney's The Muppets, Sony's Arthur Christmas and Paramount's Hugo); it is by no means guaranteed to happen at this point.
Internationally, Happy Feet Two grossed $2.6 million from a scaled back launch of just five markets. The film's key international performance this weekend was a $1.4 million start in Mexico. Happy Feet Two will continue its international roll out over the next few weeks and will obviously need to perform extremely well internationally given its disappointing start domestically.
Relativity's Immortals claimed third place with $12.35 million. However, the Tarsem Singh directed 3D action film was down a sharp 62 percent from last weekend's better than expected debut. Immortals has grossed $53.08 million through ten days, placing the film 14 percent behind the pace of 2008's 10,000 B.C. Immortals should hold up much better over Thanksgiving weekend by serving as an alternative to family fare, but is likely to fall off the map quickly after the end of the holiday weekend.
Jack and Jill finished closely behind in fourth with $11.74 million. The Adam Sandler comedy vehicle from Sony was also down sharply this weekend as it fell 53 percent from last weekend's debut. Competition from both Breaking Dawn - Part 1 and Happy Feet Two clearly took a toll on the film, while so-so word of mouth certainly didn't help either this weekend. However, like Immortals, Jack and Jill should hold up much better over Thanksgiving weekend than it did this weekend.
Fox Searchlight's The Descendants was off to a very nice start in platform release. The Alexander Payne directed Best Picture hopeful starring George Clooney grossed $1.19 million from just 29 locations, which was good enough for tenth place among all films. The Descendants earned a per-location average of $41,038 this weekend. After a midweek launch on Wednesday, The Descendants has now grossed $1.27 million through five days of release. The Descendants opened a hair above the $1.18 million platform start of 2009's Up in the Air, though Up in the Air opened in 15 locations as opposed to 29 for The Descendants. Like Up in the Air, The Descendants will hope to hold up well throughout the holiday season thanks to strong word of mouth and awards season buzz.
Additional reporting by Phil Contrino.
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