Friday, November 18, 2011

Midnight Box Office (11/18/11): Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn part I scores another $30 million at 12:01am. Opening weekend between $118 million and $163 million.

Yup, Team Bella/Edward/Jacob did it again, as the fourth Twilight picture scored another massive midnight gross, which should lead the way to another massive single-day and a massive and hilariously front-loaded opening weekend.  Breaking Dawn part I earned $30.25 million at midnight, putting it just above the $30 million earned at 12:01am by Twilight Saga: Eclipse and comfortably ahead of the $26 million earned by Twilight Saga: New Moon.  The second film's numbers are better comparison points, since the first sequel opened on the exact same weekend two years ago (and the third film opened on a Wednesday, which negates any reasonable comparison).  This is also the weekend where Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part I earned $24 million in 12:01am showings last year, which amounted to a $62 million opening day and a $125 million weekend.  The Harry Potter and Twilight films have both the biggest midnight grosses around and the most heavily-front-loaded opening weekends in the business.  As you no doubt recall, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part II scored an eye-popping $43 million in midnight shows just four months ago, which led to a $92 million opening day and a $169 million opening weekend (records, all three).  Long story short, here's how Breaking Dawn part I will measure up if its opening weekend trajectory follows its most obvious comparisons...  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part II (3.9x its midnight number) - $118 million, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part I (5.2x  its midnight number) - $157 million, Twilight Saga: New Moon (5.4x  its midnight number) - $163 million.  So there you have it, the 3-day opening weekend record is not in any plausible danger, but The Dark Knight may find itself as merely the third-biggest debut by Sunday evening.  Most impressively, Breaking Dawn part I is achieving these massive grosses without any IMAX or 3D price-bump.  Let's split the difference between $119 million and $165 million and call a $140 million opening weekend for Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn part I.  We'll know more when the Friday numbers roll in, although I will likely be otherwise occupied (family birthday party).

Scott Mendelson

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