The first part of the final Twilight chapter showed no sign of fatigue after opening with the 5th highest weekend ever, just shy of the series record. On the opposite side was Happy Feet Two after a disappointing debut that barely matched half of the $41.5 million made by Happy Feet in 2006.
It was another great weekend for Summit Entertainment after their star franchise pulled $138.1 million over the weekend. Back in November 2009, The Twilight Saga: New Moon opened with $142.8 million so while Breaking Dawn Part 1 was slightly lower, it’s still incredibly impressive and ranks as the 5th biggest weekend ever in North America. With Thanksgiving coming up, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 is looking at easily $290-300 million at the end of its box office run. With the exception of Harry Potter, there’s no other series out there getting yearly entries and still maintaining the same strong box office numbers. It will be interesting to see if The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 can manage an increase next year or if it will stay on the same level as the other movies. Twilight is a goldmine for Summit Entertainment and I can’t imagine what they’ll do next when this is all over. At least Warner Bros. still have Batman now that Harry Potter is all over.
In 2nd place it was bad news for Warner Bros. with Happy Feet Two grossing only $21.2 million. As mentioned in the introduction, the original Happy Feet opened with $41.5 million back in 2006 without the help of overpriced 3D tickets making Happy Feet Two look even worse in perspective. With such numbers Warner Bros. should consider themselves lucky if this makes half the $198 million grossed by the original.
Immortals was down 61.6% with $12.3 million for 3rd place and $53 million in 10 days. I’m starting to have doubts regarding my previous $80+ million prediction for this movie. If it keeps going down then it won’t reach that mark and will have to rely mostly on the strength of international box office to break even.
Jack and Jill was 4th with $11.7 million and $40.7 million in 10 days while Puss in Boots finished 5th after falling 56.3%. The animated cat-lover film made $10.8 million bringing its total to $122.4 million. With a bit of help from an under-performing Happy Feet Two and the upcoming holiday season, Puss in Boots could still make it to $150 million.
Everything written here so far might make you think otherwise but the real star of the weekend wasn’t The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1, I mean we all knew that was going to make a tone of money. No, the real star is The Descendants. Yes, the George Clooney movie that I didn’t even mention last week when I wrote my box office forecast. But there’s a reason for that, you see The Descendants only opened in 29 theaters. Just to give you an idea, the latest Twilight film has 4061 theaters. Put yourself in my shoes, who could have known that The Descendants would make the top 10 (ranking 10th actually) with just 29 theaters? That movie making $1.1 million in 29 theaters was for me personally a lot more impressive than $138.1 million in 4061 theaters (for an extremely well known properly turned into a mainstream phenomenon).
So what did we learn this week? Vampires have perfected the art of sucking money out of your pocket, penguins aren’t as popular as they were 5 years ago, Immortals is not 300, Adam Sandler should stick to playing a single role in his films, cats rule and George Clooney is still the man.