"Breaking Dawn - Part 2" broke into the top 10 all-time opening-day list, though it has yet to break franchise records.
The final installment in the "Twilight" film series enjoyed the sixth-biggest opening day ever on Friday, sinking its teeth into an estimated $71.2 million in domestic box-office receipts. "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2" took in $30.4 million during late-night showings Thursday night as fans lined up around the country for 10 p.m. and midnight showings to see what twists filmmakers added to the final appearance of Edward, Bella and Jacob. The rest of the cash came in Friday.
The first day for the last entry in the book-based franchise phenomenon that made stars out of Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner was just a bit shy of the $72.7 million made during the first day for "New Moon" and the $71.6 million generated by "Breaking Dawn - Part 1." The late-night showings were about on par with 2010's "Eclipse."
Lionsgate/Summit experimented with 10 p.m. showings for "Part 2," which wasn't the case for "Part 1." That entry opened in November, like this one, whereas "Eclipse" bowed in June, when more people were out of school and able to attend late-night screenings and first-day showings. Nevertheless, "Part 1" also took in about $30 million from late-night screenings.
The last chapters in mega-franchises like "Harry Potter," "Lord of the Rings" and "Star Wars" all beat their predecessors' first-day numbers, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com. However, "Breaking Dawn - Part 2" still looks likely to set a franchise record with the overall opening weekend. Industry forecasters predicted a weekend haul of at least $150 million to MTV News.
Major outlets like the Los Angeles Times agreed with the $150 million-plus number, although Entertainment Weekly predicted a more conservative $135 million to $140 million. Summit Entertainment went with the lower-end estimate of $135 million as well.
"Breaking Dawn - Part 2" premiered overseas Wednesday and took in $91 million during its first three days abroad.
Last week's #1 movie, "Skyfall," dropped 60 percent Friday, with $12.35 million. Daniel Craig's third turn in the tuxedo is still on track to become the biggest James Bond movie ever. "Lincoln" took in $6.37 million as it expanded from 11 theaters to 1,775. The biggest kids' movie in theaters, "Wreck-It Ralph," took in $4.42 million. "Ralph" has made $107.6 million for Disney Animation in 15 days.