Twilight is finished
By John Hamann
November 18, 2012
The dawn breaks on a new era of box office as in a few short weeks, I will never have to write about the Twilight franchise again. Breaking Dawn Part 2 is huge with $141.3 million, but failed to match its predecessors, despite being the finale to the series.
Yes, the last of the Twilight films appeared and further dismantled the goodness of our children, but there is other, more positive news at the movies. It comes in the form of Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln and an okay hold for Skyfall, especially considering the sure-to-be-huge Breaking Dawn Part 2. The overall picture at box office was also rosy for the pre-Thanksgiving Day frame as the box office was primed to take in $225 million over three days.
Our number one film of the weekend is of course The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, as this sad group of anti-heroes fades into the mist of the minds of today’s teenager. Like the cult that it is, Breaking Dawn Part 2 is simply a repeat of Part 1 at the box office this weekend. The opening frame is the same, the late night previews are the same, and the overall weekend is close to the same. I think it’s a pretty safe bet to think that 99% of those that showed up for Part 1 showed up for Part 2.
The late-night screening numbers for Breaking Dawn were almost exactly the same, despite theatres serving up Part 2 at 10 p.m., whereas Part 1 made the kids wait until midnight (they could have opened at 8 p.m. and had the same result). Part 1 had midnight screenings of $30.25 million, Part 2 earned $30.4 from midnight screenings, or a difference of $150,000 (the difference is less than half of one percent). If you couldn’t guess how the Friday was going to go, you should have your head examined. Breaking Yawn Part 2 finished with $71.2 million on Friday, which compares poorly with Part 1’s $71.6 million. This cult of ridiculousness couldn't expand from the total of the first film as over the weekend proper, Breaking Dawn Part 2 earned $141.3 million. Part 1 earned a slightly smaller $138.1 million. Of course, there's a strong chance that Part 2 was overestimated, so we'll put an asterisk there until we know more tomorrow.
Tracking was expecting the final entry to be bigger, eclipsing $150 million. Some thought that because Part 2 was a better film than Part 1, more males would attend. The audience was 21% male, the highest ever for the series, but still a small component of the audience (less than $30 million of the total weekend revenue).
To compare to the other blockbuster franchise of the 2000s, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 was a November release, opening to $125 million. Part 2 though was a July release, debuting only seven months after Part 1. Because it was a July release, it opened bigger, at $169 million. Summit Entertainment, the distributor behind Twilight, thought they could have a year between films, open them on the same date, and have a similar result to that of Potter. Wrong. With the cult of Twilight, and the same release pattern of Part 1, I am not sure how anyone could expect the same result.