Breaking Dawn Part 2 Bites Into Juicy $71.2 Million Opening Day

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The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 waved goodbye to stars Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner with a huge opening day, but the Twilight finale won’t go down as the biggest opener in the franchise.

Studio estimates pegged the Breaking Dawn Part 2 opening day on Friday at $71.2 million. That first 24 hours of release ranks it third in the series behind New Moon with $72.7 and Breaking Dawn Part 1 with $71.6 million.

Of the $71.2 million first day haul, $30.4 million of that came from 10pm and midnight screenings on Thursday night. It’s become common pratice in Hollywood to include those 10pm screenings in the Friday and weekend grosses, which seems somewhat unfair to films that don’t opening Thursday night.

The good news for Summit Entertainment and the Twilight franchise is that Breaking Dawn Part 2 scored the sixth biggest opening day all-time domestically. The record holder remains Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 with a staggering $91 million. There has to be some disappointment at Summit that Breaking Dawn Part 2 was not the top opener in the franchise as big finales often are, especially after all the hype of an altered ending that differs from the book.

Skyfall felt the wrath of the Cullens and Volturi in dropping a rough 60 percent to $12.4 million and second place in its second Friday of release. The good news is Skyfall has climbed to $132.2 million overall and is well on its way to becoming the highest grossing Bond movie of all time.

Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln got its wide expansion to 1,775 locations and filled many of them en-route to a $6.4 million opening day. Expect it to finish the weekend somewhere in the $18 to $20 million range.

Breaking Dawn Part 2 is currently tracking to wrap its opening weekend somewhere in the range of $135 million, a few million less than Part 1. Be sure to stop back tomorrow and see if it met or exceeded that expectation, and if Skyfall and Lincoln were able to pick up a little steam and reach $30 and $20 million, respectively.

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