'Breaking Dawn - Part 2' On Track for Historic Numbers Opening Weekend
They say that no one goes to see movies in theaters anymore. But remember, the night is always darkest before the "Breaking Dawn - Part 2."
Movie ticket sales hit a 16-year low in 2011, according to the Los Angeles Times. Of course, not every studio has a "Twilight." The movie adaptations of Stehpanie Meyer's novels of illicit vampire love continue to snowball box office sales with each new iteration of the series. Just days after its official release in theaters, the final film in the "Twilight" franchise, "Breaking Dawn - Part 2," is already on track to break the record the saga set for opening weekend sales with "Eclipse."
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"Breaking Dawn - Part 2" opened in theaters at 10 p.m. Nov. 15. The film represented 92 percent of that day's ticket sales, creating thousands of sold-out late-night screenings across the U.S, according to Fandango.com. The fourth and final "Twilight" movie has dominated the site since tickets first went on sale on Oct. 1. "Breaking Dawn - Part 2" earned $30.4 million from those 10 p.m. and Midnight screenings alone, reported Deadline.
Nothing new for "Twilight." Those opening night numbers already rank "Part 2" among the biggest blockbusters of 2012 like this summer's "The Dark Knight Rises" ($30.6 million).
The phenomenon of "Twilight" has evolved into one of the most profitable franchises in modern pop culture. According to Box Office Mojo, the first "Twilight" in 2008 took in $69.6 million its opening weekend and went on to earn $192.8 million overall.
Just one year later, 2009's "New Moon" more than doubled the first film's opening weekend, making $142.8 million, and closing at $296.6 million. The third movie, "Eclipse," is to date the series' highest grosser at $300.5 million, a total that last year's "Breaking Dawn - Part 1" fell just short of with $281.3 million.
Opening weekend sales projections for "Breaking Dawn - Part 2" are estimated at over $150 million. If those numbers hold, the final "Twilight" could easily become the highest grossing film in the franchise.
Overseas crowds are equally thirsty for the final installment of the series. The film has already brought in over $13.8 million after opening on Nov. 14 in France, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, and French and Italian-speaking Switzerland, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Part of that excitement could have something to do with the film's highly publicized ending that reportedly veers away from the climax written in the book version of the tale.
"It does feel very surprising. I still, watching it, have that (moment) where I go, 'Oh, oh, right. We did that, didn't we?' So definitely there's something new to see. But to me, it doesn't feel like it's going like hugely off the page at all," said Meyer, sitting between producer Wyck Godfrey and screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg during a recent news conference.
"Part 2" picks up immediately where the previous film left off, with heroine Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) experiencing her first moments as a newly transformed vampire. While her husband, Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), reintroduces her to his coven, Bella also reunites with her werewolf pal Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) and meets the half-human/half-vampire daughter, Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy), she carried and birthed as a human.
Meyer isn't planning on slowing down any time soon; she's already got her next film lined up. The movie adaptation of her bestselling novel "The Host" will arrive in theaters in March 2013 starring Saoirse Ronan, Diane Kruger and William Hurt.
Beyond that, Meyer has no firm plans. And while the "Twilight" saga might have ended, she hints that she still might return to the characters eventually.
"I'm not into permanence, so I wouldn't say no absolutely. I'm not gonna do it today. I don't know how I'm gonna feel in five years," she said.
"I had planned out where it would go for a couple more books. So I know exactly what would happen. I mean, there are other characters that I think would've had a lot of voice in those coming stories. I don't know, maybe someday I'll write it out just for myself. We'll see."