One of the strongest Novembers in recent memory hit another peak with the release of the finale of the Stephenie Meyer adaptation The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (Summit Entertainment), once again directed by Bill Condon and starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Michael Sheen and more. It opened on Thursday night with special early preview screenings, grossing $30.2 million between them and midnights. Those were added to the Friday business to make $71.2 million in its first day, which it built upon over Saturday and Sunday for an estimated $141.3 million over the three-day weekend. This makes it the second-highest opener for the franchise as well as the 8th biggest opening ever.
Internationally, Breaking Dawn – Part 2 took in $199.6 million over the weekend on 12,812 screens in 61 territories, setting a new record for the franchise. Its worldwide total after just four days in release is $341 million.
It’s also being reported that this is the first year ever in which Lionsgate has passed the $1 billion mark domestically, helped greatly by the purchase of Summit back in January, as well as the success of The Hunger Games.
The 23rd James Bond movie Skyfall (MGM/Sony), starring Daniel Craig and directed by Sam Mendes, continues to bring in big business as well. Domestically, it dropped 53% to second place with $41.5 million and a $161.3 million total, but internationally it brought in $49.6 million for an overseas total of $508 million and a global total of $669 million, setting a new record for the franchise as it passed Casino Royale‘s global take of just under $600 million. The drop for Skyfall domestically in its IMAX runs wasn’t as big, down just 45% from last week as they accounted for $6 million of the weekend take bringing the movie’s worldwide IMAX total to $39 million. This has helped Sony have one of its best year in history, having already grossed over $4 billion worldwide.
Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln (DreamWorks), starring Daniel Day-Lewis as the country’s 16th President and co-starring Sally Field, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levit and Tommy Lee Jones, expanded nationwide into 1,764 theaters–the second movie this month to do the one-week limited next-week wide pattern–and it did huge business to take third place with roughly $21 million, nearly $12,000 per site.
It knocked Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Wreck-It Ralph down to fourth place with $18.3 million, down 44%, as it brings its three-week total to $121.5 million.
Robert Zemeckis’ drama Flight (Paramount), starring Denzel Washington, took fifth place with $8.6 million, bringing its total to $61.3 million, nearly twice its reported production budget.
Ben Affleck’s hit thriller Argo (Warner Bros.) added another $4.1 million to its total of $92 million as it settled into sixth place, followed by Liam Neeson’s action-thriller Taken 2 (20th Century Fox) with $2.1 million and $134.6 million total.
The big surprise in the Top 10 would probably have to be Yash Chopra’s Bollywood romantic drama Jab Tak Hai Jaan (Yash Raj Films), which opened in 161 theaters on Tuesday and maintained its business through the weekend to bring in $1.1 million, enough to squeak into 10th place with $1.8 million grossed since opening.
The Top 10 grossed roughly $240 million, up nearly 13% from the same weekend last year when The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 topped the box office with $138.1 million with the animated sequel Happy Feet Two taking a distant second with $21.2 million.
11th and 12th place were too close to call with Sony Pictures Animation’s Hotel Transylvania and the Wachowskis and Tykwer’s Cloud Atlas (Warner Bros.) taking on Ben Lewin’s Sundance favorite The Sessions(Fox Searchlight), starring John Hawkes and Helen Hunt, which expanded into 516 theaters and held its own with all three of them grossing just a million dollars.
In limited release, David O. Russell’s comedy Silver Linings Playbook (The Weinstein Company), starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro and Chris Tucker, opened in 16 theaters before a wider release over Thanksgiving next week and took in $450 thousand, roughly $29 thousand per location. Director Joe (Atonement) Wright’s adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina (Focus Features), starring Keira Knightley and Jude Law, also opened in 16 theaters and fell just short with $315 thousand, less than $20,000 per site.
Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films.