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Weekend Estimates: Breaking Dawn Posts Fifth-Biggest Opening Weekend

November 20th, 2011

Twilight-mania continues this weekend at the box office, as The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1 is set to post a $139.5 million opening, according to Summit's Sunday estimate. That will be the fifth-biggest weekend in history, just behind The Twilight Saga: New Moon, which remains the best in the franchise with a $142.8 million debut, which was also posted the weekend before Thanksgiving, in 2009. Breaking Dawn's Friday performance of $72 million is the third-best day in history, also just a fraction behind New Moon's first day. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II continues to hold the records for biggest weekend and day.

Breaking Dawn will most likely fall steeply next weekend, even with a boost from Thanksgiving. New Moon was down 70% in its second weekend, and a similar fall is to be expected. But a final total between $250 million and $300 million seems assured.

A movie that will be hoping, and now badly needs, to do better over Thanksgiving is Happy Feet Two, which posted a disappointing $22 million debut and has received decidedly mixed reviews. With Arthur Christmas, Hugo and The Muppets all debuting on Wednesday, family moviegoers will have plenty to choose from if they're looking for wintery adventure, singing and dancing animals, or 3D spectacle. Happy Feet will likely be crowded out.

Oscar hopeful The Descendants, however, is having a great opening weekend in limited release. Playing in just 29 theaters, the dramedy is set to post a $1.2 million weekend, according to Fox, for a per theater average of over $40,000. That's one of the best figures of the year so far and augers well for a strong run over the Holidays.

Eames: The Architect and Painter is the only other film set to break the $10,000 per theater average barrier this weekend, based on estimates received so far.

- Weekend Estimates
- The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1
- Biggest Weekends at the Box Office
- Biggest Opening Weekends at the Box Office
- Biggest Single Days at the Box Office

Bruce Nash

Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Happy Feet Two, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1, The Descendants, The Muppets, Eames: The Architect and the Painter