Breaking Dawn Part 2 breaks Twilight movies' midnight box office record, but fails to shatter 2D record
Breaking Dawn Part 2, starring Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner, has officially broken the midnight box office record for the Twilight movies based on Stephenie Meyer's bestselling novels. Now, two caveats of sorts: Breaking Dawn Part 2 (surprisingly) fell short of The Dark Knight Rises' box office record for a 2D movie, and if higher ticket prices are factored in, the last installment in the Twilight movie franchise (just as surprisingly) also trailed its immediate Twilight predecessor, Breaking Dawn Part 1. Something else: Previous Twilight releases opened at midnight; Breaking Dawn Part 2 had the advantage of additional 10 p.m. screenings. (Photo: Breaking Dawn Part 2 Taylor Lautner, Kristen Stewart.)
According to Summit Entertainment (via Box Office Mojo), the Bill Condon-directed Breaking Dawn Part 2 debuted with $30.4 million at more than 3,000 North American locations. Unfortunately, the studio opted not to break down the grosses into 10 p.m. Thursday and midnight showings. (Note: Only some theaters had 10 p.m. showtimes.)
Midnight grosses: Breaking Dawn Part 2 vs. Breaking Dawn Part 1, Eclipse, New Moon
For comparison's sake: at midnight screenings only, Breaking Dawn Part 1 took in $30.25 million at 3,521 locations (Nov. 2011), Eclipse $30.1 million (on a Tuesday in early summer 2010), and New Moon $26.27 million (Nov. 2009). Adjusted for inflation (via Box Office Mojo), the box office figures are as follows: Breaking Dawn Part 1 approximately $30.7 million, Eclipse $30.3 million, and New Moon $27.3m.
The domestic midnight box office record holder remains David Yates / Daniel Radcliffe's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, with $43.5 million in July 2011. The 2D midnight record holder remains – by a very slight margin – Christopher Nolan / Christian Bale's The Dark Knight Rises, with $30.6m.
Why did Breaking Dawn Part 2 fail to break 2D midnight record?
Now, why did Breaking Dawn Part 2 fail to break the domestic 2D midnight box office record – even with the addition of 10 p.m. screenings and the extra media attention devoted to the film thanks to the Kristen Stewart / Robert Pattinson to-do last summer? There could be one key reason; there could be many. Without extensive research into people's moviegoing habits, it would be impossible to point out exactly why.
Having said that, the mass shooting at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises in Colorado could possibly have put a damper on the popularity of that particular showtime in the United States, at least for the time being. According to figures found at Deadline.com, in several European countries – where mass shootings aren't a fact of life like in the U.S. – Breaking Dawn Part 2's midnight box office take far surpassed the grosses of the previous Twilight movies.
Now, if Breaking Dawn Part 2's more "modest" midnight box office take was truly due to the shooting, then it should represent a lower percentage of the the film's total Friday/weekend box office gross (despite the 10 p.m. screenings), as moviegoers eager to see Bella and Edward for the last time will flock to other Breaking Dawn Part 2 showtimes at 4,070 U.S. and Canada sites. We'll find out for sure when official Friday estimates are released Saturday morning.
Breaking Dawn Part 2 currently has a mediocre 48 percent approval rating (down from 56 percent last night) and 5.3/10 average rating among Rotten Tomatoes' top critics. "It's a movie so dull you might start yanking on your own head after about an hour," writes Mick LaSalle in the San Francisco Chronicle. Even so, some top reviewers, including those from the New York Times, Newsday, and Time, had positive things to say about the Twilight Saga wrap-up.
Breaking Dawn Part 2 cast
Besides the aforementioned Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, Breaking Dawn Part 2 also features Taylor Lautner, Mackenzie Foy, and the following vampires – some good, some better: Dakota Fanning, Kellan Lutz, Michael Sheen, Elizabeth Reaser, Ashley Greene, Rami Malek, Peter Facinelli, Omar Metwally, Christian Camargo, Nikki Reed, Mia Maestro, Jackson Rathbone, and Maggie Grace.
Breaking Dawn Part 2 Taylor Lautner, Kristen Stewart photo: Andrew Cooper / Summit Entertainment.