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Best Thanksgiving Weekend Ever?: Daniel Craig SKYFALL, Kristen Stewart BREAKING DAWN PART 2

Kristen Stewart Breaking Dawn Part 2 Kellan Lutz Robert PattinsonKristen Stewart Breaking Dawn Part 2, Daniel Craig Skyfall lead best Thanksgiving weekend ever — if you choose to ignore inflation

Starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner, Breaking Dawn Part 2 led the North American box office this weekend, collecting a better than expected $43.64 million — down 69 percent, or slightly less than Breaking Dawn Part 1’s and New Moon’s 70 percent drop-off rate. Even as late as Friday, early estimates pointed to the fifth and final Twilight movie pulling in around $41 million on its second weekend out. (Photo: Kristen Stewart and Kellan Lutz arm wrestle, while Robert Pattinson looks on in Breaking Dawn Part 2.)

Also worth mentioning is that Breaking Dawn Part 2 helped the 2012 Thanksgiving weekend become the highest-grossing in history — well, if you pretend inflation doesn’t exist. The top 12 movies this past weekend collected approximately $200m in the U.S. and Canada, far surpassing the previous Thanksgiving weekend record holder, 2009. That was when the top 12 — led by the Kristen Stewart / Robert Pattinson / Taylor Lautner combo’s New Moon, Sandra Bullock’s The Blind Side, and Roland Emmerich / John Cusack’s 2012 — cumed at $175.4m.

Now, once inflation is taken into account, things change quite a bit: for instance, in 2000 the top 12 — including Ron Howard / Jim Carrey’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas, M. Night Shyamalan / Bruce Willis’ Unbreakable, and Glenn Close’s 102 Dalmatians — grossed $167.28 million, or approximately $246 million today.

But of course, inflation or no, $200m is nothing to sniff at. According to weekend box office actuals found at Box Office Mojo, Breaking Dawn Part 2 was followed by the following top five movies:

  • Sam Mendes / Daniel Craig’s Skyfall with an impressive $35.5 million on its third weekend out (cume $221.14m).
  • Steven Spielberg / Daniel Day-LewisLincoln with an equally impressive $25.67 million on its second weekend in wide release (cume $62.84m).
  • DreamWorks Animation’s Peter Ramsey-directed, $145m-budgeted Rise of the Guardians with a disappointing $23.77 million (cume $32.34m).
  • Ang Lee’s $120m-budgeted Life of Pi with a better than expected $22.45 million (cume $30.57m).

Breaking Dawn Part 2: Best second weekend for a Twilight movie

To date, Breaking Dawn Part 2 has grossed $227.36 million in North America. Its second weekend was the best among the Twilight movies if you don’t factor in inflation. If you do — as you always should — New Moon fared better: its $42.87 million take would represent about $45.5 million today. (Comparisons to Eclipse are all but irrelevant because that movie opened on a Wednesday in early summer.)

Besides Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner, the Breaking Dawn Part 2 cast includes Kellan Lutz, Cameron Bright, Booboo Stewart, Dakota Fanning, Michael Sheen, Elizabeth Reaser, Peter Facinelli, Jackson Rathbone, Ashley Greene, Lee Pace, Casey LaBow, MyAnna Buring, Daniel Cudmore, Nikki Reed, Janelle Froehlich, Judith Shekoni, Mia Maestro, Billy Burke, Maggie Grace, Christian Camargo, Lisa Howard, Erik Odom, Rami Malek, and Omar Metwally.

Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Kellan Lutz Breaking Dawn Part 2 photo: Summit Entertainment.

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