It’s the holiday season, filled with joy and happiness and kinky vampire sex. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1, starring Robert Pattinson as the lovestruck vampire Edward Cullen, Kristen Stewart as the vampire-impregnated human Bella Swan Cullen, and Taylor Lautner as the vampire-phobic werewolf Jacob Black, passed the $650 million mark at the worldwide box office last weekend after earning $8.7 million overseas and $4.19 million in North America. The latest Twilight movie is now well on its way to the $700 million mark.
Breaking Dawn 1 has collected an estimated $391.4 million internationally up until Sunday, December 18, in addition to $266.97 million in the United States and Canada up until Monday, December 19, for a grand total of $658.37 million. Considering that Breaking Dawn has yet to open in mid-size Twilight markets such as Japan and Hong Kong, and that the Christmas and New Year holidays are just around the corner, it seems perfectly possible –though not guaranteed — that the fourth installment in the Twilight Saga movie series will reach the $700 million mark worldwide.
Chris Weitz’ The Twilight Saga: New Moon cumed at $709 million in early 2010, while David Slade’s The Twilight Saga: Eclipse finished its run with $698 million in mid-October 2010. Catherine Hardwicke’s Twilight, which stars only Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson (Taylor Lautner’s character is introduced in a supporting role), totaled $392.41 million in early 2009. Overseas, New Moon reached $413.2 million, while Eclipse cumed at $397.95m. It’s clear that Breaking Dawn will earn more abroad than Eclipse; in fact, it may even surpass New Moon as well. Now, what may prevent Breaking Dawn from reaching a worldwide Twilight box office record is the lethargic North American market.
After 32 days, Breaking Dawn has earned the aforementioned $266.97 million in the US and Canada. That’s quite impressive, but also quite a bit less than New Moon’s $275.56 million during that same period in the fall of 2009 and Eclipse’s $287 million in the summer of 2010. If adjusted for inflation, the gap is even wider.
Chiefly for that reason, whether or not Breaking Dawn will manage to surpass the global box office take of New Moon remains unclear. There’s a good chance that it’ll at least surpass Eclipse’s total, though even that isn’t guaranteed. In Japan and Hong Kong, New Moon and Eclipse raked in each around $9 million; Breaking Dawn will probably add that much to its take as well. Those two territories alone should catapult its overseas total above that of Eclipse, leaving Breaking Dawn’s cume a stone’s throw from New Moon’s. (Unfortunately for Summit Entertainment, the Twilight movies haven’t been shown in China [apart from Hong Kong], which allows in only about 20 foreign blockbusters per year. China is currently one of the biggest foreign markets for Hollywood movies.)
Something else to take into consideration: When it comes to finding out which Twilight movie has actually sold the most tickets, things get iffy. Inflation is partly to blame, but the chief variant here is the dramatic effect currency fluctuations can have on a film’s gross when converted to US dollars. Smaller dollar-based grosses don’t necessarily mean fewer ticket sales overseas — but merely the effects of a stronger US currency. Or vice-versa.
Having recently surpassed Kung Fu Panda 2, among 2011’s releases Breaking Dawn will finish its international theatrical run behind David Yates/Daniel Radcliffe/Emma Watson/Ralph Fiennes’ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Michael Bay/Shia LaBeouf/Rosie Huntington-Whiteley/Josh Duhamel’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon, and Rob Marshall/Johnny Depp/Penélope Cruz’s Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Each of those three movies have brought in more than $1 billion overseas.
Directed by Dreamgirls, Kinsey, and Gods and Monsters’ Bill Condon, and adapted by Melissa Rosenberg from Stephenie Meyer’s bestseller, Breaking Dawn Part 1 also features Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Kellan Lutz, Ashley Greene, Nikki Reed, Jackson Rathbone, Dakota Fanning, MyAnna Buring, Booboo Stewart, and Michael Sheen.
Plus Maggie Grace, Lee Pace, Sarah Clarke, Anna Kendrick, Christian Serratos, Christopher Heyerdahl, Michael Welch, Christian Camargo, Julia Jones, Gil Birmingham, Kiowa Gordon, Billy Burke, Bronson Pelletier, Charlie Bewley, Tyson Houseman, Daniel Cudmore, Jamie Campbell Bower, Casey LaBow, Mia Maestro, and Alex Meraz.
Breaking Dawn picture: Andrew Cooper / Summit Entertainment