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'Breaking Dawn 2' Weekend Box Office: Will Final 'Twilight' Movie Surpass Predecessor?

Robert Pattinson Breaking Dawn - Part 2Robert Pattinson.

'Breaking Dawn - Part 2' weekend box office: Can final 'Twilight' installment surpass its predecessor?

Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner's Breaking Dawn - Part 2 trailed both Breaking Dawn - Part 1 and New Moon on its first day out in North America. (See more details below.) Yet, the fifth and last Twilight movie earned about $6m-12 million more than early Friday estimates indicated. Now, could the Bill Condon-directed Breaking Dawn - Part 2 “overperform” once again by Sunday evening? (Image: Robert Pattinson Breaking Dawn - Part 2.)

From the get-go, Summit Entertainment had been expecting $135 million this weekend (Nov. 16-18), including grosses from Thursday 10 p.m. and midnight showtimes. Without the advantage of Thursday 10 p.m. screenings (and without factoring in higher ticket prices), Condon's Breaking Dawn - Part 1 scored $138.12 million on its debut weekend last November and Chris Weitz's New Moon $142.83 million in Nov. 2009. (David Slade's Eclipse opened on a Wednesday in early summer 2010; for that reason, first weekend comparisons would be all but meaningless.)

New Moon seems all but unbeatable at this stage (especially if inflation is factored in), but could on-screen (and apparently off-screen) lovebirds Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart's last Twilight movie surpass its immediate predecessor at the (opening-weekend) domestic box office?

Saturday box office figures are unavailable at this stage, so it's impossible to tell whether or not Breaking Dawn - Part 2 has been following the same pattern as the previous Twilight entries that opened on a Friday in November: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 was down 44 percent on Saturday and 34 percent on Sunday; New Moon was down 42 percent on Saturday and 34 percent on Sunday; and Catherine Hardwicke's original Twilight, which opened in November 2008, was down 41 percent on Saturday and 42 percent on Sunday. Those are all relatively steep drops, even taking into account those films' strong midnight grosses.

Breaking Dawn - Part 2 vs. previous Twilight movies, all featuring Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner

If Breaking Dawn - Part 2 follows that same pattern, there's absolutely no chance it'll surpass either Breaking Dawn - Part 1 or New Moon domestically, though it should at least land very close to Part 1. On Friday, Breaking Dawn - Part 2 raked in an estimated $71.2 million in North American theaters according to figures found at Box Office Mojo. As mentioned above, that Friday total includes an estimated $30.4 million from Thursday 10 p.m. and midnight screenings. [See also: “Breaking Dawn - Part 2: One of the top single-day grossers ever.”]

For comparison's sake: Without any Thursday 10 p.m. screenings, Breaking Dawn - Part 1 brought in $71.64 million on its first day out; New Moon scored $72.7m; and the original Twilight $69.63 million. (On a Wednesday, Eclipse opened with $68.53 million.)

In sum: for Breaking Dawn - Part 2 to surpass at least its immediate predecessor, it must have a less radical Saturday and/or Sunday drop-off rate. However less likely, a more successful route for the final Twilight movie would be if it follows a similar path to that of Daniel Craig's third James Bond movie: Last weekend, Skyfall performed quite a bit better than both Quantum of Solace or Casino Royale on Saturday, it second day out; that helped the well-received Bond flick to surpass many pundits' box office expectations and reach an impressive $88.36 million by Sunday evening.

Official weekend box office estimates will be released on Sunday morning. Only then will we have a better idea as to how loud will be The Twilight Saga movies' final domestic box office bang. Confirmation will come on Monday, when weekend box office actuals are released.

Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner topline Breaking Dawn - Part 2 cast

Besides stars Taylor Lautner, Kristen Stewart, and Robert Pattinson, the top-grossing female-led movie franchise to date features an extensive cast that includes, among dozens of others, Robert Pattinson's fellow Cullen Clan members: Elizabeth Reaser, Peter Facinelli, Ashley Greene, Nikki Reed, Jackson Rathbone, Kellan Lutz, and new addition Mackenzie Foy.

Robert Pattinson Breaking Dawn - Part 2 photo: Andrew Cooper / Summit Entertainment.

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