'Breaking Dawn' to Break 'Twilight' Movies' Top-Ten Record?

Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Breaking Dawn
Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Breaking Dawn

Rounding out the top ten at the domestic box office this Christmas weekend was Amy Adams-Jason Segel's The Muppets with $2.14 million according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo. And that means Bill Condon's The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1, starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner, went the way of its three predecessors: David Slade's The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, Chris Weisz's The Twilight Saga: New Moon, and Catherine Hardwicke's Twilight were all gone from the top-ten chart after five weekends.

What's most surprising is how far down on the chart Breaking Dawn landed: no. 16 (both for the tree-day and the four-day weekend periods). Summit has lowered the film's estimates from $2.1 million to $1.52 million – which means a major 64 percent drop-off rate from the previous weekend following the loss of 1,355 locations. For comparison's sake: on Christmas weekend 2009 (Christmas fell on a Friday), New Moon was down only 31 percent from the previous weekend despite the loss of 1,442 locations; it earned $3.04 million. At this stage, it seems that Breaking Dawn will end its North American run about $20m+ behind both Eclipse and New Moon, or about $178m-$180 million. Earlier predictions had the fourth Twilight movie cuming at $185m-$190 million.

Also worth noting, both Martin Scorsese's Hugo and The Muppets had much better holds than Breaking Dawn despite steep reductions in available screens: Hugo was down 43 percent after losing 1,296 sites; The Muppets was down 39 percent after losing 1,272 sites.

In addition to The Muppets and Hugo, ahead of Breaking Dawn Part 1 are George Clooney's The Descendants, Sarah Smith/James McAvoy's animated feature Arthur Christmas, Jonah Hill's The Sitter, and Jason Reitman/Charlize Theron's Young Adult. Even so, Breaking Dawn has managed to reach a domestic cume of $270.32 million. And remember: there may be some more switching around when weekend box office actuals are released on Tuesday.

In addition to Stewart, Pattinson, and Lautner, the extensive Breaking Dawn cast includes 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.

And finally, Stephen Daldry's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, despite the presence of Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock, averaged a just okay $11,833 at six theaters. It gross was $71,000 ($137,000 over the four-day weekend, averaging $22,833). At three locations, from Fri-Sun. Wim Wenders' Pina averaged $20,767 ($62,000 total), while Angelina Jolie's directorial debut, the Bosnian War drama In the Land of Blood and Honey, averaged $6,300 ($18,900 total).

Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart/The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn photo: Andrew Cooper / Summit Entertainment

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Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Breaking Dawn
Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, Breaking Dawn

The no. 7 movie this Christmas weekend at the domestic box office will surely be Steven Spielberg's War Horse, which, as mentioned in part 1 of this three-part box office article, is expected to gross close to $7 million on opening day – today.

In addition to its four-legged star(s), War Horse features Jeremy Irvine, two-time Oscar nominee Emily Watson, Thor's Tom Hiddleston, Peter Mullan, Niels Arestrup, David Thewlis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Toby Kebbell, David Kross, Celine Buckens, Patrick Kennedy, Robert Emms, and Eddie Marsan.

Sunday's other wide release, The Darkest Hour, an apocalyptic sci-fi thriller, isn't expected to make much of a splash at the box office despite showings at 2,324 locations. In fact, there's a good chance it won't even land among the top ten. Directed by former art director Chris Gorak (Minority Report, Fight Club, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas), The Darkest Hour stars Emile Hirsch, Olivia Thirlby, Max Minghella, and Rachael Taylor.

The Stephen Daldry-directed Extremely Cloud and Incredibly Close, despite the presence of Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock, should perform way better in limited release. However, at only six theaters, it's impossible for it to crack the top ten.

So, rounding out the top ten movies this Christmas weekend should be Garry Marshall's New Year's Eve with an estimated $3 million (down 59 percent), Sarah Smith/James McAvoy's animated feature Arthur Christmas with $2.7 million (down 24 percent, domestic total: $44.2 million), and Bill Condon's The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1, starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner, with $2.1 million (down 50 percent, domestic total: $270.9m) as per studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo.

Now, if Breaking Dawn does indeed remain among the top ten this weekend, that'll mark a Twilight movie first. David Slade's The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, Chris Weisz's The Twilight Saga: New Moon, and Catherine Hardwicke's Twilight all remained on the top-ten chart for five weekends. Breaking Dawn is now on its sixth weekend out.

However, bear in mind that Breaking Dawn's position among the top ten isn't assured. In addition to the unlikely but not impossible The Darkest Hour threat – coincidentally a Summit Entertainment release – right on Breaking Dawn's heels are Martin Scorsese's Hugo (with $2.02m) and Amy Adams-Jason Segel's The Muppets (with $2m). If, say, Summit's estimates are a little too high, that could mean Breaking Dawn has followed the path of its predecessors: five top-ten strikes, and they're out. Weekend box office actuals will be released on Monday.

It's also important to note that even if Breaking Dawn remains among the top ten one more weekend, that doesn't mean it has sturdier legs than its predecessors. Instead, that'll be a reflection of the overall weakness of the latest Hollywood releases. For comparison's sake: on Christmas weekend 2009 (Christmas fell on a Friday), New Moon was down only 31 percent from the previous weekend despite the loss of 1,442 locations; it earned $3.04 million. And Breaking Dawn will end its North American run $15-$20 million behind both Eclipse and New Moon.

The all-star omnibus comedy-drama New Year's Eve features Michelle Pfeiffer, Zac Efron, Robert De Niro, Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, Katherine Heigl, Ashton Kutcher, Lea Michele, Sarah Jessica Parker, Josh Duhamel, Hilary Swank, among others.

In addition to Stewart, Pattinson, and Lautner, the extensive Breaking Dawn cast includes 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.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn photo: Andrew Cooper / Summit Entertainment

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