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Twilight Box Office: Year’s (Female-Centered) Sleeper Blockbuster

Twilight Kristen Stewart Robert PattinsonTwilight with Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. More than just one of the fall season’s sleeper hits, Catherine Hardwicke’s vampire/human romantic fantasy is unquestionably the sleeper blockbuster of the year.
  • Twilight box office: Directed by Catherine Hardwicke, Summit Entertainment’s modestly budgeted, female-centered romantic fantasy is the year’s most notable sleeper blockbuster. Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson star.
  • In other box office news, Disney’s computer-animated Bolt is bound to become a major commercial misfire.

Twilight box office: Female-centered interspecies romantic fantasy is year’s biggest sleeper hit

Whereas last summer’s big story was that of Christopher Nolan’s mega-blockbuster The Dark Knight, the big story this fall is the surprising success of a … May-December human/vampire romance?

Nov. 21–23 weekend box office: Summit Entertainment’s interspecies romantic fantasy Twilight easily topped the North American (U.S. and Canada only) chart with a remarkable $69.6 million, including an estimated $7 million from midnight screenings, according to final studio figures found at boxofficemojo.com.

A little perspective: Budgeted at a relatively modest $37 million (as always, not including marketing and distribution expenses), featuring no big names, and told from a female point of view, Twilight scored $2 million more than Sony Pictures’ $200 million James Bond flick Quantum of Solace the weekend before.

Based on Stephenie Meyer’s 2005 bestseller about the – never consummated, sigh – love affair between a human teenager (Kristen Stewart) and a youthful-looking centenarian vampire (Robert Pattinson), Twilight can in all fairness be referred to as the sleeper hit of the year. Catherine Hardwicke (Thirteen, Lords of Dogtown) directed from Melissa Rosenberg’s adaptation.

Besides Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, the Twilight movie cast includes Peter Facinelli, Taylor Lautner, Billy Burke, Jackson Rathbone, Ashley Greene, Anna Kendrick, Rachelle Lefevre, Kellan Lutz (last spring seen in the B horror thriller Prom Night), Cam Gigandet (seen last winter in the box office disappointment martial arts movie Never Back Down), and Thirteen actress and co-writer Nikki Reed.

Global sleeper blockbuster

Update: Despite a steep drop-off rate on weekend no. 2 (down 62 percent right after Thanksgiving), Twilight ultimately grossed a whopping $194 million domestically and an even stronger $214.5 million internationally, reaching a worldwide cume of $408.4 million.

Unquestionably, the Kristen Stewart-Robert Pattinson fantasy romance was one of the year’s most profitable big-screen releases.

Twilight’s top international markets were Germany ($23.7 million), France ($23.5 million), the United Kingdom/Ireland ($16.3 million), Spain ($15.8 million), Australia ($15.5 million), Italy ($14.4 million), Mexico ($9.8 million), South Korea ($7.9 million), and Brazil ($6.4 million).

Note: Box Office Mojo lists Brazil’s Twilight gross at $27.4 million. That’s inaccurate.

Disney’s computer-animated Bolt has (relatively) dismal domestic debut

This past weekend’s other major domestic release, Walt Disney Pictures’ computer-animated comedy-adventure Bolt trailed both Twilight and Quantum of Solace ($26.7 million), bringing in $26.2 million from 3,651 venues. That’s bad news indeed for a movie that cost a reported $150 million.

The story of a canine TV star who, like Jim Carrey in The Truman Show, believes that small-screen life = real life, Bolt features the voices of two-time Best Actor Academy Award nominee John Travolta (Saturday Night Fever, 1977; Pulp Fiction, 1994), teen idol Miley Cyrus, Nick Swardson, and veteran Malcolm McDowell (If…., A Clockwork Orange).

Chris Williams and Byron Howard directed.

Update: Bolt ultimately collected $114.1 million domestically and a far more impressive $195.9 million internationally, for a worldwide cume of $310 million – a solid figure, though hardly enough to cover the animated feature’s overall cost.

Bolt’s top international markets were the United Kingdom/Ireland ($26.8 million), France ($23.4 million), Japan (16.5 million), Russia/CIS ($12.2 million), Spain ($11 million), Germany ($8.4 million), Mexico ($7.9 million), Australia ($7.6 million), and Italy ($7.1 million).


Twilight Box Office” endnotes

Unless otherwise noted, “Twilight Box Office: Year’s (Female-Centered) Sleeper Blockbuster” box office information via Box Office Mojo. Budget info – which should usually be taken with a grain of salt – via BOM and/or other sources.

Comments about Twilight, Bolt, and other titles being hits/profitable or flops/money-losers at the box office (see paragraph below) are based on the available data about their production budget, additional marketing and distribution expenses (as a general rule of thumb, around 50 percent of the production cost), and worldwide gross (as a general rule of thumb when it comes to the Hollywood studios, around 50–55 percent of the domestic gross and 40 percent of the international gross goes to the distributing/producing companies).

Bear in mind that data regarding rebates, international pre-sales, and other credits and/or contractual details that help to alleviate/split production costs and apportion revenues are oftentimes unavailable, and that reported international grosses can be incomplete (i.e., not every territory is accounted for). Also bear in mind that ancillary revenues (domestic/global television rights, home video sales, streaming, merchandising, etc.) can represent anywhere between 40–70 percent of a movie’s total take; however, these revenues and their apportionment are only infrequently made public.

Brazil’s Twilight box office figure (in Brazilian reais) via Filme B.

Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart Twilight movie image: Summit Entertainment.

Twilight Box Office: Year’s (Female-Centered) Sleeper Blockbuster” last updated in July 2022.

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1 comment

Sharon H -

Je trouve que Twilight est un excellent film, il y a de bons acteurs!!! L’histoire en elle-même est superbe car tomber amoureuse d’un vampire disons que ce n’est pas courant!! En tout cas, j’ai hate de voir la suite et pendant ce temps là, je vais me consentrer sur les livres!!!
Bonne continuiation à tous, c’est du trés bon travail!!

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