Opening weekend has come and gone for the first part of the "Twilight Saga" finale, and "Breaking Dawn - Part 1" bowed to an impressive $139.5 million at the box office, just short of the series-record $142 million for "New Moon" in 2009.
But $139.5 million is certainly nothing to shake a stick at, and a number of box-office experts MTV News spoke with agreed that the number represents a serious accomplishment, despite coming up just short.
"When the final numbers come in today, 'Breaking Dawn' will have the fifth-best opening ever, a record I'm sure every studio wouldn't mind having," said Jeff Bock, box-office analyst for Exhibitor Relations. "And even though 'Breaking Dawn' will always be in the shadow of 'New Moon,' which hit $142 million two years ago when it debuted over the same weekend, 'Breaking Dawn,' and the 'Twilight' franchise in general, is one of those rare commodities in Hollywood that sustains its audience from film to film."
The question of the drop in revenue from "New Moon" still remains. By normal box-office logic, returns would ramp up in anticipation for the finale, yet the penultimate entry in the series could not top the second. Phil Contrino, editor of Boxoffice.com, said it has to do with the fanbase.
"I think a healthy portion of the audience is growing up and forgetting about this franchise. It's not enough to put a significant dent in the grosses, but there's definitely an impact," he said.
As "Breaking Dawn - Part 2" approaches, fans of both the "Harry Potter" and "Twilight" series anxiously await to see which finale will come out on top at the box office. Gitesh Pandya from Box Office Guru said Potter's record will remain.
"Since 'Part 2' is the final 'Twilight' film, I expect it to open a little higher and maybe even beat 'New Moon,' " Pandya said. "But it won't match the numbers for the final 'Harry Potter' unless it's converted into 3-D."
Check out everything we've got on "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1."
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