As Edward and Bella's story draws to a close, the franchise that captivated a generation of fans has landed one more entry in the top 10 list of all-time box office openings. "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2" took in an estimated $141.3 million in North American theaters over the weekend, which was the eighth-largest domestic opening of all time.
"Breaking Dawn - Part 2" managed to beat the $138.1 million opening of last year's "Part 1," 'though it fell slightly behind 2009's franchise best, "New Moon," which kicked off with $142.8 million. Overseas, "Breaking Dawn - Part 2" took in $199.6 million, pointing to a future that will likely be consistent with the $700 million-ish worldwide grosses of most "Twilight" films.
All the dust from the Team Edward/ Team Jacob battle has settled, Bella's vampire transformation is complete and the most favored fictitious werewolf of the supernatural-romance generation even developed (spoiler alert!) eyes for someone else. Even as rumors swirled about a possible reboot, interest remained impressively high for the book-based series that launched the careers of Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner with the 2008 adaptation of Stephenie Meyer's first novel.
Box-office forecasters and major media outlets like the Los Angeles Times had predicted an opening north of $150 million, which would have eclipsed previous installments the way the finale of "Harry Potter" was able to do. Supposed franchise finishers for "The Lord of the Rings" and "Star Wars" accomplished the same feat, though both series are back in motion.
Entertainment Weekly went with a more conservative $135 million to $140 million, which was in line with Summit Entertainment's own estimates. Still, while not a franchise best, for a "Twilight" movie to still crack the top 10 all-time openings list five years after the series debuted speaks volumes about the devotion of the series' most ardent supporters to the very end.
Speaking of box-office records, "Skyfall" continued on its path to being the biggest James Bond movie ever, landing at #2 with another $41.5 million for a domestic total of $161.3 million. In just 10 days, last weekend's #1 film was already nipping at the heels of current 007 record-holder "Quantum of Solace," which made $168.4 million during its entire run.
Disney's Oscar-bait picture "Lincoln" had the biggest weekend for a non-documentary film about a real life president, according to Box Office Mojo. Steven Spielberg's period drama about the passage of the 13th Amendment took in $21 million as it expanded from 11 theaters to 1,775. The Mouse House had plenty to celebrate from its animation division as well, with "Wreck-it Ralph" landing at #4 with $18.3 million for a three-week total of #121.5 million. "Flight" finished out the top 5 with $8.6 million, dropping 42 percent even as it expanded to 2,612 theaters for a total of $61.3 million thus far.
Check out everything we've got on "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2."