There are only a few proven constants in the known universe. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, mixing Pop Rocks and Pepsi in your stomach will cause you to burst from the inside out (actually, this one hasn’t been proven), and the Twilight movies make a crap ton of money.
And here we are again, ladies and germs, at the period of the box office year when Twi-hards feast their ever-loving eyes on yet another one. But this isn’t just another Twilight movie. This is the beginning of the end, the first of a two-parter that finishes off the franchise for good. Or, at least, until they reboot. I’m guessing it’ll make some dough this weekend. Aren’t you? It’s the Reject Report, and teen angst is eternal. At least, that’s what teens tell me.
The journey of Bella Swan is nearing its end, but, before we reach that light at the end of the tunnel the Twilight franchise has wrapped around our cinematic experience for the past three years, we’ll have to endure two more outings. Taking a queue from Smart Business Making 101, Summit Entertainment, the house that Team Whoever built, has split Stephenie Meyer’s final book, Breaking Dawn, into two parts, one releasing this weekend, the other hitting November 2012. Each film will ensure Summit has a lucrative year this year and next, and those numbers might end up being record breakers as well. Just looking at Twilight openings of the past proves that.
The first film debuted in November 2008 to $69.6m, a sweet sum at the time for the studio that hadn’t been around all that long. But it was the second film, New Moon, that really proved the series’ worth bowing to $142.8m in its first three days. The third film, Eclipse, opened on a Wednesday, but it’s take from opening day to first Sunday was $157.5m. That’s not a clear indication of what it might have made had it debuted to a regular box office weekend, but it’s as close as we can get.
Now, Breaking Dawn – Part 1 looks like it has the potential to trump even that. I hate to break it to the lot of you, but it’s looking like The Dark Knight is going to be bumped down to #3 on the all-time opening weekend chart. Breaking Dawn Part 1 might not be able to top Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 – I thought I was done typing out that Godforsaken title – but we need to leave something for Breaking Dawn Part 2 to do next year. Look for Breaking Dawn – Part 1 to pull in around $165m, Deathly Hallows Part 2 to rest comfortably for another year, and Jeremy Looking For the Nearest Cliff Part 4.29 to kick in any day now.
Take your vampires. Keep your werewolves. Give your Bella a sandwich. I want penguins! What’s better than penguins? Computer animated penguins who dance and sing and sound like Robin Williams and stuff. Happy Feet 2 isn’t exactly pulling the same demographic as Breaking Dawn. A lot of Breaking Dawn-bound teens will be rolling their eyes while their parents take their younger siblings to see this wholesome and entertaining bit of 3D enjoyment. Plus it’s got penguins!
The first Happy Feet debuted to $41.5m back in 2006. This sequel will come in somewhere around the same area, maybe slightly South. Not too far South, though. Not like the Antarctic, AMIRITE? Hahahahaha. Ugh. Anyway, Happy Feet 2 will be somewhere around $40m. Hey, I laughed.
Because anything with penguins is funny, here’s something else with penguins…that’s funny:
Immortals and Jack and Jill had very impressive openings last weekend, but both are looking to drop like dead weights off a cliff this weekend. Jack and Jill maybe more so, but you can expect them both to have over 50% second weekend drops here. That won’t be huge for Immortals, which is sure to break past $50m domestic and still grab an additional $30–40m in foreign markets this weekend. Sandler’s latest outing, though, won’t be getting anywhere near $100m domestic, an odd disappointment for one of his “mainstream” comedies.
It’ll look to be Puss in Boots in its fourth weekend here that comes in the #3 spot behind Breaking Dawn and Happy Feet 2, though. Once again, the $15–20m it will pull in this weekend won’t bump it much higher on the DreamWorks Animation chart. It’ll be lucky to surpass Bee Movie this weekend in terms of domestic box office, but, hey, at least Puss in Boots still has its Banderas spice. That’s all it really nights, right?
Here’s how the weekend is shaping up:
- The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 – $165.5m NEW
- Happy Feet Two – $39.7m NEW
- Puss in Boots – $19.3m (-21.8%)
- Immortals – $15.3m (-52.3%)
- Jack and Jill – $9.4m (-62.2%)
- Tower Heist – $6.5m (-48.5%)
- J. Edgar – $6.4m (-42.7%)
- A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas – $2.6 (-55.5%)
- In Time – $2.1m (-45.9%)
- Paranormal Activity 3 – $1.5m (-57.4%)
$268.3m. Just let that number sink in for a bit. Yeah, I know how it looks. I ran these numbers three times just to make sure I didn’t hit the multiply sign instead of the add sign once or twice. My dad was an accountant. I learned my Gazintas from him. But there you have it: $268.3m.
That amounts to the biggest domestic box office for the top 10 in history. Granted, these are all analytic numbers, and none of them are destined to be 100% accurate. I’d be pulling in Gordon Gekko-type money if I could predict with that level of accuracy. But this is how it’s looking at this point. We’ll see for sure on Sunday how close it all is. From here, it looks like everyone on the chart will be shimmering in the sunlight. Wow, that was lame. I can’t leave you with that. Okay. PENGUINS!
We’ll be back on Sunday to go over the weekend numbers.