SATURDAY EARLY AM: First numbers show that Summit Entertainment's low cost blockbuster Twilight opened huge as expected because of heavy pre-sales with $32.7M Friday from 3,419 theaters, including $7M worth of Thursday midnight shows, for what should be $65M for its first North American weekend in release. (One rival studio bigwig thinks it made as much as a "jaw dropping" $35M, telling me: "Even figuring a big drop tomorrow, it has to be a mid-$70sM weekend.")
SATURDAY EARLY AM: First numbers show that Summit Entertainment's low cost blockbuster Twilight opened huge as expected because of heavy pre-sales with $32.7M Friday from 3,419 theaters, including $7M worth of Thursday midnight shows, for what should be $65M for its first North American weekend in release. (One rival studio bigwig thinks it made as much as a "jaw dropping" $35M, telling me: "Even figuring a big drop tomorrow, it has to be a mid-$70sM weekend.") Fangirls -- or should I say fang-girls -- were buying 5 Twilight tickets per second as of early Friday morning, making Twilight online ticket-seller Fandango's fastest-selling film since The Dark Knight last July. Then the tween and teen females in store bought or homemade Twilight clothes (and even Twilight tattoos) flocked to the first Big Screen version of Stephenie Meyer's bestselling series of Romeo & Juliet-style vampire romance books.
Yet the movie adaptation was made by start-up studio Summit for only $37M. This will be the start of a big new franchise since a sequel is already in the works. The first box office record has already been broken by Twilight's girl power: this is the biggest opening for a female director. Catherine Hardwicke is easily beating Mimi Leder's $41.1M for 1998's Deep Impact. (But with an asterisk since these figures aren't adjusted for inflation, ticket prices, etc.) If Friday's figure holds, then Twilight will have the 2nd best opening day for a November release behind Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire, and the 16th highest opening day gross ever, beating the first Harry Potter and just behind the 3rd Lord Of The Rings.
No. 2 was the new Bond pic Quantum Of Solace which was down 69% from its franchise record opening a week ago to earn $8.3M Friday from 3,458 venues. This could be another $28M weekend and new North American cume past $110M (in just 7 days time). Going into today, Daniel Craig's 2nd turn as 007 has made $335M worldwide.
Because Twilight played much younger than expected, "it's taking that extra bite right out of Bolt," according to one studio mogul. As a result, Disney's toon starring the voices of John Travolta and Miley Cyrus looked to debut Friday with only $6.5M from 3,651 runs and should yield just under $25 million for the weekend. That's $10M less than expected. So, on the Disney scale of animation pic successes, this is disappointing. Poor Bolt has been overshadowed by the phenomenon of the Twilight Zone. This family fare had the largest digital 3D release ever, opening at approximately 979 Digital 3D locations. Last Saturday, the studio sneaked the pic at around 880 theaters to build word of mouth.
DreamWorks Animation's toon sequel Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa distributed by Paramount came in No. 4 with $3.5M Friday from 4,007 dates for what should be a $15M weekend a fresh $136.4M cume. And Universal's raunchy R-rated comedy Role Models continues to surprise by outperforming: at #5, it took in $1.5M Friday from 2,733 plays for a possible $4.5M weekend a new cume of $45.3M.
It's worth mentioning that Oscar-touted Slumdog Millionaire expands into 32 venues. The Fox Searchlight pic opened last Wednesday on 10 screens and this Wednesday grossed +54% on the same 10 screens. As one studio insider told me, "That never happens. As a point of reference, even Juno last year didn’t do this." The pic's previous weekend was the best of 2008 for a specialized film with the highest per screen average of the year, beating Academy Award buzzed Changeling and Rachel At The Wedding.
I saw this in ONTD and was surprise that no one posted it yet! :D I'm sooo proud to be a TWILIGHTER right now! and I hope you are too! :D I, personally love the movie...