The draining of money has begun. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1, the fourth movie in the supernatural-romance franchise, grossed an incredible $72 million on Friday, according to early estimates. That’s the third-best opening day ever, behind only this year’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2 ($91.1 million) and 2009′s The Twilight Saga: New Moon ($72.7 million). And while Breaking Dawn fell slightly short of New Moon, it did surpass the opening day of last year’s The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, which debuted to $68.5 million (albeit on a Wednesday).
New Moon is the best comparison point for Breaking Dawn since it hit theaters on the same November weekend two years ago. If Breaking Dawn follows New Moon‘s trajectory, it will drop 42 percent on Saturday and another 34 percent on Sunday. That’d give Breaking Dawn an opening weekend total of about $141 million, which would rank as the fifth-best debut ever (behind Potter, The Dark Knight, Spider-Man 3, and New Moon). An $141 million opening would be a bit below what many box-office prognosticators (myself included) were predicting for Breaking Dawn, but is still an absolutely outstanding start for the film.
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