Box Office Report: 'Twilight' sinks its teeth into a blockbuster debut

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Twilight, director Catherine Hardwicke’s adaptation of
Stephenie Meyer’s vampire-romance novel, easily won the weekend box office with
a $70.6 mil debut gross, according to Sunday’s estimates. Fellow freshman flick Bolt and hefty
holdover Quantum of Solace, meanwhile, trailed far behind.

That huge premiere number represents achievements on many
levels for Twilight. It’s the top debut ever for a film directed by one woman (Mimi
Leder’s Deep Impact banked $41.2 mil on its initial weekend 10 years ago). It’s the 29th best first-weekend bow of all
time (falling just shy of 300‘s $70.9 mil and coming in just ahead of
Transformers‘ $70.5 mil). It’s
by far the biggest opening yet for fledgling studio Summit, whose previous best bow was Never
Back Down
‘s $8.6 mil back in March. It stands as the fourth biggest premiere of the year — better than Quantum of
Solace
‘s $67.5 mil opening, better than WALL-E‘s $63.1 mil, better than
Hancock‘s $62.6 mil, to name a few. Last, but almost certainly not least, it’s nearly exactly
what I predicted (hooray, me!).

So it’s no surprise that the studio already announced a
sequel, New Moon. But the question for now, of course, is where Twilight, which
averaged a bloody good $20,636 in 3,419 theaters, goes from here? Not
surprisingly, girls and women comprised a whopping 75 percent of the film’s
audience, but will they continue to pack theaters as the weeks go on?
In the short term: yes. According to studio data, ticket buyers gave the movie
a nice A- grade, signaling the spread of positive word of mouth as we head into
Thanksgiving. Certainly, there will be some competition for this core crowd
from Australia and Four Christmases next week, but you can also assume that Twilight will be
able to build on its super-smashing start.

addCredit(“Deana Newcomb”)

Second place went to Quantum of Solace, which banked $27.4
mil (again, almost exactly as I predicted). That’s a big 59 percent drop from the
James Bond flick’s big bow last time around. On
the bright side, the Daniel Craig movie became the year’s 20th release to cross
the $100 mil mark domestically. It has a 10-day sum of $109.5 mil in the U.S. and Canada, and it has
brought in some $418 mil worldwide to date.

Next up: Bolt (No. 3), which underperformed perhaps ever so
slightly with $27 mil (way below my prognostication, alas). Nonetheless, that’s
a good number for a non-Pixar animated movie that could have gotten
swallowed up by stiff competition. And unlike Twilight, Bolt has no natural
rivals at the box office in the near future. Combine that fact with the
A- CinemaScore review it drew from a “four quadrant” crowd filled
with people of all ages and genders, and its financial future looks secure.

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
(No. 4 with $16 mil) and Role Models (No. 5 with $7.2 mil) rounded out a
stellar top five. And for the third straight weekend, the multiplex housed a
$60 mil-plus grosser, the first time that’s ever happened outside of summer.

Thus, the overall box office got a nice 2 percent bump over the same
frame a year ago (when Enchanted and This Christmas led the way). All of which
portends nice things to come as the most wonderful time of the year gets
underway.

More ‘Twilight’ and Box Office News:

EW.com’s Twilight Central

Box Office Preview: Twilight to suck up buckets of blood…and big bucks

Twilight: The EW review

Quantum of Solace Stirs up a Win

Second place went to Quantum of Solace, which banked $27.4mil (again, almost exactly as I predicted). That’s a big 59 percent drop from theJames Bond flick’s big bow last time around. Onthe bright side, the Daniel Craig movie became the year’s 20th release to crossthe $100 mil mark domestically. It has a 10-day sum of $109.5 mil in the U.S. and Canada, and it hasbrought in some $418 mil worldwide to date.

Next up: Bolt (No. 3), which underperformed perhaps ever soslightly with $27 mil (way below my prognostication, alas). Nonetheless, that’sa good number for a non-Pixar animated movie that could have gottenswallowed up by stiff competition. And unlike Twilight, Bolt has no naturalrivals at the box office in the near future. Combine that fact with theA- CinemaScore review it drew from a "four quadrant" crowd filledwith people of all ages and genders, and its financial future looks secure.

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa(No. 4 with $16 mil) and Role Models (No. 5 with $7.2 mil) rounded out astellar top five. And for the third straight weekend, the multiplex housed a$60 mil-plus grosser, the first time that’s ever happened outside of summer.

Thus, the overall box office got a nice 2 percent bump over the sameframe a year ago (when Enchanted and This Christmas led the way). All of whichportends nice things to come as the most wonderful time of the year getsunderway.

More ‘Twilight’ and Box Office News:
EW.com’s Twilight Central
Box Office Preview: Twilight to suck up buckets of blood…and big bucks
Twilight: The EW review
Quantum of Solace Stirs up a Win

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Comments (171 total) Add your comment
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  • BRADD BRADD

    O.K, twilight, you’ve shocked everyone. But one major thing the studio needs to worry about: It’s enormous friday take of nearly 36 million was over HALF of its opening weekend. To put in perspective, Harry Potter 4, which opened on a similar pre-thanksgiving weekend on 2005, made 40 million on its first friday, only 39% of its opening weekend of 102 million, while Twilights Friday was 51%. And its huge 41% tumble to saturdays 21 million indicates how the movie is already losing its momentum. It will probably be teh #1 movie next weekend too, but expect it to make around 35 million, a 50% tumble when most movies will end up having very small declines. Only time will tell if it will break the 200 million mark– but that would mean it will need very strong legs. And as for Bolt, 27 million is not bad at all, especially going into thanksgiving. I’m sure it will hold up well now that Madagascar is losing its momentum. Bond will hold better next weekned– clearly the Word of mouth hurt it.

  • Kate

    Great, so now that it’s out and had a big weekend, can EW please move on and stop talking about it? Or are you guys going to immediately launch into the New Moon countdown (gag me)?
    I think the real test will be how it does next weekend. Does it have legs?

  • Tommy Marx

    To be honest, Bradd Bradd, I was surprised Joshua didn’t mention the huge dropoff. Based on estimates, attendance dropped 41% on Saturday and another 35% on Sunday. That doesn’t sound good to me.

  • Emily

    I love how you mention the big box office take, and then sidestep the glaring fact that the numbers tumbled BIG as the weekend went on. My hypothesis seems to be supported by numbers — that the diehards would all see it at midnight and/or on Friday and it would plummet from there. I don’t expect word of mouth to be kind to it.

  • Kelsey

    Bradd, I actually see Twilight and Bolt going opposite directions next week. Bolt had a weaker opening weekend, but should be helped by A) positive word of mouth and B) the big family-centric Thanksgiving weekend. I think poor word of mouth is really going to hurt Twilight (I for one was extremely disappointed given the hype). $200 million or even $150 million doesn’t sound like a lot, but it needs to stay strong after this opening weekend, and I just don’t think it can. There are too many holiday movies coming up and too many people flat-out hated it. Just my two cents.

  • Lisa

    The reason the movies are seeing such a big bump in such a tough economic time is because people want to check out of reality and into another world for a few hours. That’s why Twilight has a huge following. Its easy to envelope yourself into a near realistic but somewhat ideal and exciting world. I still plan to go see it for the second time later this week. More profits in a down time.

  • Katie

    Well, we are looking at a thanksgiving break with lots of high school and middle school kids with a lot of extra time on their hands…So I expect the movie to continue to do well, since that their built in audience often goes to see movies they like more than once.
    I actually don’t expect much of a drop off.

  • Katie

    And I’ve heard quite a bit of positive word of mouth actually…I went to see it this weekend and I thought it was OK at best, but the kids sitting next to me in the theater loved it and vowed to see it over and over again.

  • Nathan

    $70 mil this weekend, about 20 next weekend. Topping out at around $210 mil when it’s said and done.

  • Kim

    Wow. This horrible movie made that much? Shows that America will buy in anything that’s a fad, even if it’s bad.

  • HellsBells

    I’m going to see it either next weekend or the following one. I wanted to wait until the majority of the squeeling crowd was out of the way (no offense Twilight-ians). I’m in the middle of reading the first book now, so I hope that doesn’t cloud the movie experience too much.
    After having read fan reviews of the movie w/r/t special effects and whatnot, i hope that the studios will sink a little more dough into the franchise for the next few films (it seems safe to assume they will milk this cash cow). They could really expand their audience if they take the next films a little more seriously than it has been reported they put into the first one. I mean, who doesn’t love a vampire film anyway?
    This could work studio execs, and would probably entice more ‘repeat viewer’ sales. Really I’m just surprised that it appears they may have limited their audience to fans of the book. There is no reason why they could not have hooked in more guys with this kind of storyline.

  • Tom Strong

    Terrible movie. I walked out. For morons.

  • StupidGirl

    With all those teenaged girls in the theater for this movie, the theater seats must now smell worse than after a Melissa Etheridge concert.

  • JKayy

    For all of you people who actually didn’t like Twilight: Have you read the books? If not, I can understand where you are coming from. You can interpret Twilight on three different scales.
    One: You’ve never read the books before. I think that if you haven’t read the books, then you cannot truly appreciate the depth of emotions that scale through the movie. A lot of scenes could be considered boring if you had not known what the intention of said scene was.
    Two: You’ve read the books. In this case, you understand the emotions that Bella is thinking. You understand what those awkward moments are in the film that some who haven’t read the books may not have comprehended.
    Three: You’ve read the books, and the part of Midnight Sun. In this case, you can truly appreciate the film. You can appreciate those awkward moments, because you know EXACTLY what the characters are thinking, and why those moments are so special.

  • musica1

    Everybody I know who has seen Twilight is definitely recommending it to friends and family. I will be back to see it next weekend and probably the weekend after.

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