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'The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1' on track to be highest earning in series

The fourth Twilight movie, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1, is on track to be the biggest earner in the series so far, making $701.3 million at the box office since its release on November 18, Lionsgate announced today. Breaking Dawn will likely surpass the $709.8 million raked in by its predecessor, The Twilight Saga: New Moon. This is the first information officially put out by Lionsgate about the popular teen vampire franchise since the studio merged with Summit Entertainment, the studio where the ‘Twilight’ series was created, earlier this month.

“The milestone is important on several fronts and illustrates the vitality of the franchise on a global scale even after four films … We are very proud of the success the franchise has experienced and anticipate the saga’s conclusion this November,” Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group Co-Chairmen Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger said in a statement.

The final Twilight film, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, is set for a November 16, 2012 release. Lionsgate also holds the keys to the highly anticipated Hunger Games trilogy, the first installment of which is due out in March.

Read more
Lionsgate buys Summit Entertainment for $412 million
‘The Twilight Saga': Photos, video, news
‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part I': A hater’s guide

'Breaking Dawn -- Part 2' scene to premiere in Target stores on eve of 'Part 1' DVD release -- EXCLUSIVE


This is certainly one way to get people to attend a release party. Target will extend store hours in nearly 500 stores across the country on Feb. 10 to host a DVD-Blu-ray event for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1, which hits shelves at midnight. Beginning at 11 p.m., fans will be treated to the exclusive world premiere of a scene from the fifth and final film, in theaters this November. The scene will not be available on Target’s exclusive Limited-Collector’s Edition DVD. That does, however, come with an authentic prop flower from Bella and Edward’s wedding scene. To search for participating stores, go to

And before you try to bribe Target employees into telling you which scene will be shown, EW is told that no one at Target will know the answer to that question until that evening.

Read more:
EW’s latest ‘Twilight’ news
EW reviews ‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1′
‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1′: A hater’s guide

Lionsgate closing in on $700 million deal to acquire Summit Entertainment

After weeks of swirling merger rumors, Lionsgate is now nearing a possible outright acquisition of Summit Entertainment in an deal totaling around $700 million, EW has confirmed. The turn of events is a little surprising, given Summit’s runaway success with the Twilight franchise and the difficult year Lionsgate just had at the box office. The deal itself is not yet final — Lionsgate, a publicly traded company, will have to disclose final details of the acquisition should it go through — but Summit’s top execs are at the moment set to remain at the new company. (Deadline first reported the story.)

The biggest question moving forward, meanwhile, is what would happen to the mini-studios’ respective film slates. READ FULL STORY

Box office dips in 2011: A year-end analysis

Box office junkies, unite! It’s time to break down the year that was at the movies using the thing that we love most — the numbers!

Blockbuster franchise films reigned supreme at the North American box office in 2011. Of the ten highest grossing movies, the top seven — led by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 with $381 million — are sequels, Rise of the Planet of the Apes (No. 9, $176.7 million) is a prequel, and Thor (No. 8, $181 million) and Captain America: The First Avenger (No. 10, $176.7 million), while not sequels, are part of the larger Avengers franchise which Marvel will roll out next year.

All told, theatrical releases sold about $10.2 billion worth of tickets in 2011 (final numbers not yet available) at an average price of $7.96. (Ticket price via the National Association of Theatre Owners. Although, seriously, when was the last time anyone paid so little for a ticket?) That total marked a 3.5 percent drop from 2010, when the box office earned a yearly total of $10.6 billion, and attendance dipped by about 5 percent for the second year in a row. In fact, with 1.28 billion tickets sold, 2011 was the least-attended box office year since 1995.

What caused the dip? READ FULL STORY

Best of 2011: Top movie box office and DVD sales


This year was all about a boy wizard, a Bumblebee, and a sparklevamp. Joining Harry, Sam, and Edward in 2011’s box office toppers were two groups of wedding-oriented train wrecks, several superheroes, and a bunch of upstart Southern domestics. Over in DVDs, a couple instances of horse power and some evil geniuses joined the fray. So which films topped the box-0ffice? Click through to see 2011’s most popular movies. READ FULL STORY

Box office report: 'New Year's Eve' drops the ball with $13.7 million; 'The Sitter' can't fill seats

Wait! Don’t pop the champagne just yet.

As has been the case over so many frames this fall, audiences largely ignored this weekend’s two new wide releases. New Year’s Eve and The Sitter both opened to ho-hum results. In fact, the Top 20 movies at the North American box office grossed just $73.2 million — the worst total of the entire year.

New Year’s Eve led the box office with $13.7 million in its first three days. READ FULL STORY

Box office update: 'New Year's Eve' starts with a soft $5.1 million on Friday

Could someone fix the box office, please?

For the umpteenth time this fall, new releases are turning in utterly uninspiring box office results, and this weekend’s Top 12  could finish just behind Labor Day weekend’s as the second-lowest-grossing group of 2011.

New Year’s Eve led the sorry crop with $5.1 million on Friday. Despite half of Hollywood starring in the film and an extra-wide 3,505-theater count, New Year’s Eve looks like it’s only headed to an opening weekend of about $14-15 million.

The Sitter, meanwhile, grossed $3.7 million on its first day, which should give the Jonah Hill comedy about $10 million for the weekend. Given low expectations and a $25 million budget, that almost seems like a major victory.

In third, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 grossed $2.5 million on its way to a likely $7.8 million weekend. The Muppets, in fourth, pulled in $1.7 million, but thanks to a family-fueled bump at weekend matinees, it may finish close behind Twilight with about $7 million. Hugo rounded out the Top 5 with $1.6 million. It may earn $6.5 million by Sunday.

In limited release, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is outperforming Young Adult. Though the Gary Oldman spy film is in just four theaters, it earned almost exactly what Charlize Theron’s dark comedy grossed in twice as many venues: $90,000. Both look to finish in the $250-300,000 range.

Check back tomorrow for the full box office report.

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Box office preview: 'New Year's Eve' hopes to ring in big bucks

You may not have a sprig of mistletoe nailed above your door just yet, but New Year’s Eve is entering theaters this weekend in advance of the annual holiday, and it’s set to take over the box office as well. Jonah Hill’s latest comedy, The Sitter, is also getting a wide release, while buzzy Oscar hopefuls Young Adult and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy are getting limited releases in 8 and 4 theaters, respectively. Here’s how I think the Top 5 movies will perform at the box office this weekend. READ FULL STORY

William Hurt in talks to join Stephenie Meyer's 'The Host' -- EXCLUSIVE

Oscar-winning actor William Hurt is in talks to join Andrew Niccol’s film adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s sci-fi novel The Host, according to a source close to the production. Hurt would play the pivotal role of Jeb, eccentric uncle to Saoirse Ronan’s Melanie Stryder, whose brain is hijacked by the soul of an alien being known as Wanderer. Jeb is one of the grizzled leaders of the human survivalists fighting the alien invasion.

Max Irons will portray Jared Howe, and Jake Abel has been cast as Ian, the two men who help form a complicated Meyer-esque love triangle with Melanie.

Read more:
Max Irons to play Jared in ‘The Host’
Saoirse Ronan cast in film of Stephanie Meyer’s ‘The Host’

Box office report: 'Twilight: Breaking Dawn' is No. 1 for third week in a row with $16.9 mil

For the first time, a Twilight movie has ruled the box office for three weeks in a row. During what was one of the slowest weekends of the year, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1 held on to first, dropping 60 percent for $16.9 million, according to studio estimates.

That’s a smaller decline than what The Twilight Saga: New Moon experienced during the same weekend two years ago — it fell 64 percent. Nevertheless, Breaking Dawn — Part 1 is still trailing the past two Twilight movies. The fourth entry in the romantic supernatural series has so far grossed a stellar $247.3 million in 17 days. By comparison, New Moon had earned $255.4 million by this point, while The Twilight Saga: Eclipse had collected $255.8 million. This will ultimately be a moot point when Breaking Dawn — Part 2 comes out next November and likely destroys all of the franchise’s records. READ FULL STORY

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