With its Nov. 18 date, Breaking Dawn follows the pre-Thanksgiving release pattern that helped Twilight and New Moon became box office sensations. Twilight opened to $69.6 million in Nov. 2008, ultimately closing at $192.8 million. A year later, New Moon was even more impressive, setting midnight and opening day box office records on its way to a $142.8 million start. New Moon ended up with $296.6 million domestically and over $400 million internationally, for a worldwide total exceeding $700 million. The third part of the Twilight series, Eclipse, opens June 30, or a little over seven months after New Moon.
Condon is coming off three critical successes in a row, beginning with 1999's Gods and Monsters ($6.5 million), for which he won a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar. He followed that up with 2004's Kinsey ($10.3 million) and 2006's Dreamgirls ($103.4 million). Condon recently posted an open letter to Twilight fans on Facebook outlining some of his thoughts for the movie.
"The wonderful world that Stephenie [Meyer] has created has obviously struck a chord with you, and I don't think it's difficult to see why," Condon wrote. "For me, her characters are simultaneously timeless, yet very modern. Rooted in a beautiful, real landscape with a great sense of place, Bella, Edward, Jacob, and the rest of the Forks/La Push menagerie, experience emotions that are primal, and universal: desire, despair, jealousy—and it all comes to fruition in Breaking Dawn. This is a final chapter in the best sense; not just wide in scope and scale, but emotionally charged and intense throughout."
There have been extensive discussions as to whether Breaking Dawn will be broken up in to two movies due to its lengthy and complicated source material. This announcement does not officially clarify one way or the other but it would appear that, at least for now, they are going to try and make it a single movie. Breaking Dawn will open against animated sequel Happy Feet 2 and Disney action drama Reel Steel.