Friday Report: 'Breaking Dawn' Bites Into Third-Highest Day Ever
The Twilight phenomenon showed no signs of fading on Friday, though Breaking Dawn Part 1 fell just short of setting a new series record. The fourth installment debuted to an estimated $72 million yesterday, which is the third-highest opening day ever behind Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 ($91.1 million) and The Twilight Saga: New Moon ($72.7 million). While it couldn't quite pass New Moon, Breaking Dawn did have the second-best debut in the series ahead of last Summer's Eclipse ($68.5 million) and the original Twilight ($36 million). Out of its $72 million opening day, $30.25 million came from midnight showings. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 should be headed for around $140 million for the three-day frame, which will qualify as the fifth-best opening weekend ever.

While Twilight was able to maintain series momentum, Happy Feet Two struggled to attract a fraction of the interest of the original movie. The animated sequel opened to an estimated $5.9 million from 3,606 theaters, which is less than half of Happy Feet's $12.3 million debut in 2006. The discrepancy is exacerbated by the fact that Happy Feet Two added 3D, meaning attendance took an even bigger hit. Following the first movie's pattern, Happy Feet Two appears in line for a $20 million weekend.

With the combination of Breaking Dawn's all-consuming opening and the fact that many kids were out of school last Friday for Veterans Day, the holdovers all experienced substantial declines. Immortals was off a whopping 74 percent to an estimated $3.82 million. That's worse than 300 and Clash of the Titans, which dropped 64 percent and 68 percent, respectively. The movie has now earned $44.5 million through eight days, and it looks poised for a $12-13 million weekend gross.

Jack and Jill dropped 64 percent to $3.5 million. That decline is worse than most Sandler fare, though it's about on par with You Don't Mess with the Zohan (63 percent) and an improvement over Funny People (70 percent). The movie has so far made $32.5 million, and it should finish the weekend with roughly $13 million.

After holding steady for three straight weeks, Puss in Boots fell hard with direct competition from Happy Feet Two. The movie dropped 62 percent to an estimated $3.4 million, which brings its total to a strong $115 million. It will likely move up to third place for the weekend with around $14 million.

On its second Friday, J. Edgar fell 58 percent to $1.8 million. That's steeper than director Clint Eastwood's Hereafter, which declined 50 percent last Fall. The period drama, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, has so far made $16.6 million.

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Related Chart:

• Grosses for Friday, November 18, 2011

• All-Time Opening Days

• All-Time Single Days