Including $30.4 million from midnight and 10 p.m. Thursday shows—which should count towards Thursday, not Friday—the fifth and final chapter in the Twilight saga grossed an estimated $71.2 million yesterday. That's the sixth-highest opening day ever, and is slightly below The Twilight Saga: New Moon's $72.7 million and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1's $71.6 million.
An opening day north of $70 million is fantastic, and the fact that three Twilight movies have accomplished this feat is really remarkable. Still, unlike the conclusions to the recent Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and Star Wars franchises, Breaking Dawn Part 2's finale status didn't drive it to a new Twilight record, which is slightly disappointing.
The movie received a strong "A" CinemaScore, and that improved to an "A+" with audiences under 25 years of age. Distributor Summit Entertainment is currently forecasting $135 million for the weekend, which would be slightly behind Breaking Dawn Part 1's $138.1 million debut.
In second place, Skyfall plummeted 60 percent to an estimated $12.35 million, which brings its eight-day total to $132.2 million. That decline is better than Quantum of Solace's 69 percent drop, but is still underwhelming given the apparently enthusiastic response the movie has been receiving from audiences. Regardless, by the end of the weekend the movie will be close to $160 million, and it will become the highest-grossing James Bond adventure by Wednesday at the latest.
After a successful week in limited release, Steven Spielberg's Lincoln expanded to 1,775 theaters and earned an estimated $6.37 million. In comparison, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter grossed $6.25 million on opening day despite playing in over 3,000 theaters. Lincoln's opening was a bit below War Horse's $7.5 million debut last year, but the Christmas Day start surely inflated that figure. Considering the movie's wonky nature and light theater count this is unquestionably a strong start, and the movie could get as high as $20 million for the three-day frame.
Wreck-It Ralph dropped 44 percent to an estimated $4.43 million on Friday. Through 15 days the animated hit has earned $107.6 million, which is about $10 million ahead of similar movie Megamind through the same point.
In fifth place, Flight added an estimated $2.53 million, which is off 40 percent from last Friday. So far the Denzel Washington drama has grossed $55.3 million.
Two high-profile movies debuted on 16 screens yesterday, though neither really broke out by limited release standards. The heavily-hyped Silver Linings Playbook grossed an estimated $120,000 from 16 theaters, and will likely fall short of $500,000 for the weekend, while Anna Karenina wound up earning $81,200.
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• Forecast: 'Twilight' Finale Eyes Record Debut for Franchise
• 'Breaking Dawn' Bites Into Third-Highest Day Ever
• 'Eclipse' Breaks Wednesday Record But Falls Short of 'New Moon'
• 'New Moon' Shatters Opening Day Record
• 'Breaking Dawn' Gets Nov. 2011 Date
• Holiday 2012 Forecast
• Grosses for Friday, November 16, 2012
• All-Time Opening Days
• All-Time Single Days