Box Office: ‘Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Pt. 1’ enjoys stunning one-day debut of $72 million

Anyone thinking the “Twilight” franchise has run out of steam should thinking again after Friday’s results at the box office.  “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Pt. 1” debuted to $72 million including $30.3 million in midnight grosses ranking as the third largest single day opening of all time, with “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt. 2’s” staying at the top after pulling in $91 million in July.  That puts “Breaking Dawn” just shy of “New Moon’s” opening, a record at the time, of $72.7 million two years ago. Whether “Breaking Dawn, Pt. 1” can match “New Moon’s” three-day take of $142 million remains to be seen. The current estimate for “Breaking Dawn” is a conservative $135 million.  The last installment, “Eclipse,” grossed a total of $300.5 million in the summer of 2010.

Debuting in second place was “Happy Feet Two.” George Miller’s sequel to his Oscar winning animated musical comedy didn’t find love with critics and audiences have been slow to return. The original “Happy Feet” debuted to $41 million in 2005 without the benefit of higher 3D ticket prices.  Six years later, the sequel found just $6 million on Friday for what could be a $22-24 million weekend.  The dancing and singing penguin flick will no doubt be hoping for a robust Thanksgiving frame to turn things around, but it will have to deal with “The Muppets,” “Hugo” and, to a lesser extent, “Arthur Christmas.” 

Taking a big fall in the third slot was Relativity’s “Immortals.”  The 3-D period epic grossed only $3.8 million on Friday for what should be a $12-13 million three-day.  With just $44.5 million in its first eight days, the Tarsem Singh fantasy isn’t turning out to be the blockbuster Relativity was expecting it to be.

Adam Sandler’s “Jack and Jill” also took a hit Friday with another $3.5 million and $32.5 million in a little over a week. This is one Sandler comedy that won’t be able to overcome bad reviews and word of mouth to hit his typical $100 million gross.

Still purring with moviegoers in fifth was DreamWorks Animation’s “Puss in Boots.” The critically acclaimed adventure found another $3.4 million Friday for a stellar plus $115 million to date.

Look for final weekend estimates tomorrow on HitFix.