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Sunday, November 23, 2008

'Twilight' dazzles with $70.6m bow, November 21-23, 2008

Update: Box Office Spotlight: Twilight ($186m domestic, $325m worldwide)

Teen vampire love trumped all others in the weekend before Thanksgiving, with Summit Entertainment's hotly-anticipated Twilight pulling in a stunning $70.6 million in its debut weekend, accounting for nearly half of all ticket sales in the marketplace. Sony/MGM's Quantum of Solace finished in second with $27.4 million, edging out Disney's computer-animated family film Bolt, which disappointed mildly in third with $27 million.

Summit Entertainment struck gold with its first bonafide blockbuster in studio history, as the $37 million budgeted book-adaptation Twilight put up the fourth biggest weekend in November history at $70.6 million. Averaging a hefty $20,636 in 3,419 theaters, the PG-13 pic based on Stephanie Meyer's hugely popular quadrilogy of books trails only Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire's $102.7m, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone's $90.2m, and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets's $88.3m for November bows.

Rocketing to a monstrous $35.9 million on Friday, including $7 million in Thursday midnight sales showing the voracity of the books' young female fan base, Twilight posted the second biggest opening day total for a November release, surpassed only by 2005's Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire with $40.1 million. Saturday sales fell an understandable 41%, due to the huge opening day take and rather concentrated audience makeup. The studio reported that a remarkable 75% of Twilight moviegoers were female.

With the busy Thanksgiving weekend approaching look for Twilight to possibly cruise past $100 million in its first ten days of release, given the extended weekend and many more teens out of school. Not surprisingly, Summit has already announced that the second book of the series, New Moon, is set for production soon.

Falling 59% and relinquishing its top spot was Sony/MGM's latest Bond pic Quantum of Solace, which took in $27.4 million in second. Edging out newcomer Bolt by less than $500,000, the Daniel Craig starrer has amassed $109.5 million in ten days. Internationally, the $200 million budgeted spy-actioner continues to rake in the cash, bringing in $40.6 million bringing its overseas cume to $308.5 million.

Disney's big budget holiday animated offering Bolt disappointed in third with an estimated $27 million, averaging a still solid $7,395 in 3,651 theaters. The PG-rated family film was clearly damaged by the overwhelming debut of Twilight, which no doubt took much of its intended teen audience this weekend. Despite carrying the strongest reviews for a non-Pixar Disney animated pic in years, Bolt's debut paled in comparison to DreamWorks Animation's Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, which debuted earlier this month to $63.1 million. The opening was similar to 2007's Meet the Robinsons, which bowed with $25.1 million. After seeing a 66% spike in ticket sales from Friday to Saturday (a combination of good word of mouth and the heavily skewed numbers for Twilight on Friday), expect good Thanksgiving numbers for the Disney toon.

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