“Twilight” Enchants the Box Office!

I know you’re all waiting with baited breath to read about this weekend’s box office earnings because they’re so drenched with suspense. Let me put you at ease: the Twilight sequel didn’t just break the dawn (ha, ha) but broke the box office, smashing its way to the top thanks to the open wallets of screaming teenage girls across the land. And yes, the grown women in the audience should get the recognition too for contributing to the unending saga of slow motion supernatural teen angst – I mean, come on: Robert Pattinson is so pale and brooding and miserable that he’s (cue the gasp) adorable!

But all snide joking aside, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 crushed every other release at the marquee with $139.5 million over the weekend. Surprisingly, it still wasn’t the best opening for the franchise, which still belongs to New Moon which had an opening haul of $142.8 million.

For the record, Summit Entertainment, the studio which produces the series, paid to track the audience demographics during the opening weekend and discovered that the movie’s audience was 80 percent female; 60 percent of those in attendance were over the age of 21. Methinks both numbers are low ballin’ it. And the cities where the movie performed strongest were Salt Lake City (yes, as in Utah) and New York City. And yes, in that order. What do Mormons and East Coast Elitists have in common? An abiding love for vampires, apparently.

The big disappointment this weekend was the sequel of Happy Feet which bowed with a semi-respectable $22 million when it was projected to open at $30 million. Perhaps the cuteness level of CGI animated penguins has been overestimated.

George Clooney had the banner weekend that has been eluding him of late with his bigger studio releases. The independent drama The Descendants from Fox Searchlight was open on just 29 screens but grossed an astounding $1.2 million for an average of $42,138 per screen. To put that in perspective, Breaking Dawn earned a considerably lower $34,351 per screen average.

The weekend’s top ten movies were as follows:

1. “The Twilight Saga’s Breaking Dawn Part I” – $139.5 million
2. “Happy Feet Two” – $22 million
3. “Immortals” – $12.2 million
4. “Jack and Jill” – $12 million
5. “Puss in Boots” – $10.7 million
6. “Tower Heist” – $7 million
7. “J. Edgar” – $5.9 million
8. “A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas” – $2.9 million
9. “In Time” – $1.6 million
10. “The Descendants” – $1.2 million