By Barbara Chai
The final installment in the “Twilight” series, “Breaking Dawn Part 2,” took in $30.4 million in Thursday night and midnight showings in North America.
Midnight grosses for “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2″ came in higher than those for the previous “Twilight” films, but were still lower than midnight grosses for “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2,” which totaled $43.5 million in July 2011, and “The Dark Knight Rises,” which totaled $30.64 million in July 2012.
The next highest midnight grosses were all “Twilight” films: “Breaking Dawn Part 1″ totaled $30.25 million in November 2011; “Eclipse” totaled $30 million in June 2010; and “New Moon” totaled $26.27 million in November 2009.
“This is arguably the best film of the franchise: It’s over-the-top, campy, hugely entertaining and boasts a big battle sequence that will keep the boys in the audience happy,” said Paul Dergarabedian, president of the box-office division of Hollywood.com.
The movie has so far drawn a mixed response from critics, with a 52% rating on the Rotten Tomatoes movie aggregation site.
Dergarabedian said the finale “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2″ had the biggest debut of that franchise, calling it an “event film” that also ended the “Harry Potter” era.
“This final Twilight installment should benefit from the same distinction and as such I am still confident that it can still post the biggest weekend debut for the franchise eclipsing the $142.8 million that ‘New Moon’ earned in its first weekend back in 2009,” he said.