Twilight Bites Record $71 million at Box Office

By Keith Williams
Rob Pattinson newest surprise superstar


HOLLYWOOD, CA (RushPRnews)11/24/08
— Sinking its fangs into 3419 blood banks, the new Vampire pic Twilight withdrew an estimated $70.5 million from teenage jugulars over the same weekend in which Bolt (3-D in selected opticians) barked up a decent if disappointing $27 million in 3651 kennels and Mr Bond extorted $27.4 million from rapidly diminishing quantums.

Hollywood Today reported that after a record-breaking opening on Friday of $35.7 million (including midnight shows) – the 2nd biggest debut of the year after The Dark Knight – the first film based on the series of books by Stephenie Meyer featuring teenage angst with fangs (fangst?) gave Summit their biggest success as a distributor yet.

Get your Limited Edition Twilight gift card!More the well-guarded domain of teenagers than adults, Twilight succeeded in large part thanks to the promotion it received on websites like Hollywood Today long before Summit even realised just exactly what it had. Fan hysteria prior to its release reminded us oldies of the fabled days of The Beatles, where in this case sobbing pubescent eyes were directed at the film’s star, Robert Pattison, previously a veteran of two Harry Potter movies and not very much else. Its female star, Kristen Stewart, with a resume going back much further (remember the child role in Panic Room?) and who was last seen in Jumper, could now find herself glued to as many walls as Robert’s posters. Work has already started on the sequel, and it will be interesting to see if Summit survives the pitfalls of previous companies with a massive hit on their dossier only to go down the plughole with ill-considered other releases (remember Vestron and Dirty Dancing?)

After the success of Chihuahuas, Chipmunks and Pandas at the box-office, one would have thought Bolt (3-D) with its lovable if reality-deluded hound was a shoo-in for Disney, especially with the input of Pixar, and the widest 3-D release yet, but the competition proved too tough from teen vampires and Madagascar’s troupe of jungle animals. Reviews weren’t exactly ecstatic, the 3-D not as big a lure as anticipated, and on any other bloodless or non-animated weekend might have done much better. Maybe it will trot along quietly and grow, but with all the festive competition on the rapidly growing closer horizon, better see it now with those glasses before it’s gone!

In its second week, Quantum of Solace appears to be the victim of negative word-of-mouth, falling 70% on Friday and 59.4 % overall for the weekend. Despite a comeback of sorts on Saturday, this latest 007 entry appears to be proving less popular than its predecessor even if its grosses are the best yet. No 1 Movie in the World is a pretty grand statement, but ultimately an empty one given the film opened just about everywhere (other than the US) at the same time when there was little else around to challenge it.

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa also suffered from going head-to-head with Twilight and Bolt, falling 54.3% for a haul of $16 million on the largest number of screens. At least it got a week’s start on the lattar, but still, what do you expect when two animated features go after the same demo audience? Role Models at no 5 in the charts fell a respectable 35% to take $7.2 million, Changeling continued to chug along with $2.4 million on a 37.9% drop, High School Musical 3 fell the furthest, warbling up $2 million on a 64.5% plunge (stuck outside the doors of the $100 million club by $14 million), leaving Zack and Miri still making that porno despite a 46% droop and $1.7 million.

Surprise entry of the week would be Miramax’s The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas at no 9, taking $1.6 million whilst showing on only 406 screens. Hardly cheery entertainment for the turkey and chipolata festivities in a few days, but a remarkable achievement nonetheless. Bees in the meantime buzzed nervously at no 10, their secret about to leave the charts with $1.3 million on a 45.5% decline.

Weekend Estimates courtesy boxofficemojo.com

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