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The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 grosses $138.12M in opening weekend; 5th all-time

Update: Article updated with final box office data.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 exceeded expectations to gross $71.64M Friday — the third-highest opening day ever behind “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 ($91.1M / with a record $43.6M from midnights) and “The Twilight Saga: New Moon ($72.7M).

Midnights accounted for $30.25M of Friday’s grosses, a new franchise-best (easily surpassing ‘New Moon’s’ $26.3M midnight figure). Although ‘New Moon’ remains franchise leader for biggest single day, ‘Breaking Dawn Part 1′ is 2nd all-time for the franchise [via BOM]:

1 The Twilight Saga: New Moon 11/20/2009 $72,703,754
2 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 11/18/2011 $71,642,526
3 The Twilight Saga: Eclipse 6/30/2010 $68,533,840
4 Twilight 11/21/2008 $35,978,348

‘Breaking Dawn Part 1′ added $40.03M on Saturday (-44%) and $26.45M on Sunday (-34%) for a 3-day opening weekend of $138.12M. That puts the film fifth place on the all-time opening weekend chart [BOM]:

1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 7/15/2011 $169,189,427
2 The Dark Knight 7/18/2008 $158,411,483
3 Spider-Man 3 5/4/2007 $151,116,516
4 The Twilight Saga: New Moon 11/21/2008 $142,839,137
5 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1
11/18/2011 $138,122,261

Foreign grosses have tallied an even stronger $144.0M for a worldwide total of $282.12M.

Rounding out the top five for the weekend were The 3D Happy Feet Two debuting in second place with $21.24M from 3,606 theaters; Immortals dropping to third place with $12.35M from 3,120 theaters ($53.08M 10-day total); Jack and Jill dropping to fourth place with $11.74M from 3,438 ($40.77M 10-day total) and Puss in Boots in fifth place with $10.80M from 3,415 theaters  ($122.39M 24-day total).

Fox Searchlight’s The Descendants opened in limited release in just 29 theaters but grossed a very respectable $1.29M for a box office best per theater average of $41,038 (better than ‘Breaking Dawn’s’ $34,012).

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