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Mon 21 Nov 2011 04:26 PM

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New ‘Twilight’ film takes $283.5m global bite

Vampire series knocks out the box office competition on its opening weekend

New ‘Twilight’ film takes $283.5m global bite
Robert Pattinson plays the vampire lead in the Twilight movies

The new ‘Twilight’ vampire movie opened with a massive
$283.5 in worldwide ticket sales over the weekend as passionate fans filled
theaters for the beginning of a two-part finale for the hugely popular
supernatural love story.

‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn: Part 1’ captured an
estimated $139.5m in the United States and Canada, distributor Summit
Entertainment said.

That ranked as the fifth biggest domestic opening of all
time.

The movie's performance beat studio forecasts for the film,
which shows young lovestruck human Bella wedding vampire Edward and becoming
pregnant. Summit had predicted as much as $125m domestically while other
box-office analysts had estimated $140m.

Internationally, ‘Breaking Dawn’ added $144m in 54 countries
over the weekend.

The movie cost about $110m to make.

The domestic opening ranked as the year's second-highest,
behind only the "Harry Potter" finale over the summer. ‘Harry Potter
and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2’ pulled in a record $169m during its debut
weekend in July.

But ‘Breaking Dawn,’ the fourth movie in the series, failed
to top the previous domestic opening-weekend record for a ‘Twilight’ film. ‘New
Moon’ debuted to $142.8m in 2009.

Eighty percent of the film's audience was female, the core
fan base for the story based on novels from Stephanie Meyer. Diehard fans of
the books have embraced the screen adaptations including the latest movie, said
Richie Fay, Summit's president of domestic distribution.

"We delivered to the audience ... exactly what they
wanted to see," Fay said. He said the movie's success "bodes well for
Breaking Dawn - Part 2," which hits theaters in 2012.

‘Breaking Dawn’ brought in an average of $34,351 at more
than 4,000 screens in North America (from midnight showings early on Friday
through Sunday.

The "Twilight" series is one of Hollywood's most
lucrative franchises. To date, the franchise has rung up more than $2bn from
box offices worldwide, according to Hollywood.com Box Office.

The series stars Kristen Stewart as human Bella Swan and
Robert Pattinson as her blood-sucking vampire love, Edward Cullen. Taylor
Lautner plays Jacob Black, a werewolf who competes for Bella's affection.

Critics generally disliked ‘Breaking Dawn,’ with just 27
percent giving a favoruable review on aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes.
Audiences were far more upbeat, scoring the movie a B+ on average, according to
survey firm CinemaScore. Females gave the movie an A-.

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