Vamp saga finale trails 'New Moon' domestically with $141 mil

Put a stake in it: Summit’s “Twilight” finale, “Breaking Dawn — Part 2,” scored a franchise-best worldwide bow this weekend, scoring a massive $340.9 million, including $141.3 million Stateside in three days.

The boffo Stateside opening for “Part 2″ — the eighth-largest bow of all time — missed the franchise’s previous opening record of $142.8 million set by 2009′s “New Moon” but still topped the “Breaking Dawn — Part 1″ domestic debut of $138.1 million.

With help from a sturdy holdover perf by “Skyfall,” at $41.5 million, as well as a better-than-expected expansion for Disney-DreamWorks’ “Lincoln” ($21 million), weekend totals of approximately $242 million marked the second-best overall frame this year, behind “The Avengers” opening weekend May 4-6.

Pre-weekend tracking had “Part 2″ pegged at a potential $150 million opening. And while those projections proved to be a tad bullish, the pic still beat the lowered $135 million estimates released late Friday.

“Part 2″ pushed Summit parent company Lionsgate past the $1 billion domestic threshold for the first time in the company’s history.

Last year, “Breaking Dawn — Part 1″ debuted at $283.5 million globally, just ahead of “New Moon,” which grossed $274.8 million during its first worldwide sesh. The franchise’s third offering, “Eclipse,” bowed mid-week during summer 2010, earning $157.6 million domestically in its first five days, with a global debut of $261.6 million.

Prospects look promising for “Part 2,” especially since the film received an A CinemaScore — the same as 2010′s “Eclipse,” which drew the franchise’s biggest Stateside cume to date of $300.5 million.

Meanwhile, the finale’s 61 debut overseas territories collectively performed 40% ahead of the previous “Twilight.” The U.K. contributed the most with an estimated $24.4 million, followed by Russia, with $20.3 million. The pic’s debut perf in Spain, at $11.8 million, became the country’s biggest three-day opening ever locally.

“Skyfall” continued to hold well internationally, dropping 44% in its fourth overseas frame for a weekend take of $49.6 million. International cume is $507.9 million, with $669.2 million globally — the best worldwide cume for a Bond film (even adjusted for inflation).

‘Breaking’ boundaries

While “Part 2″ still played overwhelmingly to females, at 79%, the film scored one of the franchise’s highest male turnouts at 21%. “Breaking Dawn — Part 1″ and “New Moon” both earned 20% of opening weekend B.O. from men. The summer bow likely helped even out attendance for “Eclipse,” which played 65% female during its opening weekend.

Also noteworthy, “Part 2″ earned the highest number of definite recommends and excellent ratings among men of any “Twilight” film.

Summit distribution topper Richie Fay said Hispanic interest also grew with this film. “They seemed to react to the marketing more so than in the past,” he added. Pic’s overall age breakdown also was evenly split.

Fay said the film played broadly across the country, with top perfs in the typical coastal markets. Salt Lake City also contributed one of the best grosses as usual.

Pic’s debut box office was boosted by a franchise-best $30.4 million midnight and latenight gross Thursday. Summit preceded the latenight finale with a four-movie “Twilight” marathon, partnering with most North American exhibitors before expanding the pic Friday to 4,070 total locations.

“Lincoln,” meanwhile, managed to maintain its demographic spread — and an impressive A CinemaScore — from last weekend, even with a wide expansion to 1,775 locations. Pic skewed 67% over 35, with men accounting for 53% of the weekend gross.

“With an older audience, we plan to have a solid Sunday and flow right into this great holiday period,” said Disney distribution exec Dave Hollis, who added that “Lincoln” expands Wednesday to more than 2,000 locations.

The limited 53% soph-sesh drop for “Skyfall” is attributed in part to Imax screens, which contributed another $6 million, down just 45% from last weekend. “Skyfall” lost virtually all of the pic’s other premium large-format screens this weekend domestically.

Scant ‘Rise’ in China

This weekend Paramount launched its final DreamWorks Animation film, “Rise of the Guardians,” in China, where it grossed an estimated $3.1 million in three days from 7,500 locations. The toon, for which China Film set the local release date, earned a paltry $413 per-screen average.

The latest DWA toon, “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted,” opened this summer with $10.4 million in China, where it averaged $1,891 from 5,500 theaters. “Rise” bows Wednesday domestically.

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