Early B.O.: ‘Breaking Dawn’ flying right along

Wednesday afternoon B.O. returns tracking in line with expectations

Summit’s holdover “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1” is on track to handily win the five-day domestic holiday weekend, as very early box office estimates from Wednesday afternoon were tracking in line with expectations.

Emphasizing the difficulty of predicting a five-day frame based on such early results, B.O. watchers estimate that the vampire pic will generate about $13 million in Wednesday grosses, followed by a weekend take in the high $50 million to low $60 million range through Sunday.

In 2009, “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” launched during the same play period and earned $14 million the day before Thanksgiving, with a five-day second week total of $66 million. That’s a fair comparison for “Breaking Dawn,” but a more competitive frame this year and a more sluggish market could mean a slightly diminished result.

Disney’s “The Muppets” will likely follow with grosses in the mid-$40 million range for the Thanksgiving break, also in line with tracking.

Paramount’s “Hugo” is looking to earn $10 million to $12 million for the week, putting it in a similar range with DreamWorks Animation’s “Puss in Boots,” which might perform a hair more modestly.

B.O. observers estimate that Warner Bros.’ “Happy Feet Two” will earn around $3.5 million Wednesday and $19 million to $21 million for the five-day break — similar numbers to projections for Sony’s “Arthur Christmas.”