‘Twilight’ shines with $71.2 mil; pic on track for $135 mil opening weekend

Vamp installment has sixth highest opening day in history but lags behind franchise predecessors

Summit’s “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2” may have already broken the only record it’s going to break this frame: 43%, or a franchise best $30.4 million, of Friday’s $71.2 million gross came from late Thursday night showings, which marks a strong start to the series’ conclusion, but not quite as boffo a bow as some of its predecessors.

“Part 2’s” Friday haul is the sixth highest opening day in history behind fellow “Twilight” entries “Breaking Dawn — Part 1” ($71.6 million) and “New Moon” ($72.7 million). Likewise, its three day take is likely to land just behind “Part 1” around $135 million, which would make it the ninth or tenth highest domestic opening on record.

The bar for franchise finishers was set very high with Warner Bros.’ “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” which currently holds the Thursday late night record of $43.5 million. “Part 2” won’t reach “Deathly Hallows'” heights, but stronger-than-usual critical reception may give the “Twilight” finale a healthy word of mouth boost.

“Part 2” opened Wednesday in six overseas markets that have brought its global cume to an estimated $162.2 million to date.

Expanding to wide release in its second weekend, Disney and DreamWorks’ “Lincoln” earned $6.4 million Friday, putting the biopic in third behind Sony’s “Skyfall,” which took in another $12.4 million Friday for a cume of $132.2 million in 10 days.

Two slimmer releases, Weinstein Co.’s “Silver Linings Playbook” and Focus Features’ “Anna Karenina,” each opened at 16 locations nationwide to modest Friday per screen averages of $7,500 and $5,500, respectively. Though neither is looking at a spectacular bow, even by limited release standards, the kudo hopefuls should have longer legs and see respectable midweek business as the market for adult fare strengthens going into awards season.

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