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Video: 'Breaking Dawn' wins Thanksgiving box office

updated 11/27/2011 1:04:43 PM ET 2011-11-27T18:04:43

The latest "Twilight" movie has plenty of daylight left with a second-straight win at the weekend box office.

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"The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1" took in $42 million domestically over the three-day weekend and $62.3 million in the five-day Thanksgiving boom time from Wednesday to Sunday. That raised its domestic total to $221.3 million, while the Summit Entertainment release added $71.5 million overseas to lift the international total to $268 million and the worldwide take to $489.3 million.

Debuting at No. 2 was Disney's family flick "The Muppets," with $29.5 million for the three-day weekend and $42 million over the five-day holiday haul.

Three other family films rounded out the top-five: the Warner Bros. sequel "Happy Feet Two" at No. 3 with a three-day total of $13.4 million and $18.4 million for five days; Sony's animated comedy "Arthur Christmas" at No. 4 with $12.7 million for three days and $17 million for five days; and Paramount's epic adventure "Hugo" at No. 5 with $11.4 million for three days and $15.4 million for five days.

Between "Breaking Dawn" and the blitz of family films, analysts thought Hollywood had a shot at record revenue over the Thanksgiving holiday, one of the year's busiest weekends at movie theaters. But viewers did not come in anywhere close to record numbers.

"I was pretty surprised by this. I just thought this was the perfect combination of films in the marketplace," said Paul Dergarabedian, analyst for box-office tracker Hollywood.com. "Maybe there was just too much out there."

Domestic revenue totaled $234 million from Wednesday to Sunday, well below the $273 million record set two years ago, when "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" led the Thanksgiving weekend, according to Hollywood.com. Receipts also fell short of last Thanksgiving's $264 million haul, when "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1" finished on top.

Studio executives concede it's growing harder to lure fans into theaters given all the portable games, devices and other electronics people have to fill up their entertainment time. A so-so Thanksgiving on a weekend with such a good variety of movies could be a sign that Hollywood simply has to live with diminished expectations.

"I don't know that choice is ever a bad thing, and in terms of a weekend for families, this is one of the best," said Dave Hollis, head of distribution for Disney, which brought "The Muppets" back to the big-screen after a 12-year absence. "The challenge is breaking through and being relevant and meaningful and fresh enough to take the more finicky customers and have them choose you."

Disney reported that "The Muppets" drew a good mix of families and couples without children who fondly remember Kermit, Miss Piggy and the rest of the gang on "The Muppet Show." The film stars Jason Segel and Amy Adams as fans helping to reunite the Muppets for a telethon to save their decaying studio.

"Breaking Dawn" was holding close to the pattern set by "New Moon" two years ago, though domestic revenues were off slightly. Factoring in higher ticket prices since "New Moon," the audience shrank even further for "Breaking Dawn."

"I think the audience has changed a bit. Everybody's grown a little older, and I guess we lose a few of our patrons to age," said Richie Fay, head of distribution for Summit.

With no big new releases coming next weekend, though, "Breaking Dawn" has a shot at making up some ground, Fay said.

"Happy Feet Two" has failed to live up to its Academy Award-winning predecessor, a blockbuster that took in nearly $200 million domestically. The sequel about dancing penguins has managed just $43.8 million since opening Nov. 18, a 10-day total that barely matches the opening-weekend gross of the 2006 original.

"Arthur Christmas," from the British animation unit Aardman that made "Chicken Run" and the "Wallace and Gromit" films, has long-haul potential because of its good reviews and holiday story line. The voice cast includes James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie and Jim Broadbent in a Christmas Eve romp about a child's present that falls through the cracks in Santa Claus' high-tech delivery operation.

"To have the one picture that really is kind of carrying the torch as a Christmas picture really bodes well for the future," said Rory Bruer, head of distribution for Sony.

Distributor Paramount has similar long-term hopes for Martin Scorsese's "Hugo," which also has great reviews. Based on a children's book, "Hugo" follows the adventures of an orphan boy who tends the clocks in a Paris train station and becomes caught up in unraveling a mystery that connects a surly old man (Ben Kingsley) and a mechanical automaton the youth is trying to repair.

Paramount scaled back "Hugo" from a full wide release over Thanksgiving, opening it in 1,277 theaters, about a third the number for most other top movies. The studio plans to roll the film out more gradually, spreading its marketing budget over the coming weeks to capitalize on the critical word of mouth and potential awards buzz leading up to the Jan. 24 Oscar nominations.

Critics have praised "Hugo" for Scorsese's dazzling use of 3-D. Unlike 3-D fatigue that set in for some other recent movies, whose 3-D business dipped below half of total revenues, "Hugo" audiences have been willing to pay an extra few dollars to see it in three dimensions. About 75 percent of the film's revenue came from 3-D screenings, according to Paramount.

Weekend box office

"People are reading the reviews that say, 'You've got to see it in 3-D,' and they're going out and voting with their dollars," said Don Harris, head of distribution at Paramount.

In narrower release, the Marilyn Monroe drama "My Week with Marilyn" opened solidly with a $1.8 million weekend and $2.1 million since opening Wednesday. The Weinstein Co. release stars Michelle Williams as Monroe during her tumultuous time filming Laurence Olivier's "The Prince and the Showgirl."

Playing in 244 theaters, "My Week with Marilyn" had a weekend average of $7,266 a cinema, compared with a $10,330 average in 4,066 locations for "Breaking Dawn."

Another Weinstein release, the black-and-white silent film "The Artist," had a big opening in limited release with a three-day haul of $210,414 in just four New York City and Los Angeles theaters. That gave the film an average of $52,604 a theater.

"The Artist" traces the fall of a silent-film star (Jean Dujardin) and the rise of a new screen sensation (Berenice Bejo) as talking pictures take over in the 1920s and '30s. The acclaimed film gradually expands to nationwide release during the buildup to the Oscar nominations.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Photos: 'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

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  1. Family affair

    In "Breaking Dawn Part 2," young Mackenzie Foy plays the half-human half-vampire child of Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson). Jacob (Taylor Lautner) also plays an important role in Renesmee's life. (Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Next generation

    Mackenzie Foy, 11, plays Renesmee Cullen, whose name is a hybrid of her two grandmothers, Renee and Esme. (Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Super couple

    While Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson's relationship progressed to marriage and a child onscreen, the actors' offscreen romance had a few bumps in the road. (Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Cullen clan

    Plenty of vampires, including Edward's adoptive father Carlisle (Peter Facinelli), take sides in the war between the Volturi and the Cullens in "Breaking Dawn Part 2." (Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Love gives a lift

    Pattinson as vampire Edward Cullen gives Bella Swan a lift in "Breaking Dawn, Part 1." (Andrew Cooper / Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Ready for a fight

    Taylor Lautner, as Jacob, gives a menacing glance as a blood-splattered Edward and his parents stand behind him in "Breaking Dawn Part 1." (Andrew Cooper / Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Like picking up a toothpick

    Kellan Lutz and Nikki Reed move some trees in "Breaking Dawn, Part 1." We assume they're making a clearing for Edward and Bella's wedding. Good thing vampires have that super-strength! (Andrew Cooper / Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. What lies ahead

    Smile while you can, Edward and Bella. Things are about to get crazy. (Andrew Cooper / Andrew Cooper) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Team Jacob

    In between his "Twilight" duties, Taylor Lautner found time to shoot the action movie "Abduction." (Andrew Cooper) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. If the shoe fits

    Ashley Greene as Alice convinces Bella to try on some possible wedding shoes in "Breaking Dawn Part 1." (Andrew Cooper) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Awaiting the bride

    Ashley Greene, Jackson Rathbone, Elizabeth Reaser and Peter Facinelli await the "Breaking Dawn" wedding. (Doane Gregory) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Wedding night at last

    Reportedly the wedding-night scene involves Edward biting through the pillows, with feathers flying. The sex scene itself, however, had to stay PG-13. (Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Hot honeymoon

    Edward and Bella's honeymoon was shot in Brazil, which stands in for Edward's adoptive mother's own private island. (Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Baby on the way

    Bella and Edward didn't believe she could become pregnant with a half-vampire baby. Boy, were they wrong. Their daughter Renesmee enters the world in "Breaking Dawn Part 1," but the battle over her existence will mostly take place in the second film, due out in 2012. (Andrew Cooper) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. I'm getting married in the morning

    Ashley Greene (Alice Cullen) and Nikki Reed (Rosalie Hale) help Bella get ready to walk down the aisle in "Breaking Dawn." (Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Greeting the guests

    Elizabeth Reaser, as Edward's adoptive mother, Esme, greets Denali coven guests Irina (Maggie Grace), Kate (Casey LaBow) and Tanya (MyAnna Buring) as they arrive for Edward and Bella's wedding in "Breaking Dawn." (Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Vegetarian vamps

    Mia Maestro and Christian Camargo play Carmen and Eleazar, vegetarian vampires from Alaska's Denali coven who come south to attend Bella and Edward's wedding. (Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Not going to RSVP, then?

    Jacob (Taylor Lautner) is furious when he receives the invitation to Bella and Edward's wedding. (Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Facing up to a star

    A fan gets up close and personal with an image of "Twilight" star Robert Pattinson during the 2010 Los Angeles Film Festival at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on June 24, 2010, in Los Angeles. (Frazer Harrison / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. The terrific threesome

    Taylor Lautner, Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson arrive at the premiere of the third movie in the series, "Eclipse," during the 2010 Los Angeles Film Festival at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on June 24, 2010, in Los Angeles. (Jason Merritt / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. A childhood pal grows up -- and fills out

    While vampire Edward Cullen is Bella's true love, Taylor Lautner, as Jacob Black, who can phase into a giant wolf, is the true monster star of the third film, thanks in no small part to Lautner's abs and tendency to take his shirt off often. (Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. Another vampire couple

    Alice Cullen (Ashley Greene) and Jasper Hale (Jackson Rathbone) are two of the vampires who are part of the Cullen coven. In "Eclipse," Jasper tells how he became a vampire, when, as a Confederate major in the Civil War, he was bitten by the bewitching Maria. (Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. Shirts? We don't need no stinkin' shirts!

    The "Twilight" wolfpack is allergic to chest coverings. (Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. Murdered by her fiance

    Rosalie Hale (Nikki Reed), shown here with partner Emmett Cullen (Kellan Lutz), is another of the Cullen coven with a tortured past. Her fiance was a drunk who orchestrated her gang rape and then left her for dead. As a vampire, she sought revenge and killed her rapists one by one. (Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. You only hurt the one you love

    Emily Young (Tinsel Korey) is permanently scarred from a wolf attack by her boyfriend, Sam Uley (Chaske Spencer). He lost control and didn't mean to hurt her, and forever feels guilty for her injuries. (Summit Entertainment.) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. A force to be reckoned with

    Vampire Riley (played by Xavier Samuel, center) leads a group of newly undead planning to kill Bella and anyone who gets in their way -- including the Cullens and the werewolves. (Doane Gregory) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. Bella in the middle

    In "Eclipse," Bella once again finds herself forced to choose between two men she loves dearly -- vampire Edward and her childhood pal, Jacob, who has secrets of his own. (Kimberley French / Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  28. The Cullen clan

    Is it an ad for denim? No, just a meeting of the Cullen clan, vampires who have bonded together as a family and managed to hide in plain sight of the mortal world. Shown in a scene from "Eclipse," from left, are Ashley Greene as Alice, Nikki Reed as Rosalie, Elizabeth Reaser as Esme, Jackson Rathbone as Jasper and Peter Facinelli as family patriarch Carlisle. (Kimberley French / Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  29. Just friends?

    Jacob grabs a rare moment alone with Bella in "Eclipse," the third film in the saga. There's one more book, "Breaking Dawn," which will be split into two films. (Kimberley French / Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  30. Cute couple

    In the second film, "New Moon," Bella and Edward are inseparable until a major threat rips them apart. (Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  31. Frail Bella

    In "New Moon," the sequel to "Twilight," Bella starts off deliriously happy and in love with the vampire Edward Cullen, but falls apart and becomes a shell of herself after he leaves her. When she realizes that she hears Edward's voice and sees visions of him whenever her life is in danger, Bella engages in high-risk activities as a way to hang on to her memories of him. () Back to slideshow navigation
  32. Three's company

    Edward watches on as Bella chats with her friend Jacob Black in "New Moon." Jake, who harbors a not-so-secret crush on Bella, brings her back to life after she is crushed from the breakup with Edward. (Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  33. A crushing blow

    After Edward breaks up with her, Bella lies in the forest in shock overnight until her police chief dad, Charlie (played by Billy Burke), scours the woods for her with his squad. When they find her, she is unresponsive and remains in a deep depression for months. () Back to slideshow navigation
  34. Boy no more

    In "New Moon," Jake transforms from a lanky teen to a beefy hunk, thanks to his new werewolf status. To prepare for the physical change the role required, Taylor Lautner started hitting the gym and eating 3,200 calories a day to gain muscle so that his physique would better resemble Jacob's. (Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  35. If you love them, let them go

    Though it nearly kills him, Edward breaks up with his beloved Bella in "New Moon" in an attempt to keep her safe from the constant dangers of the vampire world. (Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  36. Give me death

    When Edward hears that Bella has died, he goes to Italy to see the Volturi, a powerful coven of vampires that governs the laws of their world. He asks that the Volturi will grant him his wish: to destroy him, as he has no desire to live in a world without Bella. Here, the Volturi tracker Demetri stands over him. (Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  37. Team Edward!

    A female fan kisses a poster showing the face of actor Robert Pattinson before the presentation of his new film, "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" at an HVB youth event at the Olympic Hall in Munich, Germany, on Nov. 14. (Alexandra Beier / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  38. Playing heroine

    When Bella discovers that Edward plans to have the Volturi destroy him after coming to believe that she has died, she races to Italy to save him. (Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  39. Finding love in the 'Twilight'

    Though Edward finds Bella's scent intoxicating and dangerously irresistable, he can't help but be drawn to her in "Twilight." (Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  40. Hunk with a hidden life

    English actor Pattison moved from modeling to the role of Cedric Diggory in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" before taking on the role that would make him famous, that of hunky vampire Edward Cullen in "The Twilight Saga." (Summit Entertainment, EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  41. Muscling up but staying sweet

    Kellan Lutz plays Emmett Cullen in the "Twilight" movies. He's considered Edward's brother in the film and books, but in reality, the young vampires aren't related -- they were brought together by an older vampire and present themselves as a family to the outer world. Lutz bulked up for the films, but insists it hasn't interfered with his addiction to gummy bears, gummy worms, chocolate and other sweet treats. (Paul Buck / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  42. Leading the vampire clan

    Peter Facinelli (husband of "90210's" Jennie Garth) and Elizabeth Reaser play the Cullen parents, Carlisle and Esme, in the "Twilight" movies. Carlisle, a doctor, managed to gather his small band together as a family and convince them to kill only animals to slake their bloodlust. They occasionally clash with other vamps who aren't quite as compassionate where humans are concerned. (Summit Entertainment, Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  43. So my daughter's in love with a vampire ...

    Billy Burke plays Bella's father, Charlie, and serves as the chief of police in their small rainy town of Forks, Wash. The Cullen vampire clan resides in the damp town because it's low on the bright sunshine that would reveal their non-human identities. Vampires in the "Twilight" universe sparkle brightly in direct sunlight. (Paul Buck / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  44. Hanging with the wolf pack

    Bella's pal Jacob (far right) has a secret of his own, and it involves a wolfy transformation often associated with the full moon. His dad, Billy Black (Gil Birmingham, in wheelchair) is good friends with Bella's father, Charlie (Burke, in blue shirt). When Bella's relationship with Edward puts her father in danger, Billy and his community protect Charlie. (Summit Entertainment) Back to slideshow navigation
  45. Bella, Bella

    Beautiful Bella Swan leaves her mother in sunny Arizona and moves to the Pacific Northwest, where she stumbles upon Edward Cullen and his vampire clan. Instead of being horrified, she confesses her love for Edward, and wants him to change her into a vampire as well, something he tries to resist doing. (Summit Entertainment, Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  46. This sister's trouble

    Nikki Reed plays Cullen sister Rosalie, a gorgeous vampire who resents her status and takes some of her anger out on Bella. She doesn't want her brother's human girlfriend to join her clan, leading to trouble in the second book of the series, "New Moon." (Vince Bucci / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  47. Look out for Laurent

    Edi Gathegi, seen here with Peter Facinelli in a scene from "Twilight," plays Laurent, a vampire from a group of nomad vampires that does battle with the Cullen clan. (Summit Entertainment, Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  48. It's tough to be a bloodsucker

    Jackson Rathbone plays Cullen brother Jasper. The newest vampire in their clan, he must constantly struggle to fight off his urges to kill humans, Bella included. His fascinating backstory includes a history as a Confederate soldier in the Civil War and years spent training newborn vamps to learn to control themselves. He has the power to feel and manipulate the emotions of others. (Vince Bucci / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  49. On the prowl

    Vampire James, played by Cam Gigandet, is considered a "tracker," and once he discovers Bella's human scent, plans to pursue her until her death. In "Twilight," he convinces her that her mother is in danger and thus forces her to sneak away from Edward and meet him in the Arizona ballet studio where she studied as a child. (Summit Entertainment, Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  50. The hunt continues

    Fiery-haired Victoria makes up the third and final member of Laurent and James' coven. Her mate dominates the action in the first book, "Twilight," but by the third book, "Eclipse," Victoria takes center stage to try and wreak bloody revenge on Bella and the Cullens. Rachelle Lafevre, center, plays Victoria in the first two films, but when she needed time off for a movie, she was fired and replaced by actor Ron Howard's daughter, Bryce Dallas Howard, right. (AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  51. Team Jacob or Team Edward?

    While Jacob Black is a Native American in the books and the films, actor Taylor Lautner himself is not. He was nearly replaced for the second film when moviemakers thought he couldn't convincingly pull off the bulk required for the role, but an impressive workout routine changed that. (Summit Entertainment, Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  52. Life with the vampire royals

    Young actress Dakota Fanning plays Jane in the "Twilight" sequel "New Moon." Jane is a member of the Volturi guard, working with the royal family of vampires who reside in Italy. Jane has an especially cruel power that allows her to create the illusion of pain and thus torture others. (Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images for NAACP) Back to slideshow navigation
  53. Waiting for 'Twilight'

    "Twilight" fans are among some of the most devoted around, with numerous Web sites, fan clubs and conventions gathering groupies to discuss and debate both the books and the films. Here fans reach for free T-shirts at the Los Angeles premiere of the first movie, in November 2008. Stores such as Hot Topic offer plenty of "Twilight" merchandise, including "TEAM EDWARD" and "TEAM JACOB" shirts, allowing fans to declare their allegiance to one of Bella's suitors. (Matt Sayles / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
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    Above: Slideshow (53) ‘Twilight’ stars light up Hollywood
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    Slideshow (41) Robert Pattinson
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    Slideshow (45) Kristen Stewart

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