Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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November 19, 2012

'Twilight' finale dawns with $141.3M weekend

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The sun has set on the "Twilight" franchise with one last blockbuster opening for the supernatural romance.

"The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2" sucked up $141.3 million domestically over opening weekend and $199.6 million more overseas for a worldwide debut of $340.9 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.

The finale ranks eighth on the list of all-time domestic debuts, and leaves "Twilight" with three of the top-10 openings, joining 2009's "New Moon" (No. 7 with $142.8 million) and last year's "Breaking Dawn — Part 1" (No. 9 with $138.1 million).

Last May's "The Avengers" is No. 1 with $207.4 million. "Batman" is the only other franchise with more than one top-10 opening: last July's "The Dark Knight Rises" (No. 3 with $160.9 million) and 2008's "The Dark Knight" (No. 4 with $158.4 million).

Though "Twilight" still is a female-driven franchise, with girls and women making up 79 percent of the opening-weekend audience, the finale drew the biggest male crowds in the series. Action-minded guys had more to root for in the finale as Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner join in a colossal battle to end the story of warring vampires and werewolves.

"Our male audience particularly has enjoyed this film," said Richie Fay, head of distribution for Lionsgate, whose Summit Entertainment banner releases the "Twilight" movies. "With the action scenes in this one, we're hoping the holdover business will reflect the fact that males have kind of found it out."

The movie also helped lift Lionsgate into the big leagues among Hollywood studios. Paced by its $400 million smash with "The Hunger Games" and now the "Twilight" finale, Lionsgate surpassed $1 billion at the domestic box office for the first time.

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