It's been awhile since a film debuted with over $100 million, but the wait is over as Summit Entertainment's "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn _ Part 1" opens very wide at 4,000 theaters to take a huge bite out of the domestic box office.
The PG-13 film gets a head-start on the weekend, opening just past midnight on Friday, and a massive Friday-through-Sunday gross in excess of $130 million is expected.
"New Moon," the first film in the "Twilight" franchise, opened on Friday, Nov. 20, 2009, and went on to earn $142.8 million in its first three days after posting a record single-day gross of $72.7 million. So far, "New Moon" and last summer's "Eclipse" have earned nearly $1.8 billion in global revenue.
Warner Bros.' PG-rated "Happy Feet Two" skates into 3,600-plus theaters this weekend, offering a perfect family alternative to the older-skewing vampire and werewolf tale. The original debuted at No. 1 on the same weekend in 2006 with $41.5 million, and the sequel should open with a gross of $30 million-plus.
Relativity Media's "Immortals 3-D" should conquer third place with receipts in the mid to high teens. In the wake of its surprisingly strong $32.2 million debut last weekend, the action-fantasy could earn about $60 million in North America by Sunday night.
After a second-place debut of $25 million last weekend, Adam Sandler's holiday-themed comedy "Jack and Jill" from Sony should end its sophomore session in the mid-teens for a total of about $40 million in its stocking so far.
Paramount/Dreamworks' "Puss in Boots" and Warner Bros.' "J. Edgar" will tangle for the fifth spot with potential grosses in the low teens.
Paul Dergarabedian is president of the Box Office Division of Hollywood.com and provides box office analysis for The Associated Press.