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    Box Office: Breaking Dawn Part 2 Breaks Out $30.4 Million Start; Harry Potter Midnight Record Stands

    Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Breaking Dawn Part 2 Doane Gregory/Summit Entertainment

    Breaking Dawn Part 2 grossed an estimated $30.4 million from both Thursday night and midnight Friday shows, Summit Entertainment reported this morning.

    As was expected, it's a big start, and a fast start for the final Twilight.

    It doesn't look, however, as if it was a record start.

    Breaking Dawn puts the midnight movie to the test

    Last year, Breaking Dawn Part 1 grossed a franchise-best $30.3 million strictly from 12:01 a.m. screenings.

    And still alone at the top: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, which maintains its mark as the all-time midnight opener, with a $43.5 million take.

    There is much good news, however, from the new Twilight movie's performance.

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    For one thing, Breaking Dawn Part 2 roughly appears to be on the same footing with its predecessors, all of which were midnight monsters.

    "I honestly contend that if they didn't have early Thursday screenings, Twi-hards would have just waited until after midnight anyway," Exhibitor Relations box-office analyst Jeff Bock said in an email.

    For another, the debut indicates fans will still turn out in big numbers for late-night shows, with Breaking Dawn Part 2's performance surely Hollywood's biggest since a shooting rampage at a Dark Knight Rises opening-day midnight show in July.

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    Bock was sticking to his call for a Friday-Sunday, opening weekend "bloodletting" of $150 million.

    Hollywood.com box-office guru Paul Dergarabedian also thought a franchise-best start was in reach.

    "The midnights are a nice indicators," Dergarabedian said.  "But at the end of the day what matters is the opening weekend."

    Here's a rundown of the top 10 all-time midnight-only debuts, as compiled per Hollywood.com stats. (No Breaking Dawn Part 2 in here—not yet, and not until its midnight numbers are reported separately):

    1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, $43.5 million
    2. The Dark Knight Rises, $30.6 million
    3. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1, $30.3 million
    4. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, $30 million
    5. The Twilight Saga: New Moon, $26.3 million
    6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, $24 million
    7. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, $22.2 million
    8. The Hunger Games, $19.7 million
    9. The Avengers, $18.7 million
    10. The Dark Knight, $18.5 million

    (Originally published Nov. 16, 2012, at 9:33 a.m. PT)

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