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