Question: Why Is Breaking Dawn the Tallest and Smallest Twilight Movie?

Because it's scored a franchise-best third No. 1 win at the weekend box office, and blown past $500 million worldwide, but it's still off the pace of its predecessors (picky, picky...)

By Joal Ryan Dec 04, 2011 7:21 PMTags
Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Breaking Dawn Part 1Andrew Cooper, Summit Entertainment

Among the Twilight sequels, Breaking Dawn Part 1 now stands alone at the box office.

It's got longest legs—and the shortest pile of money.

After three weekends in theaters, Breaking Dawn has made about $248 million domestically, putting it about $20 million off the pace of both New Moon and Eclipse.

At the same time, the runt of the litter has made Twilight history by becoming the first film in the franchise to score three straight No. 1 finishes in the weekend standings.

Breaking Dawn is now tied with the The Help for most wins on the year.

Overall, the sequel has blown past the $500 million mark worldwide, and stands in fourth place among 2011's domestic champs.

Elsewhere, there wasn't much elsewhere in a week devoid of major new releases. Box-office returns looked like Black Friday promotions, with nearly everything off by half.

The Muppets had it worst than most. The film plunged more than 60 percent from last weekend, acting more like a teen horror movie than a reslient family film. Overall, it's at an OK $60 million worldwide.

Awards-season junkies gave lifts to George Clooney's The Descedants, which moved up two spots, to seventh place, and The Artist, which averaged about $34,000 at each of its six theaters. 

Here's a complete look at the weekend's top movies, as compiled from the studios' Friday-Sunday domestic estimates and Exhibitor Relations:

  1. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn: Part 1, $16.9 million
  2. The Muppets, $11.2 million
  3. Hugo, $7.6 million
  4. Arthur Christmas, $7.4 million
  5. Happy Feet Two, $6 million
  6. Jack and Jill, $5.5 million
  7. The Descendants, $5.2 million
  8. Immortals, $4.4 million
  9. Tower Heist, $4.1 million
  10. Puss in Boots, $3.1 million