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.

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. 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 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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