“Twilight: Breaking Dawn” Rakes in $72 Million on Opening Day

Early studio estimates have landed “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn” in the top three of the best opening-day gross of all time, but the first part of the two-film finale of the vampire movie franchise might fall short of the debut set by “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” two years ago.

“Breaking Dawn” earned an estimated $72 million when it opened on Friday, putting it on track for a $140-million domestic box-office weekend. It, however, failed to set the best debut for the franchise as it fell short of “New Moon’s” $72.7 million opening-day gross. “Breaking Dawn’s” performance puts it in third place for the best opening ever, just below “New Moon” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2,” which earned $91.1 million on its opening day earlier this year.

Languishing in the shadow of “Breaking Dawn” was the animated film “Happy Feet Two,” the sequel to the 2006 hit. The penguin movie earned an estimated $5.9 million on Friday for a projected $22-million weekend.