‘Breaking Dawn – Part 2' Banks $30.4M in Midnight Grosses

"Twilight" finale falls short of a record, but still delivers a smashing debut

"The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2" sank its teeth into an estimated $30.4 million from Thursday night and midnight showings. If those numbers hold, it will be a franchise-best bow for the vampire romance series.

The "Twilight" finale unspooled on roughly 3,000 screens in the wee hours of the night, with showings kicking off at 10 p.m.

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It's a monstrously good debut but not a record-breaker. The total is short of the record held by "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2," which earned a staggering $43.5 million in midnight shows on about 3,800 screens last year, on its way to a $169.2 million opening weekend. It also could not match the $30.6 million that  "The Dark Knight Rises" racked up in 3,825 locations during its late night showings last summer.

It did, however, best the $30.2 million earned by midnight showings of "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1" last November on 3,251 screens. The vampire romance sequel made $138.1 million in its debut weekend.

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The final film in the "Twilight" series centers on Bella (Kristen Stewart) grappling with her newfound vampire powers and new baby. Robert Pattinson returns as the brooding vampire Edward, while Taylor Lautner and his abs are back as the werewolf Jacob.

The film is expected to dominate the global box office. Summit Entertainment, the studio behind the franchise, will roll out the finale in more than 11,900 theaters in 61 foreign markets at the same time it opens in 4,070 locations in North America. It is projected to gross $145 million domestically during its first weekend of release.