The bloody good opening falls short of the $43.5 million benchmark set by “Harry Potter”
Twi-hards turned out in force late Thursday night, propelling "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1" to a $30.2 million midnight opening.
The first installment in the mega-grossing franchise's two-part finale screened in 3,521 theaters.
It's a bloody good number for the vampire romance, but it falls short of the record set last summer by "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2." The boy wizard sequel banked $43.5 million during midnight showings in 3,800 locations.
However, "Breaking Dawn — Part 1" was screening in fewer theaters and did not have the benefit of a higher 3D surcharge.
It is a franchise-best mark for late-night screenings, which was previously held by 2010's "Eclipse" with $30.1 million.
Estimates for "Breaking Dawn — Part 1" range from $125 to $140 million for the weekend. The movie expands to 4,061 theaters across North America on Friday.
Filmed for $110 million after rebates, the sequel, which boasts a demon spawn and a sexy wedding night scene, also opens in 50 foreign markets.
Summit splits the box-office profits in those territories with foreign distributors.