Tuesday, November 22, 2011

‘Breaking Dawn’ fills seats at theaters

North Olympic Peninsula theaters were packed with fans of the “Twilight” saga this weekend, contributing to “Breaking Dawn — Part 1” having the fifth-best opening weekend in movie history.

Showings on two screens at Deer Park Cinema in Port Angeles didn’t sell out but did very well, said Tom Watson, theater manager, Monday.

In Port Townsend, The Rose Theatre sold out three showings Friday, nearly sold out three showings Saturday and was “very, very busy” Sunday, said Rocky Friedman, theater owner.

Deer Park Cinema had six showings each day, Friday through Sunday, in addition to two just-after-midnight premiere screenings early Friday morning.

Many of the moviegoers were from out-of-town, traveling from Seattle and other areas so they could see the film in the same town the film’s protagonist, Bella Swan, would have, Watson said.

Twilight author Stephenie Meyer’s four-novel tale of vampires, werewolves and teen love are set in such Peninsula locations as Forks High School, LaPush’s First Beach and Bella Italia in Port Angeles.

It’s not also uncommon for people to travel to Port Angeles simply to get a seat at a big blockbuster premiere after it has sold out in big city theaters, Watson said.

Not only did “Breaking Dawn” do well, but it drew family members of “Twilight” fans to the multiplex theater who might not have wanted to see the “Twilight” movie, and so drove up attendance up at other films, he said.

Friedman said that “Breaking Dawn — Part 1” was only the second film from the Twilight Saga shown in the Port Townsend theater.

Friedman said he was unsure if his theater would have the final episode, “Breaking Dawn — Part 2” in November 2012. It depends on the distributor, who may choose one theater over another for various films, he said.

Small, two-screen movie houses like The Rose Theatre may miss certain films, he added.

“Breaking Dawn,” the fourth movie in “The Twilight Saga,” had a huge opening weekend —
$138.1 million in the U.S. and a worldwide launch of $283.5 million, according to The Associated Press.

The U.S. total gives “Breaking Dawn” the second-best opening weekend for the franchise, after the $142.8 million launch for 2009’s “New Moon.”

“Breaking Dawn” did more than half of its business, $72 million, on opening day Friday.

The movie’s debut weekend was the fifth-best weekend ever, behind “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2,” “The Dark Knight,” “Spider-Man 3” and “New Moon.”

While the “Twilight” series is set on the North Olympic Peninsula, none of the movies was filmed at the locations it depicts.

Most scenes were filmed in Oregon and Canada, with a few southern Washington locations.


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