The news was trumpeted by Lionsgate, which just acquired Summit Entertainment, a once-struggling studio that went through a startling reversal of fortunes after a small indie film became a worldwide phenomenon.
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The magic has continued through four films and shows no signs of abating for the final installment, “Breaking Dawn, Part 2,” which is due in theaters in November. Lionsgate said it expected Part 1 to soon eclipse the second film in the series, “Twilight saga: New Moon.”
That film grossed $709 million, according to the company. Twilight Eclipse grossed $698.5 million and the initial film grossed $390.4 million on a budget of about $38 million.
“Breaking Dawn, Part 1” is still got room to run. It has yet to be released in Japan and China. The film is also set to be released on DVD and Blu-ray on Feb. 11.
“Not only has the Twilight saga’s global fan base supported the films during their theatrical release, but audiences worldwide have continued to support this cultural phenomenon both on and off the screen,” the company statement said.
“The milestone is important on several fronts and illustrates the vitality of the franchise on a global scale even after four films,” said Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group Co-Chairmen Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger.
The film has followed the lives of vampire Edward Cullen and human Bella Swan, who meet in high school and began an improbable romance that puts their lives in danger. The Cullen clan must contend with a pack of werewolves, plus other vampires, including the powerful Volturi clan.
In “Breaking Dawn, Part 1,” Bella and Edward get married and have a child, which creates huge complications for the Cullens, and puts Bella’s life in danger.
Bill Condon directed the last two films, based on the fourth novel in author Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series. The films also star Taylor Lautner, Ashley Greene, Peter Facinelli, Kullen Lutz, Nikki Reed and Bryce Dallas Howard.