Thousands of teens lined up to see the last movie in the Twilight franchise over the weekend. But things would have turned out very differently if the ratings board had gotten its way.
“It was a close call, because they did say it was very, very intense,” director Bill Condon told MTV.
Condon worked with the agency though and found out what he needed to do to keep the movie appropriate for its main audience: teenagers.
“I wrote a letter [to the MPAA ratings board] and said that this is the only way we could do it, and they were cool [with it],” he said. “They said to pull back a little on the sound, the crunchy [head-smashing/decapitating] sound, and we did, and that got us our [PG-13] rating. There was one [effect] where we rip a head and you kind of see it come apart [that] I was sure we would have more trouble with, but we didn’t.”
The film opened this weekend to slightly better sales than expected. The final film in the Twilight series earned $141.3 million domestically and $199.6 million overseas. The numbers give the franchise three of the top 10 opening weekends of all time. New Moon from 2009 brought in $142.8 million its first weekend, and last year’s Breaking Dawn — Part 1 brought in $138.1 million. However, none of the movies earned enough to come in at the No. 1 spot of all time.
“Last May’s The Avengers is No. 1 with $207.4 million,” according to the Associated Press. “Batman is the only other franchise with more than one top-10 opening: last July’s The Dark Knight Rises (No. 3 with $160.9 million) and 2008’s The Dark Knight (No. 4 with $158.4 million).”
Skyfall did well in its second weekend, dropping to No. 2. According to Box Office Mojo, the film earned $41.1 million domestically over the weekend. Steven Spielberg‘s Lincoln opened in wide release at No. 3, earning just over $21 million over the weekend.