Italy’s box office got some much-needed good news after The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 had the most successful opening-day ticket sales of the year in Italy, with more than 327,000 tickets sold nationally for the film’s Wednesday rollout.
The film actually premiered in Italy a day earlier, at the International Rome Film Festival, where it sold out the festival’s largest venue. On Tuesday night -- lasting until Wednesday morning -- the Rome festival also hosted a special Twilight Sagamarathon, in which the first four installments of the film screened back-to-back.
It all helped set up a strong box office performance. The film pulled in more than €2.2 million ($2.8 million) after opening on 885 screens nationally. The 327,000 tickets sold on opening night beat the previous high for the year set by The Avengers, which sold 309,000 tickets on its opening night back in April. It wasn't immediately clear if the final Twilight film also beat Avengers in terms of first-day box office revenue.
The film earned more than The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1, which took in €1.7 million ($2.1 million) last year.
After its international launch at the Rome festival on Tuesday, the film opened in Italy, France, and Belgium on Wednesday, with the rollout in most of the rest of the world -- including the U.S. -- scheduled for Friday.
The strong sales for the film in Italy are a welcome spot of good news for beleaguered Italian exhibitors, which saw ticket sales drop a dramatic 41 percent in October compared to the same month in 2011.