Twilight stars Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner pose ahead of German premiere in Berlin

Twihards are breathing new life into movie theaters this weekend.

The passionate “Twilight” fans already are turning out in droves to see the beginning of the end for the hugely popular vampire and werewolf series. Midnight screenings early Friday generated $30.3 million in U.S. and Canadian ticket sales for “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn: Part 1,” according to studio Summit Entertainment. With many showtimes already sold out, box-office watchers predict the weekend tally will reach a massive $140 million through Sunday. Summit’s more conservative projection sees $110 million to $125 million for the first of the franchise’s two-part finale. Either way, the movie, which features a vampire-human wedding and pregnancy, looks set to record the year’s second-highest debut behind boy wizard Harry Potter’s summer farewell. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2″ opened to a staggering $169 million in July.

For families, dancing penguins return in 3D for “Happy Feet Two.” Box-office watchers forecast about $30 million domestically for the animated movie from Warner Bros. Elsewhere, new drama “The Descendants” starring George Clooney as a Hawaiian father grappling with a family crisis hits 29 theaters this weekend. The Fox Searchlight film, touted as an Academy Award contender, opened in five locations on Wednesday.

(Photo credit: Reuters)