The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 movie opened in theaters last Friday and it did not disappoint.  Not only did it have one of the best box-office openings in history by bringing in a whopping $139.5 million this weekend, it also marked a decidedly grown-up change in the feel of the movies.

Based on the novel, Breaking Dawn, follows Bella and Edward down the aisle at their highly-anticipated wedding and, while that was a highlight many fans were looking forward to, it was only the beginning of this fast-paced, intense storyline.

While the previous films in the franchise have been relatively tame in terms of the physical relationship between the mortal Bella and her vampire love, the honeymoon scenes in Breaking Dawn might make more than a few moviegoers blush, despite the film’s PG-13 designation. There are no graphic sexual scenes but there is no mistaking the fact that Edward and Bella have consummated their marriage.

Despite the superhuman characters, Breaking Dawn shows each of them having some very real moments in both extremely happy and tragic moments.  While Jacob comes to terms with the fact that he may have lost the woman he loves forever, Bella and Edward realize that their passion-filled wedding night may have yielded more than they could have ever imagined which, ultimately, tests the strength of their relationship.

Edward has been there to protect Bella every time she has ever needed him but, this time, she must take this journey on her own – if she survives.

Recommended Audience

It should come as no surprise that 80% of the people who went to see Breaking Dawn on opening weekend were female.  There are some surprises, however, regarding the demographics.  About 60% of the audience was over 21 years of age, while 30% was under 18.  For a series that is purportedly geared towards teens, it is interesting to consider the fact that 42% of the moviegoers were actually between the ages of 18 and 34.

With that being said, it is clear that what began as a teen phenomenon has attracted a much wider audience.  Breaking Dawn, in particular, will appeal to viewers of most ages, however, some seems may be too gory or graphic for young children.

See it in Theaters or Wait for DVD?

Definitely see this one in theaters!  Director Bill Condon enlisted the help of cinematographer, Guillermo Navarro (Pan’s Labyrinth) which has translated into a far more elegant, visually engaging film that the previous ones in the franchise.