The beginning of the end of the Twilight Saga began Friday with the release of the latest film in the series: Breaking Dawn - Part 1. The third installment of the epic story of Bella and Edward opened to huge numbers at the box office and grossed an estimated $71.4 million Friday, Reuters reported. The film is expected to gross $140 million opening weekend.

Twi-hards, however, will have to wait almost a year before they get a chance to see how the story ends.

The final chapter in the Twilight saga, Breaking Dawn - Part 2, hits theaters on Nov. 16, 2012.

Of course, most fans already know how the story ends for Bella and Edward. The film series is based on the popular teen vampire novels by Stephenie Meyer that gained a cult-like following from teens and young adults since the first novel, Twilight, was published in 2005.

The film series, following in the footsteps of Harry Potter, is no stranger to success. The first Twilight film came out in 2008, forever unleashing Twilight-mania and the careers of Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner, grossing $392 million worldwide. The second film, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, grossed more than $709 million worldwide in 2009. Its successor, Eclipse, made more than $698 million in 2010.

The final chapter, Breaking Dawn: Part 2, will be directed by Bill Condon and remains true to the second half of the original novel by Stephanie Meyers.  All three major cast members, Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lauter, will repise their roles. The end of the Twilight Saga will tell the story of Bella and Edward's struggles after their child is born. Bella has finally become a vampire, but trouble is brewing for their child who is half-vampire, half-human. The Volturi, a vampire group in Italy, has a plot to kill the child.

Watch the Twilight Saga cast talk about Breaking Dawn:

Watch Ellen Degeneres and the cast of Twilight in this spoof video: