Bella awakens from her transformation from human to vampire, aware of her new abilities, but unaware of changes within the coven, such as Jacob having imprinted on her child, Renesmee. While inside the house, the Cullen's and Jacob are standing around Renesmee, when Bella talks to Edward about their child beauty. Jacob growing extremely jealous of this attempts grab Renesmee, Bella now extremely suspicious of Jacob's odd likeness to Renesmee. Jacob tells Bella of the one thing that neither he nor his pack has control and says that "it's a Wolf thing." Bella now extremely agitated tells Edward to take the child out of the room. Bella then grabs Jacob by the back of his neck and drags him outside. She throws him into the field and a heated conversation starts. Bella demands that Jacob stays away from Renesmee. Jacob says "You know I can't do that." Bella then punches him near a patch of trees. This move triggers the appearance of the Clearwaters, Seth and Leah both in wolf form. Jacob tells them that everything is fine. Jacob reminds Bella of the times they had in the past and asks her if she rejects to which she does. Jacob claims that there was a major reason why he imprinted on their child because he and Renesmee were meant to be together but accidentally called Renesmee Nessy. This angers her even more when she noticed that he nicknamed her after the "Loch Ness Monster". When Bella attempts to attack Jacob again, Seth Clearwater lunges at her, she grabs him and throws him into a tree slighty injuring him as his wolf form absorbed most of the impact. Bella apologizes to Seth for injuring him. Jacob then rushes to check on him. It also appears that Bella's father, Charlie, has been attempting to contact the Cullens for updates on Bella's illness. They intend to tell him she didn't survive, which requires that they move away from Forks, Washington to protect their identities. Jacob, desperate not to lose Renesmee, tells Charlie that Bella is in fact alive and well. He explains that Bella had to change in order to survive. Charlie now confused about his daughter wonders why she had to change. Jacob begins removing all his clothes. Charlie now wondering why he is doing that asks him to put the back on. Jacob tells Charlie that there are things in the world that are not really common. He morphs into a wolf, revealing his tribe's shape-shifting power, but does not tell Charlie about vampires as this would put him in danger and become a target for the Volturi or Charlie might spread word across Forks.
Several months pass with Carlisle monitoring Renesmee's rapid growth. On an outing in the woods, a bitter Irina sees Renesmee from a distance and believes her to be an immortal child. Immortal children were vampires who were changed in childhood, and because they could not be trained nor restrained, they destroyed entire villages. They were eventually executed, as were the parents who created them, and the creation of such children outlawed. Irina goes to the Volturi to report what she has seen. Alice sees the Volturi and Irina coming to kill the Cullens and instructs the others to gather as many witnesses as they can to testify that Renesmee is not an immortal. The Cullens begin to summon witnesses, such as the Denali family. One of the Denali, Eleazar, later discovers that Bella has a special ability: a powerful mental shield which had protected her from Edward's mind reading even when she was human, and which she can now extend to protect others from attacks.
As some of their potential witnesses are attacked and prevented from supporting the Cullens, Carlisle and Edward realize they may have to fight the Volturi. Their witnesses ultimately agree to stand with them in battle, having realized the Volturi increase the Guard by falsely accusing covens of crimes, destroy them and then recruit vampires with gifts. The Volturi arrive prepared for battle, led by Aro, who is eager to obtain the gifted members of the Cullen coven as part of his guard. Aro is allowed to touch Renesmee, and is convinced that she is not an immortal child. Irina is brought forth and takes full responsibility for her mistake, leading to her immediate death. Aro still insists that Renesmee may pose a risk in the future, validating his claim that battle is necessary. Before any violence, Alice shares with Aro her vision of the battle that is to come, during which both sides sustain heavy casualties, including Aro who would also die. Aro believes her, giving Alice and Jasper an opportunity to reveal their witness, Nahuel (a half mortal half vampire just like Renesmee). The witness proves that he is not a threat, supporting the notion that Renesmee is not a threat. The Volturi unhappily walk away, explaining that there will be no battle today.
Back at the Cullen home, Alice glimpses the future, seeing Edward and Bella together with Jacob and a fully matured Renesmee also together. Edward reads Alice's mind and feels relieved that Renesmee has Jacob to protect her. Alone in the meadow, Bella pushes her mental shield away and finally allows Edward a peek into her mind, showing him every precious moment she and Edward shared together and the two share a kiss after Bella telling Edward, "No one has ever loved anyone as much as I love you", and both Edward and Bella saying they'll love and be together forever. The end credits present the cast members from all five films.
Cam Gigandet (James), Rachelle Lefevre and Bryce Dallas Howard (Victoria), Edi Gathegi (Laurent), Jodelle Ferland (Bree Tanner), and various other actors from the previous films make cameos during the ending credits.
After confirming one film, Summit Entertainment had been keeping their eye on a fifth installment. In May 2010, Billy Burke and Peter Facinelli were the only cast actors who were confirmed for both parts of Breaking Dawn, while other cast members such as Ashley Greene and Kellan Lutz were still in negotiations for a second part. If the actors holding Summit back from making an official announcement did not reach an agreement with them, the studio would not have minded recasting their roles, as was done in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse with Bryce Dallas Howard's character, Victoria. However, in June 2010, Summit officially confirmed that a two-part adaptation of the fourth book would start production and it was made clear that all major actors, including the three lead roles, the Cullen family, and Charlie Swan, would return for both parts.
By August 2009, Rosenberg said that the scripts for Part 1 and 2 were 75 to 85 percent completed. She found the greatest challenge in writing the scripts to be the final sequence of Part 2: "The final battle sequence is a big challenge because it lasts 25 pages", she said. "It's almost an entire three-act story in and of itself. You have to track [keep it all in one setting] hundreds of characters. It's an enormous challenge to choreograph on the page and for Bill [Condon] to choreograph on the stage." She had written various drafts of the scene but, at that, hadn't revised or discussed them with Condon yet. She said, "That's the next big hurdle to sit down with the stunt coordinator and create the ballet. It's a lot of work. I'm exhausted, but we're intent on making them the best scripts yet." Godfrey called Part 2 "an action film in terms of life-and-death stakes" and said that in Part 1 "there are the pangs of newlywed tension that occur that are relatable even in a fantasy film. Marriage is not quite the experience that they thought it was." Condon thought of Part 1 "as a real companion piece to Catherine Hardwicke's movie". Condon explains, "Like, everything that got set up there gets resolved here. I think you'll find that there are stylistic and other nods to that film."
Godfrey considered releasing the second film in 3D to differentiate between the time before and after Bella becomes a vampire, an idea originally proposed for Eclipse, but said that the decision is up to Condon. However, he said that if the second film were to be released in 3D, he would like to shoot it with the proper equipment in "real" 3D as was done with Avatar (2009), not convert it into 3D in post-production as was done with Clash of the Titans (2010). However, it was confirmed on February 12, 2012 that Part 2 would not be filmed in 3D.
Filming started on November 1, 2010 and wrapped, for most of the cast, on April 15, 2011, ending the franchise's three years of production since March 2008. Filming was shot on location in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Vancouver, British Columbia; New Orleans; and at the Raleigh Studios in Baton Rouge.
On the subject of the final day and her final moment as Bella, Stewart stated, "After that scene, my true final scene, I felt like I could shoot up into the night sky and every pore of my body would shoot light. I felt lighter than I've ever felt in my life." Pattinson thought the day was "amazing" and commented, "I then asked myself why we didn't do this in those four years. Every difficult moment just vanished."
In April 2012, the crew and cast, including Pattinson and Stewart, returned for reshoots to pick up some additional shots for technical work with some of the cast and stunt actors. However, these re-shoots did not include any new scenes or dialogue.
Tippett Studio first began working on the CGI (computer-generated imagery) wolves in February 2009 for The Twilight Saga: New Moon, and the look of the creatures has evolved, becoming more photo real over the course of the saga, with the input of three different directors. "It's a subtle balance of just how anthropomorphic these wolves are," says Eric Leven. "Bill (Condon) wanted to make sure that we had a sense of the human or the shape shifter in there. Finding that balance of how much of a human performance versus an animal performance was important for Bill."
Leven adds, "Bill has always treated the wolves as characters and never as computer generated things, and directs them in the same way he'd direct any actor. He would always give us direction like Sam should be angrier. It's the best way to work. His treating these creatures as characters, instead of just computer bits, was really great."
"Because we've been working on this franchise for such a prolonged period of time, we've been able to improve the look from show to show," comments Phil Tippett. "Wolves generally are pretty darn clean and since Bill wanted the wolves rangier, that means a lot more fur matting and clumping, like they've lived out in the woods. We edged towards something a bit more feral."
"However, there is also a balance between look and technology," adds Tippett. "The body count of the wolves escalates and because we're adding a great deal more hair to get the right texture, that fur really ups the rendering time. We've gone from four wolves to eight to twelve, to sixteen in Part 2. So we have to be very careful about that balance, because it takes hundreds of hours to render each wolf."
It was revealed in January 2012 that the soundtrack for Part 2 had already started production. Confirmed for the soundtrack in advance were "Heart of Stone" by Iko, which plays when Edward and Bella are talking in the cottage after finding Alice's note and "Where I Come From" by Passion Pit, which will play when Bella wakes up from her transformation. The lead single from the soundtrack is "The Forgotten", performed by the American rock band Green Day. "A Thousand Years, Pt. 2" by the American singer Christina Perri is also featured on the soundtrack album.
Carter Burwell, the composer of Twilight and Breaking Dawn: Part 1, returned to score the final installment of the series. In later announcements, Burwell confirmed that the score for the film was complete. "The movie basically upholds the final installment with a score that has the same jungle-music feeling The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 brought us," Burwell affirmed. "The music pieces that take place in the catalytic final battle will be very much like the nineteenth song in the previous movie's score, 'It's Renesmee' and the twenty-fourth, 'You Kill Her You Kill Me', which were, if not the most, one of the boldest pieces in my career. I will tease anything but I recommend for the fans to listen to 'A Kick in the Head', 'Exacueret Nostri Dentes in Filia' and 'Aro's End' if you want to have goosebumps for the rest of your life."
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 has earned $292,324,737 in North America and $537,360,640 in other territories for a worldwide total of $829,685,377. The film is now the 46th highest-grossing film of all time, the sixth highest-grossing film of 2012, and the highest-grossing film of the Twilight series. It had a $340.9 million worldwide opening, which was the eighth-largest ever, the largest for the Twilight franchise, and the largest for a film released outside the summer period.
In North America, the film grossed $30.4 million in Thursday night and midnight showings, achieving the third highest midnight gross and the highest midnight gross of the franchise. Breaking Dawn – Part 2 made an $71.2 million on its opening day, which is the sixth highest opening and single day gross as well as the third highest of the franchise. For its opening weekend, the movie earned $141.1 million, which is the 13th highest-grossing opening weekend of all-time, the second highest-grossing of the franchise, the third largest November opening, and the fourth largest opening of 2012. It retained first place in its second weekend by dropping 69.1% with a gross of $43.6 million over the three-day weekend and made a total of $64.4 million over the five-day Thanksgiving holiday weekend. In its third weekend, Breaking Dawn Part – 2 held onto the No. 1 spot again by dropping 60.1% and grossing $17.4 million. It became the third highest-grossing film of the franchise behind Eclipse and New Moon.
Outside North America, the film opened on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 in six countries earning $13.8 million. By Thursday, it had opened in 37 territories, earning $38.8 million. In all territories, it opened with similar or higher earnings than its immediate predecessor. Through its first Friday, it earned $91.0 million, after expanding to 61 territories. By the end of its opening weekend (Wednesday-to-Sunday), it scored a series-best $199.5 million opening from 61 territories on 12,812 screens. This is the eighth-largest opening outside North America and the largest 2012 opening. IMAX showings generated $3 million from 82 locations. The film's largest openings were recorded in the UK, Ireland and Malta ($25.2 million), Russia and the CIS ($22.0 million), and France and the Maghreb region ($17.9 million). In Spain, it set a three-day opening-weekend record with $11.9 million. In total earnings, its three highest-grossing markets after North America are the UK, Ireland and Malta ($57.9 million), Brazil ($54.2 million), and Russia and the CIS ($42.8 million).
The film received mixed reviews from critics, but the reviews were much more favorable than those of its predecessor. At Rotten Tomatoes, the film currently holds a 48% rotten rating, based on 178 reviews with the consensus stating: "It's the most entertaining Twilight, but that's not enough to make Breaking Dawn Part 2 worth watching for filmgoers who don't already count themselves among the franchise converts." It did receive a positive reaction from the RT Community, giving it a fresh rating of "71%". The majority of the fan base and average reviewer gave it a solid, "A" on sites like Fandango. At Metacritic it holds a score of 52 out of 100, based on 31 reviews. The majority of praise from both fans and critics went towards the ending sequence, Michael Sheen's performance as the Volturi leader Aro and Lee Pace's performance as vampire Garrett.
Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter wrote, "The final installment of the immortal Bella/Edward romance will give its breathlessly awaiting international audience just what it wants". Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly said, "Breaking Dawn – Part 2 starts off slow but gathers momentum, and that's because, with Bella and Edward united against the Volturi, the picture has a real threat". Sara Stewart of the New York Post wrote, "Finally, someone took the source material at its terribly written word and stopped treating the whole affair so seriously". Justin Chang of Variety praised the performance of Stewart by saying, "No longer a mopey, lower-lip-biting emo girl, this Bella is twitchy, feral, formidable and fully energized, a goddess even among her exalted bloodsucker brethren". Manohla Dargis of The New York Times said, "Despite the slow start Mr. Condon closes the series in fine, smooth style. He gives fans all the lovely flowers, conditioned hair and lightly erotic, dreamy kisses they deserve".
Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying "its audience, which takes these films very seriously indeed, will drink deeply of its blood. The sensational closing sequence cannot be accused of leaving a single loophole, not even some of those we didn't know were there". However, he concluded by saying, ""Breaking Dawn, Part 2" must be one of the more serious entries in any major movie franchise... it bit the bullet, and I imagine fans will be pleased." Helen O'Hara of Empire gave the film a mixed review and said, "Fans will be left on a high; other viewers will be confused but generally entertained by a saga whose romance is matched only by its weirdness".
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 was released on DVD and Blu-ray on March 2, 2013. As of June 1, 2014, Breaking Dawn Part 2 has sold 4,810,249 DVDs along with 1,224,869 Blu-ray Discs for $71,418,469 and $24,472,107 respectively totaling $99,195,325.
In September 2016, Lionsgate co-chairman Patrick Wachsberger stated that a sequel was "a possibility" but would only go ahead if Stephanie Meyer wanted to do one.