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Twilight Eclipses Records

June 30th, 2010

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse starts the Independence Day long weekend early. In fact, it started last night with midnight shows in more than 4000 theaters. How well did it do? And does this bode well for the weekend as a whole?

Eclipse got off to a record-breaking start last night, earning an estimated $30 million in midnight showings. (This doesn't count the $2.39 million the Twilight Double-Bill made in limited showings last night.) This topped the previous record holder, New Moon, which pulled in $26.3 million back in November. That film is also the current record-holder for the biggest single day at $72.70 million, but that record will likely fall today. Even if Eclipse only matches New Moon over the rest of the day, it will earn just over $76 million over the full day, while if it has the same multiplier, it will make close to $83 million. I'm going to go with an opening day of just under $80 million.

That's the good news. The bad news is this film will be very front-loaded, even with reviews that are quite good, particularly for a summer blockbuster release. Eclipse could go from an $80 million opening day to just $25 million tomorrow. That's close to a 70% drop-off, which is steep, but it seems likely. It should recover over the weekend, earning $75 million from Friday to Sunday, plus another $15 million on Monday. That's a total of close to $200 million in just six days, putting it on pace to reach that milestone just shy of record time. On the other hand, it might not make much more than half that during the rest of its run.

Also opening this weekend is The Last Airbender, which is the first M. Night Shyamalan film that is not based on an original idea. Will this help stop his box office slump? We will have to wait till tomorrow for my prediction for that film, and the rest of the top five.


Filed under: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse