July 16 update: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, the romantic fantasy-adventure starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner, passed the $250 million milestone at the North American box office on Thursday, July 15.
Directed by David Slade, Eclipse took in $3.72 million on Thursday, totaling $251.37 million after 16 days out.
According to Box Office Mojo, Eclipse is the 14th fastest movie to reach the $250 million milestone domestically (not adjusted for inflation), right behind Chris Weitz’s The Twilight Saga: New Moon, which also starred Stewart, Pattinson, and Lautner.
It may thus look as if New Moon performed better than Eclipse, but that would be a misreading of the data.
By its 16th day out (a Saturday), New Moon had already had two full weekends, in addition to another Friday and Saturday under its belt. Eclipse has only gone through two weekends so far – one of which (July 4) had a very weak Sunday – in addition to a Monday holiday.
For comparison’s sake: on its 14th day out, a Thursday, New Moon grossed $2.1 million. On its 16th day out, also a Thursday, Eclipse grossed $3.43 million – the first time it took in less than $3.5 million on a single day, but still more than 60 percent above New Moon‘s take.
In fact, New Moon fell (way) below the $3.5 million mark on Day 11 (with $2.38 million).
Another comparison: on its 16th day out, also a Thursday, Michael Bay’s Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen collected $4.58 million – or about 30 percent more than Eclipse.
The second installment of the Transformers franchise went on to gross $402.1 million in the U.S. and Canada.
Among the top 25 movies on the “fastest to $250 million” chart, New Moon and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix were the only two not to end up grossing more than $300 million domestically.
Eclipse, however, will surely cross that mark.
Despite numerous unenthusiastic reviews, Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud’s Despicable Me, which features the voices of Steve Carell, Russell Brand, Jason Segel, Julie Andrews, and Miranda Cosgrove, beat David Slade’s The Twilight Saga: Eclipse at the domestic box office this weekend. According to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo, Despicable Me debuted with $60.1 million ($17,295 per theater).
And unlike fellow animated 3D features such as Shrek Forever After, Toy Story 3, and How to Train Your Dragon, Despicable Me cost “only” $69 million to make – or between half and one third of the cost of those other animated movies.
Directed by David Slade, and starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse earned an estimated $33.4 million (a solid $7,475 per theater) at the U.S. and Canada box office this weekend, according to Box Office Mojo.
Following a perfectly acceptable 48.5 percent drop-off rate on its second weekend out, Eclipse was only behind Universal’s Despicable Me, which took in $60.1 million on its debut weekend.
Eclipse‘s domestic twelve-day total currently stands at $237 million, the fourth highest among 2010’s domestic releases, having just passed both How to Train Your Dragon and Shrek Forever After. Still ahead of Eclipse – all with more than $300 million – are Toy Story 3, Alice in Wonderland, and Iron Man 2.
Worldwide, Eclipse has taken in $456 million.
Xavier Samuel as Riley in Eclipse
July 8: Starring Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner, David Slade’s The Twilight Saga: Eclipse topped the international market last weekend and will quite likely remain on top this weekend as well.
Eclipse‘s Wednesday-to-Sunday take was an estimated $104.6 million in 42 markets. Comparisons to The Twilight Saga: New Moon‘s $132.1 million (released Nov. 2009) are misleading because, as Ray Subers explains at Box Office Mojo, New Moon opened in more major markets.
The territories where Eclipse grossed more than $10 million were: Russia with an estimated $15 million, Australia with $10.9 million (est.), Spain with $10.37 million, and Brazil with $10.35 million.
Also: Italy with $9.9 million (est.), Mexico with $6.63 million, the United Kingdom with $5.5 million (previews est.), the Philippines with $3.8 million, Belgium/Luxemburg with $2.3 million, Norway with $2.15 million, and South Africa with $1.6 million (est.) – a new opening weekend record.
Eclipse opens this weekend in the U.K., France, South Korea and other countries.
Follow-up post: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse grossed $7.93 million on Thursday, topping the North American box office chart for the ninth consecutive day and crossing the $200 million mark domestically, according to Box Office Mojo.
Directed by David Slade, written by Melissa Rosenberg (from Stephenie Meyer’s novel), starring Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner, Eclipse‘s nine-day total currently stands at $203.66 million.
Eclipse is currently on the number 10 spot among the fastest movies to reach $200 million on the Box Office Mojo chart (not adjusted for inflation). This year, only Toy Story 3 is ahead on the chart, having crossed the $200 million milestone with $208 million on Day 9.
If inflation were taken into account, Eclipse would be down one spot at no. 11, following the 2002 release Spider-Man (with $202 million on Day 9).
Chris Weitz’s The Twilight Saga: New Moon, released in November 2009, crossed the $200 million mark with $205 million on Day 8. New Moon is on the list’s no. 4 spot.
Avatar, Alice in Wonderland, and Iron Men 2 crossed the $200 million mark only on Day 10 (which included two weekends). All three movies – and Toy Story 3 – have gone on to gross more than $300 million domestically. (Avatar, of course, has taken in more than $700m.)
The top three movies on the list are The Dark Knight, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.
The other movies that crossed the $200 million mark on Day 9 are Spider-Man 3 and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.
M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender, starring Noah Ringer, Dev Patel, Nicola Peltz, Jackson Rathbone, and Shaun Toub, narrowed the gap between Monday’s no. 1 and no. 2 movie at the North American box office.
Shyamalan’s actioner grossed $12.65 million (vs. $13.54 million for The Twilight Saga: Eclipse), according to Box Office Mojo.
While Eclipse, starring the popular combo Robert Pattinson-Kristen Stewart-Taylor Lautner, has been performing a little below expectations, The Last Airbender – despite miserable reviews and numerous negative comments on the (purported) almighty box office barometer named Twitter – has been performing way above expectations. Shyamalan’s actioner went up an estimated 34.7 percent on Monday (vs. Eclipse‘s 18.4 percent decrease).
One more drastic Eclipse attendance drop and The Last Airbender could – if it maintains its momentum – reach the top position at the North American box office.
To date, The Last Airbender has collected $70.5 million – about $20 million more than many had predicted. Yet, in order for Paramount to recover its $150 million production costs alone (not including the $130 million spent on marketing), The Last Airbender would have to earn approximately $270-$300 million domestically, as studios only get around 50-55 percent of a movie’s box office gross.
It doesn’t seem at all likely that The Last Airbender will get that far, but that’s where the overseas market should come to the rescue.
The Last Airbender will open internationally within the next couple of weeks.
As I mention in my previous box office article, Summit Entertainment totally underestimated the pull of the Robert Pattinson-Kristen Stewart-Taylor Lautner combo on Monday, as their The Twilight Saga: Eclipse figures were off by about $5.5 million.
On much lesser scale, Disney also underestimated Toy Story 3‘s figures. They were off by about $700,000.
Paramount, on the other hand, overestimated The Last Airbender‘s Monday take by more than 10 percent: $1.2 million to be more precise. M. Night Shyamalan’s adventure/fantasy/sci-fierended up earning $11.47 million at no. 3 spot – or nearly $1.3 million less than Toy Story 3. (Original estimates had their positions reversed on the box office chart.)
All those under- and overestimations combined pretty much wrecked box office analyses published in the last couple of days.
Though still way ahead of expectations, The Last Airbender failed to reach the $70 million mark by Monday night. Its total stood at $69.3 million.
Its Monday per-theater average was $3,622 at 3,169 theaters, vs. $3,172 for Toy Story 3 (at 4,028 theaters) and $4,209 for The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (at 4,468 theaters).
The widely panned Paramount release starring Noah Ringer, Dev Patel, Jackson Rathbone, Nicola Peltz, and Shaun Toub cost a reported $150 million to produce plus another $130 million to market. If it is to recover its production costs alone in the North American market, The Last Airbender would have to collect approximately $300 million.
The only three 2010 releases that have thus far taken in more than $300 million – Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, Jon Favreau’s Iron Man 2, and Lee Unkrich’s Toy Story 3 – all scored more than $110 million on their first weekend out. In five days, The Last Airbender has pulled in the aforementioned $69.3 million.
Compounding matters, The Last Airbender had the third-lowest Monday surge (+23.1 percent) among the top twelve movies on Box Office Mojo’s chart. Only Jake Gyllenhaal’s Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (+10.6 percent) and Tom Cruise’s Knight and Day (+18.9 percent) fared worse in that regard.
Among the top twelve movies at the U.S. and Canada box office, David Slade’s The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (not M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender, as studio estimates had it) had the highest per-theater average on Monday. The Kristen Stewart-Robert Pattinson-Taylor Lautner romantic fantasy brought in $4,209 per theater at 4,468 locations, as per Box Office Mojo.
All things being equal, the lower the number of theaters the higher the per-theater average. The fact that Eclipse had a higher average than any other movie among Monday’s top twelve shows how strong the third installment of the Twilight Saga performed yesterday.
‘Eclipse’ box office: Stronger staying power in North America?
Follow-up post: David Slade’s The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, in which Robert Pattinson as the vampire Edward and Taylor Lautner as the werewolf Jacob vie for Kristen Stewart as the human Bella – while all three attempt to fend off a major vampire attack – was once again the no. 1 movie at the U.S. and Canada box office.
Eclipse grossed a solid $10.56 million on Tuesday, July 6, ’10, following a relatively mild 44 percent drop from its outstanding holiday Monday business. In fact, among the top ten movies on Box Office Mojo’s Tuesday chart, the fantasy-action-romance had the smallest drop-off rate.
Better-received ‘Twilight’ movie
At least for the time being, that’s good news for the – generally better received – third installment in the Twilight Saga franchise, for it may herald a more robust life span at the North American box office than that of its predecessor, Chris Weitz’s poorly received The Twilight Saga: New Moon.
Last November, New Moon was down a whopping 70 percent on its second weekend out; 48 percent of the Twilight sequel’s total gross was earned on its first three days of release.
Considering Eclipse‘s major jump on Monday and its relatively low decrease on Tuesday, this latest Kristen Stewart-Robert Pattinson-Taylor Lautner team-up may not suffer the same fate.
After seven days out, Eclipse‘s domestic box office total stands at a highly impressive $186.95 million.
Follow-up post: Featuring the voices of Tom Hanks, Joan Cusack, and Tim Allen, Toy Story 3 was the no. 2 movie at the North American box office on Tuesday, according to Box Office Mojo.
Lee Unkrich’s animated 3D feature collected $5.93 million. It was followed by M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender with $5.38 million at no. 3.
Starring Noah Ringer, Dev Patel, Nicola Peltz, and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse‘s Jackson Rathbone, The Last Airbender had the second-highest per-theater average of the day ($1,699), behind only Eclipse. On the downside, The Last Airbender fell 53 percent compared to Monday. (For comparison’s sake, fellow newcomer Eclipse‘s drop-off rate was a much more modest 44 percent.)
Shyamalan’s widely derided actioner/sci-fier’s total after six days stands at $74.7 million. In all likelihood, it’ll cross the $100 million mark next weekend.
July 3: M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender was no threat to The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. The Kristen Stewart-Robert Pattinson-Taylor Lautner star vehicle held a comfortable lead at the North American box office on both Thursday and Friday.
So, the vampires and werewolves brought in an estimated $28.6 million on Friday, July 2 – an 18.1 percent increase from Thursday, according to Box Office Mojo.
Eclipse crossed the $100 million mark sometime yesterday. Its total now stands at $121.34 million – an amount that is particularly impressive because this third installment of The Twilight Saga opened in the middle of the week.
Also, Eclipse expanded a bit on Friday, and is currently playing at about 4,468 theaters. Average per theater: $6,476.
The Last Airbender, for its part, brought in approximately $16.6 million (a minuscule 1.5 percent increase) at 3,169 locations. Average: $5,238.
It should be noted that the 2D-to-3D The Last Airbender is screening at 1,606 3D locations which charge a 25-45 percent premium. Hence, overall figures and especially the per-theater averages end up inflated – fewer tickets are sold, but that’s offset by higher ticket prices. Call it the Avatar syndrome.
Estimates for M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender has the much-panned 2D-to-3D actioner grossing $50 million. Some had been predicting that amount by Sunday; others by Monday, a holiday for many in the US.
The Last Airbender has taken in more than $32 million in its first two days out. It’ll likely collect about $60-$65 million by Monday evening. For comparison’s sake, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse scored $68.5 million on its first day out.
The Last Airbender stars Noah Ringer, Dev Patel, Nicola Peltz, Jackson Rathbone, and Shaun Toub.
Follow-up post: On Thursday, David Slade’s The Twilight Saga: Eclipse broke another record – though not exactly a good one. The Kristen Stewart-Robert Pattinson-Taylor Lautner fantasy had the steepest Wednesday-(second-day)Thursday decline on record, 65 percent.
As a result of that free fall, Eclipse failed to beat Michael Bay’s blow-em-up Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen‘s second-day Thursday figures from last year: $29.1 million for Transformers vs $24.2 million for Eclipse, according to Brandon Gray at Box Office Mojo.
Overall, Eclipse is no. 6 on Box Office Mojo’s list of highest grosses on a Thursday (not adjusted for inflation). Four of the top five movies on the chart opened on the Thursday in question: George Lucas’ Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones, Andy Wachowski and Larry (now Lana) Wachowski’s The Matrix Reloaded, and Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
Starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner, David Slade’s The Twilight Saga: Eclipse‘s two-day tally was $92.7 million at 4,400+ theaters on Thursday.
Chris Weitz’s The Twilight Saga: New Moon, which also starred the vampire-human-werewolf trio, grossed $115 million after two days at 4,024 theaters in November 2009.
Some have been saying that Eclipse is trailing New Moon, but that would be an unfair comparison because New Moon opened on a Friday. Its second day was a Saturday, almost invariably the most popular moviegoing day of the week. (Even so, New Moon dropped 42 percent from the day before – not a good sign, and that’s why the movie’s box office pull withered away at a relatively quick pace.)
Now, we’re on Eclipse‘s Day 3. Its total currently stands at an estimated $121.3 million according to Box Office Mojo. By Sunday, its third day out, New Moon had taken in $142.8 million.
New Moon remains the fastest movie to reach $100 million (not adjusted for inflation), followed by The Dark Knight, both on their second day out: the former with $114.9m; the latter with $114.8 million.
Eclipse is at no. 10 (chiefly because it opened in the middle of the week), ahead of every single 2010 release except for Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man 2 – which opened on a Friday.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, the other major movie on the list to have opened on a Wed., is at no. 7 with $127.8 million.
Also, Catherine Hardwicke’s Twilight pulled in $57.3 million in its first two days out in 2008. Its total opening weekend gross was $69.63 million.
David Slade’s The Twilight Saga: Eclipse has abruptly stopped breaking records at the North American box office.
Although the Robert Pattinson-Kristen Stewart-Taylor Lautner romantic fantasy was by far the top movie on the Fourth of July weekend, it didn’t even get close to shattering Spider-Man 2‘s box office record.
Summit did try, even getting several of the film’s stars to show up at screenings at various US theaters throughout the weekend, e.g., Dakota Fanning in Los Angeles; Xavier Samuel in New York.
In any case, Eclipse grossed an estimated $69 million over the three-day weekend, according to Box Office Mojo, whereas the Sam Raimi-Tobey Maguire fantasy-thriller took in $88 million back in 2004 ($113 million adjusted for inflation).
Also, Eclipse managed to surpass the Wednesday revenues of Michael Bay’s Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, but failed to beat the human vs. robot flick over the weekend. Bay’s actioner pulled in $108.9 million on its first weekend about a year ago.
Even so, Eclipse‘s per-theater average was still a pretty remarkable $15,443. After all, Eclipse isn’t a 3D release (no 3D surcharges at 1,000-2,000 sites), it opened two days before the weekend began, and it’s playing at more than 4,400 theaters. All things being equal, the larger the number of theaters, the lower the per-theater average.
Eclipse crossed the $100 million mark sometime on Saturday and the $150 million mark sometime today. Its estimated total now stands at $161 million after five days. Overseas, it’s collected another $100.2 million. Grand total: $261.2 million.
At a distant no. 2, M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender collected an estimated $40.65 million at 3,169 locations ($12,827 per-theater average) in the U.S. and Canada, according to figures found at Box Office Mojo.
Reviews for The Last Airbender have been overwhelmingly negative, word-of-mouth has been at best unenthusiastic (a “C” as per CinemaScore), and there have been numerous complaints about Paramount/Shyamalan’s decision to use a white kid in an East Asian role. Yet, the Paramount release starring Noah Ringer, Dev Patel, Nicola Peltz, Jackson Rathbone and Shaun Toub has scored a not inconsiderable $57 million after only four days.
It’ll probably cross the $100 million mark within the next ten days or so. How far it’ll go above that remains to be seen.
Although The Last Airbender won’t get even close to recovering its $150 million production costs (in addition to $130 million in marketing costs) at the North American box office, it will likely not turn out to be the total disaster many had been predicting just a few days ago.
The overseas market should come to the rescue, as big, special-effects-laden movies tend to do extremely well abroad, e.g., Avatar, 2012, Iron Man 2, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.
July 2: M. Night Shyamalan’s critically (and ethnically) panned The Last Airbender was no competition for the Twilight Saga: Eclipse‘s Kristen Stewart-Robert Pattinson-Taylor Lautner combo.
Directed by David Slade, Eclipse grossed $24.2 million on Thursday, July 1. The Last Airbender scored an estimated $16.35 million at 3,169 locations in North America, according to Box Office Mojo.
Eclipse‘s two-day total is a staggering $92.7 million – an amount particularly impressive because this third installment of The Twilight Saga opened in the middle of the week.
Eclipse will cross the $100 million mark sometime today, and will have collected anywhere between $180-$200 million by Sunday, according to various estimates.
Considering the sort of reception it got from Twitter users (forget the critics…) M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender actually didn’t do badly at all on Thursday, opening with an estimated $16.35 million at 3,169 locations.
Perhaps people were curious to find out how bad it was? Or perhaps it’s all a result of allotting $130 million to (strategically) market a movie that cost $150 million to produce?
The fantasy/sci-fi/adventure flick starring Noah Ringer, Slumdog Millionaire‘s Dev Patel, Nicola Peltz, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse‘s Jackson Rathbone, and Shaun Toub averaged $5,159 per theater – only a little less than Eclipse‘s $5,483 average at 4,416 sites.
The Last Airbender, however, may not be able to keep the momentum going throughout the extended Fourth of July weekend in the United States – and in the weekends ahead.
According to CinemaScore, moviegoers have given Shyamalan’s latest effort a C average. In other words, poor word-of-mouth may end up shooting down The Last Airbender domestically.
If that happens, the international markets should come to the rescue as it has in the cases of Russell Crowe’s Robin Hood and Jake Gyllenhaal’s Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.
It’s just unclear why bad word-of-mouth doesn’t kill movies outside of North America. People in China, Russia, or Mexico don’t discuss movies after they’ve seen it?
Someone should do a research paper on that.
Among the top twelve movies, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse had the highest per-theater average, $5,483.
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse had the worst drop-off rate, down 64.7 percent, which can be explained by the fact that on Thursday the Robert Pattinson-Kristen Stewart-Taylor Lautner fantasy romance/thriller didn’t have the $30 million it collected from Tue./Wed. midnight screenings.
Starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner, and based on Stephenie Meyer’s novel, David Slade’s The Twilight Saga: Eclipse has been out for only two days, but it’s already broken several records. In fact, Eclipse tore one record to pieces even before it opened: it was scheduled to be presented at more theaters in the U.S. and Canada than any other movie.
On Day One ($68.5 million), it had the biggest Wednesday ever, ahead of Michael Bay’s Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. It also had the biggest ever opening-day in Belgium (au revoir Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix) and possibly in The Philippines (bye-bye Spider-Man 3) as well.
A couple more records broken by Eclipse on opening day:
- Top-grossing summer day ever, beating the $67.2 million earned by Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight at 4,366 theaters in 2008, according to Box Office Mojo.
- Top-grossing IMAX midnight (domestic) screenings, with more than $1 million.
Those figures haven’t been adjusted for inflation.
If the Dark Night figures are adjusted for 2010 ticket prices, as found at Box Office Mojo, then it’s still ahead of Eclipse, having grossed the equivalent of $74.4 million.
Eclipse, however, would remain ahead of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, which would have earned $66.08 million in 2010.
In fact, it’d still be way ahead of every other movie that opened on a Wednesday, at least partly because movies didn’t play at 3,000 or 4,000 locations before the mid-90s.
And in case you’re wondering, Avatar‘s biggest single-day take was $28.27 million on Sat., Dec. 26, 2009. That places James Cameron’s sci-fier at no. 87 on the chart of top single-day grosses (not adjusted for inflation).
Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner’s romantic fantasy The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, directed by David Slade and co-starring Bryce Dallas Howard, had a bigger opening this week than Chris Weitz’s The Twilight Saga: New Moon in November 2009, says the Los Angeles Times.
Now, bear in mind that such comparisons can be iffy. It all depends on how many countries – and which ones – were showing New Moon in its first couple of days out. (Looking at the information found on the IMDb, the territories/dates for New Moon and Eclipse don’t match.) Needless to say, one would have to look at each territory to make an adequate comparison.
Even then, one must also remember that movie tickets are more expensive now; that would benefit Eclipse.
On the other hand, if currency fluctuations are taken into account, those would favor New Moon, as the US dollar was weak in late ’09 but it’s relatively strong now. That means Eclipse grosses earned abroad, when converted, would buy fewer dollars. (And that’s why studios should report the number of tickets sold – an infinitely more reliable tool to measure a film’s success.)
Eclipse brought in an estimated $16.2 million in 21 territories, as per Summit Entertainment. The top grosses were: $3.9 million in Russia (vs. $1.9 million for New Moon), $3.2 million in Italy (vs. New Moon‘s $2.9 million), $2.4 million in Brazil, and $2 million in Spain.
With $735k ($1.1 million according to Box Office Mojo), Eclipse had Belgium’s biggest-ever opening day (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is now no. 2).
Eclipse may also have broken the first-day record in The Philippines, with $1.2 million. (Spider-Man 3 would now be no. 2.)
And finally, Box Office Mojo reports that Eclipse took in more than $500,000 in the following markets: Sweden ($1.04 million), Norway ($847,000), Denmark ($739,000), Turkey ($658,000), Poland ($558,000), and Greece ($548,000).
Over the weekend, Eclipse will be opening in another 21 territories.
Previous post: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse scored $68.5 million on its first day out. A new box office record has been broken. Avatar, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, The Dark Knight, Toy Story 3, Gone with the Wind, Star Wars, step aside, please.
Directed by David Slade and starring drive-them-nuts Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner, Eclipse now holds the record for the biggest Wednesday opening ever.
Who said women didn’t rule at the box office?
The third installment in the Twilight Saga may also have a place in box office history as the only major release ever to, on a single day, gross more than its production cost (officially $68m). [Addendum: Obviously not so. See next paragraph.]
The best all-time opening day ever? Well, Eclipse got close, but Chris Weitz’s The Twilight Saga: New Moon, which opened on a Friday, still holds that record with the $72.7 million it earned last November. (As a reader points out below, New Moon grossed much more than its $50 million budget. Well, how about Eclipse and New Moon then? If true, that’d still be something unique.)
Who said women didn’t rule at the box office?
Eclipse opened at a record 4,416 theaters. It will be playing at 4,468 sites on Friday. Expect more record-breaking grosses.
With $68.5 million – including a record-shattering $30 million from midnight screenings – The Twilight Saga: Eclipse soared to the top of the North American box office on Wednesday, June 30, according to Box Office Mojo. Eclipse‘s per-theater average was a phenomenal $15,519.
Adapted by Melissa Rosenberg from Stephenie Meyer’s bestseller, directed by David Slade, and starring Robert Pattinson as the vampire, Kristen Stewart as the human, and Taylor Lautner as the werewolf, Eclipse opened at a record 4,416 theaters, where it broke the record for the best Wednesday debut in film history.
Chris Weitz’s The Twilight Saga: New Moon, also starring Pattinson, Stewart, and Lautner, which opened on a Friday in November 2009, holds the record for best opening day ever. We’ll be doing some inflation-adjusting in the near future.
On Tuesday night, night showings of Catherine Hardwicke’s Twilight and Weitz’s The Twilight Saga: New Moon collected an impressive $2.38 million at 2,037 theaters.
On a much more modest scale, Summit Entertainment also scored on Wednesday with Letters to Juliet.
‘Eclipse’ shatters domestic midnight box office records
June 30 update: With $8.21 million, Lee Unkrich’s Toy Story 3, featuring the voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Laurie Metcalf, and others, was officially the top movie at the North American box office on Tuesday, June 29. Unofficially, of course, the no. 1 movie on the domestic chart was actually David Slade’s The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.
Whether because of Robert Pattinson’s brooding, Kristen Stewart’s indecision, Taylor Lautner’s abs, Dakota Fanning’s wine-colored eyes, or the CGI werewolves, Eclipse has broken its first box office record (of more to come?): Best midnight grosses ever.
The third installment in the Twilight movie franchise took in an estimated $30 million from midnight (Tuesday/Wednesday) screenings at about 4,000 U.S. and Canada theaters, according to figures found at Box Office Mojo.
The previous midnight record holder was another Twilight movie: Chris Weitz’ New Moon, also starring Pattinson, Stewart, and Lautner. New Moon raked in $26.3 million in Nov. 2009.
Now that is has officially opened, Eclipse is breaking another box office-related record: number of North American theaters screening a single film.
Twihards and Twihaters alike may choose from 4,416 venues – including 193 IMAX sites – in the U.S. and Canada to cheer/snicker at Kristen Stewart’s Bella Swan bouncing back and forth between Robert Pattinson’s Edward Cullen and Taylor Lautner’s Jacob Black.
Opening weekend box office take?
Now, expect huge numbers in the coming days, as this is definitely one instance in which the third installment of a movie franchise will bring in more cash than its predecessors. But how huge will Eclipse‘s box office brilliance be on opening weekend – or rather, on opening week?
Well, here are a few guesstimates:
Daniel Frankel at TheWrap: “conservative forecasts” predict $150 million in the first six days (Wed.-Mon., a belated 4th of July holiday for U.S. government/most businesses).
Exhibitor Relations’ Jeff Bock, as quoted at E! Online: $50 million on opening day; another $70 million over the three-day weekend.
Rick Porter at zap2it.com: $70-$75 million on opening day; $200+ million by Sunday. (Comparable to Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.)
Edward Douglas at comingsoon.net: $100 million on Wed./Thu.; another $75 million or so over the three-day weekend for a grand total of $175 million by Sunday.
Besides Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner, the Eclipse cast includes:
Sarah Clarke. Michael Welch. Charlie Bewley. Kiowa Gordon. Justin Chon. Julia Jones. Alex Meraz. Jack Huston.
Tinsel Korey. Leah Gibson. Chaske Spencer. Tyson Houseman. Iris Quinn. Paul Jarrett. Justin Rain. Cainan Wiebe.
Christian Serratos. Alex Rice. Bronson Pelletier. Ben Geldreich. Gil Birmingham. Kirsten Prout.
Best Actress Oscar nominee Catalina Sandino Moreno (Maria Full of Grace, 2004).
Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominee Anna Kendrick (Up in the Air, 2009).
Melissa Rosenberg (Twilight, New Moon) was credited for the adaptation of the third installment of Stephenie Meyer’s fantasy book series.
Trailing Toy Story 3 on Tuesday, June 29, Grown Ups, starring Adam Sandler, David Spade, Chris Rock, Kevin James, and Rob Schneider, collected $4.57 million – having already fallen below the $5 million-per-day mark.
The no. 3 movie was a one-night-only Twilight combo: Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart (plus Taylor Lautner in a supporting role) in Catherine Hardwicke’s Twilight (2008) and the vampire-human-werewolf triangle in full force in New Moon. These Twilight evening screenings brought in $2.38 million at 2,037 theaters for a pretty remarkable $1,171 per-theater average.
Stars and screams at ‘The Twilight Saga: Eclipse’ premiere
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse had its world premiere on Thursday night, June 24 at the Nokia Theatre in downtown Los Angeles.
Among the thousands present at the event were stars Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner; director David Slade; Twilight Saga author Stephenie Meyer; and most of the film’s supporting players, among them Peter Facinelli, Xavier Samuel, Dakota Fanning, Kellan Lutz, Ashley Greene, Nikki Reed, Jackson Rathbone, Tyson Houseman, Julia Jones, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Anna Kendrick.
At Thompson on Hollywood, Anne Thompson described the Eclipse screening:
Screams accompanied several extended romantic scenes, including passionate kisses between Stewart and each of her rival swains, and Lautner’s repeated shirtless appearances. Washboard abs indeed. This one, written by the same writer, Melissa Rosenberg, as the other two, is well-directed by David Slade. It plays much better than New Moon [directed by Chris Weitz]; the balance between action and romance, Edward and Jacob works. Fans ate it up. It will be huge, bigger than the last, which grossed $700 million worldwide.
Eclipse opens in the U.S. and about a dozen other countries on June 30.
‘Twilight’ and ‘New Moon’ combo
In preparation for the opening of Eclipse on Wed., June 30, Summit Entertainment will be showing Chris Weitz’s New Moon and Catherine Hardwicke’s Twilight in various U.S. cities on Sat., June 26. That also happens to be the day when an actual lunar eclipse takes place.
Needless to say, both movies star Robert Pattinson as the vampire Edward Cullen, Kristen Stewart as the human Bella Swan, and Taylor Lautner as the werewolf (or werewolf-to-be) Jacob Black.
Actors in attendance
Daniel Cudmore is expected to attend the Atlanta screening. Tyson Houseman and Jodelle Ferland will show up in Dallas. Michael Welch in Miami.
Jackson Rathbone and Bronson Pelletier in Philadelphia. Charlie Bewley and Julia Jones in Salt Lake City. Peter Facinelli and Edi Gathegi in San Diego.
Elizabeth Reaser and Nikki Reed in Seattle. Alex Meraz in Washington D.C. And other performers in other cities.
None of the three principals is listed.
Eclipse images: Kimberley French / Summit Entertainment.
The Last Airbender images: Zade Rosenthal / Industrial Light & Magic / Paramount.