Posted July 01, 2010 byUPDATE THURSDAY 1:00 PM:
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse has broken the record for a Wednesday opening, taking in an estimated $68.5M. This tops the $62M brought in by Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Included in the total is the $30M reported previously from midnight and 3:00 AM screenings. In comparison, The Twilight Saga: New Moon took in $72.7M from 4,024 theaters on its opening day, setting a new all-time single day box office record. That figure included $26.3M in midnight shows. It also set a new record for the #1 summer day of all time, beating The Dark Knight's $67.2M. It was the second highest single day of all time (New Moon holds the top spot).
UPDATE THURSDAY 2:00 AM:
Early figures estimate that The Twilight Saga: Eclipse will break the record for a Wednesday opening, taking in $65M. This tops the $62M brought in by Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Included in the total is the $30M reported previously from midnight and 3:00 AM screenings. In comparison, The Twilight Saga: New Moon took in $72.7M from 4,024 theaters on its opening day, setting a new all-time single day box office record. Of course, that was a Friday, not a Wednesday.
These numbers are not official and are only estimates based on early reports. However, these preliminary figures are usually fairly close to the final data. Summit Entertainment will officially announce domestic and worldwide numbers later.
UPDATE WEDNESDAY 2:00 PM:
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse has opened to a record $30M+ overnight from approximately 4,000 screenings, beating the record $26.27M set by New Moon. This is an estimated total from all midnight and 3:00 AM shows. The film also set a new IMAX overnight record, with $1M at 192 locations beating the recordholder Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen with $959K.
As I posted below, Twilight opened on November 21, 2008 at 3,419 theaters, taking in around $7M in midnight screenings (which was considered stratospheric at the time). Its first weekend total was $69.64M. The Twilight Saga: New Moon opened on November 20, 2009 with $26.27M from 3,514 midnight screenings at 4,024 locations on its way to a first day total of $72.7M (more than Twilight's entire opening weekend). Its first weekend total was $142.8M, making it the #3 all-time and #1 non-summer opening weekend of all time.
The Dark Knight had a $18.4M midnight debut (3-day weekend) and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince took in $22.2M on a Tuesday night on its way to a 5-day weekend total of $158M. The Dark Knight went on to take in $67.17M that opening day, dropped 29.1% from Friday to Saturday to bring in another $47.65M, and ended with $43.6M on Sunday for an opening weekend total of $158.4M.
What to watch for: We won't be able to measure per theater averages until we know exactly how many showings there were. That will be a better indicator of how well Eclipse did vs. New Moon. The film's opening day total will be released tomorrow afternoon, Thursday 7/1. More theaters are expected to be added on Friday. The Independence Day holiday weekend is tabulated starting Friday, so the 3-day weekend totals will not include today and tomorrow's numbers. Therefore, it's possible that Eclipse may not set a holiday weekend record. Wednesday and Thursday's numbers will still count toward the film's total box office although they will be included in the week of Friday 6/25 - Thursday 7/1.
WEDNESDAY 7:00 AM:
As I did with Twilight and The Twilight Saga: New Moon, I will be tracking the box office numbers for The Twilight Saga: Eclipse on a daily basis. You will be able to follow the progress of the film on this blog just as you were able to witness the success of the previous movies here from the moment the first ticket was torn at the midnight screenings of Twilight, the first in the series based on Stephenie Meyer's best-selling books. That film was, at the time, expected to be a modestly successful indie -- and, yes, these are independent films, which is one of the the primary reasons I began reporting on them in the first place (and will continue to do).
The rest is cinematic history, and this morning's release of the third film in the The Twilight Saga was the biggest opening of all time at 4,416 venues. So it's no surprise that early reports say theaters were mobbed not just in America but overseas as well.
There are a few things to watch for (click the links for daily numbers and extensive analysis). Twilight opened on November 21, 2008 at 3,419 theaters, taking in around $7 million in midnight screenings (which was considered stratospheric at the time). Its first weekend total was $69.64 million. The Twilight Saga: New Moon opened on November 20, 2009 with $26.27 million from 3,514 midnight screenings at 4,024 locations on its way to a first day total of $72.7 million (more than Twilight's entire opening weekend). Its first weekend total was $142.8 million, making it the #3 all-time and #1 non-summer opening weekend of all time.
After the second weekend, its domestic total was $230.95M and worldwide was $473.95M. The film passed the $1/2 billion mark worldwide in its third weekend. After four weekends, New Moon sat at $267.32M domestic. And the film ended its fifth weekend with a total $274.6M domestic and $634.7M worldwide on its way to a current theatrical total of $296.6M domestic and $709.7M worldwide.
In comparing the box office numbers for Eclipse vs. New Moon, due to the differences in number of theaters and screens, it would be best to follow the per theater and per screen averages (which I'll be posting). That would be a more reliable indicator of how well this film is performing vs. the previous one. Not to mention that it's a 6-day holiday weekend opening.
The key to the total weekend box office will be the percentage drop (or increase) from one day to the next, especially Friday to Saturday. Twilight dropped 40.8% from Friday to Saturday its first weekend. New Moon dropped 41.8% the first Saturday after it opened. So that's the key to this weekend. No matter how well Eclipse does over the next couple of days it won't hold up if there's a precipitous decline on Saturday.