Updated box office estimates are in for Friday, July 9. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse took in $11M from 4,468 domestic locations for a per theater average of $2,462. This represents a 38.7% increase from Thursday and gives the film a cumulative domestic total of $214.662M after 10 days in release. It comes in second place behind Despicable Me, which opens with $21.69M at 3,475 locations for a per theater average of $6,240.
Keeping track of records, the film with the least number of days to reach $200M was The Dark Knight, which hit $203,773,518 after five days. New Moon is in fourth place, having taken eight days to reach $205,788,929. Eclipse stands in tenth place, taking nine days to reach $203,662,377. This puts the film ahead of Spider-Man, which took nine days to hit $202,035,007, and Avatar, which didn't break the $200M mark until its 10th day when it hit $212,711,184.
The record for the first 9 days in release is held by The Dark Knight with $290,119,997. The Twilight Saga: New Moon is #5 with $222,312,298. Eclipse finishes at #9 with $203,662,377. So far, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse has set all-time box office records for Opening Wednesdays, Single Day Wednesday Gross (non-adjusted), and Single Day Wednesday Gross (adjusted for inflation). It is in second place for Opening Day Gross, Single Day Gross, and Non-Opening Thursday Gross. Release records include Widest Releases, Widest Independent Releases, Widest Opening Independent Releases, Widest PG-13 Rated Openings, and Widest PG-13 Rated Releases.
UPDATE SATURDAY, JULY 10 12:00 NOON:
Early box office estimates are in for Friday, July 9. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse took in $11.08M from 4,468 domestic locations for a per theater average of $2,479. This gives the film a cumulative domestic total of $214.74M after 10 days in release. It comes in second place behind Despicable Me, which opens with $21.75M at 3,475 locations for a per theater average of $6,258.
UPDATE SATURDAY, JULY 10 10:00 AM:
Early industry estimates predict a $35 million weekend for The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. This would put it in second place behind Despicable Me, which is expected to win with a $55-60M opening.
UPDATE FRIDAY, JULY 9:
Box office numbers are in for Thursday, July 8. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse took in $7,931,087 from 4,468 domestic locations for a per theater average of $1,775. This gives the film a cumulative domestic total of $203,662,377 after 9 days in release. It still sits in first place at the top of the charts, ahead of Toy Story 3 and The Last Airbender. Updated foreign box office of $104.6M gives Eclipse a worldwide cumulative total of $308,262,377.
Here are the weekly numbers for the period from Friday, July 2 - Thursday, July 8. In its first full week, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse took in $110,917,399 from 4,468 locations for a per theater average of $24,825. Despite being the widest release, this was the highest average of all 82 films measured. It finished in first place for the seven-day period ahead of The Last Airbender and Toy Story 3.
UPDATE THURSDAY, JULY 8:
Box office numbers are in for Wednesday, July 7. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse has now surpassed $300 million worldwide. It took in another $8,781,208 from 4,468 domestic locations for a per theater average of $1,965. This gives the film a cumulative domestic total of $195,731,290 after 8 days in release. It still sits in first place at the top of the charts, ahead of Toy Story 3 and The Last Airbender. Updated foreign box office of $104.6M gives Eclipse a worldwide cumulative total of $300,331,290.
The record for the first 8 days in release is held by The Dark Knight with $261,847,503. The Twilight Saga: New Moon is #4 with $205,788,929. Eclipse finishes at #8 with $195,731,290.
Theater counts for the week of Friday, July 9 - Thursday, July 15 reflect no change for The Twilight Saga: Eclipse with 4,468 locations. The film will still have the widest release ahead of Toy Story 3 with 3,753 locations, a decline of 275. In third place is this week's widest opener, Despicable Me with 3,474 locations.
Meanwhile, there's been some confusion over why Eclipse's first two days didn't count towards its first weekend. It makes sense on the face of it, but let's look back at the last movie that opened on a Wednesday, June 30 on the eve of a 4th of July weekend, Spider-Man 2 in 2004. As you can see here, its first two days in release, Wednesday, June 30 and Thursday, July 1, aren't counted in the weekend numbers. As you can see above, there are two listings: the 3-day weekend of Friday-Sunday and the 4-day weekend of Friday-Monday (the Independence Day holiday). So they don't count the first two days it was in release as part of the weekend although, as you can see, they are included in the film's cumulative total and they are counted towards record-keeping. If there is any movie that Summit (and the media and public) should be comparing Eclipse to it should be Spider-Man 2, not New Moon.
They do tabulate records for films that open on a Wednesday or Thursday of a Monday holiday weekend. There is a 5-day holiday weekend record from Thursday-Monday for films that opened on a Wednesday or Thursday and a 6-day holiday weekend record from Wednesday-Monday for films that opened on a Wednesday. There are also 3-day (Friday-Sunday) and 4-day (Friday-Monday) records for holiday weekends, of course, as well as non-holiday records for 3-, 4-, 5-, and 6-day opening periods (and on and on...). But these are all records which would only allow Eclipse to be compared to other films which were in theaters at the time, not against films which hadn't even come out yet. Now that the film is in competition with the rest of the movie marketplace, we'll be able to begin to judge the success of the film's early days.
Then why did Summit release the film on a Wednesday? To get the jump on the competition. Most new movies open on a Friday. If Eclipse had opened the same day as all the other new holiday weekend films it would obviously have been competing with all of them. By opening earlier, on Wednesday, it only had to go up against the "old" films that were already out. There was no competition against anything new (and The Last Airbender certainly didn't give it much competition).
So the idea was not to compete against or beat New Moon's early numbers. That may be a goal of some people but the idea is to make money, and maybe set some records in the process. The fact is, there is no way that a "weekend" that begins on a Wednesday can be compared to a "normal" 3-day weekend (when New Moon opened). So any comparison between the two simply isn't valid -- not until at least another week has gone by. Even then it will be difficult to put one up against the other since their release patterns are so different.
Is Summit happy with the first days' box office returns? I don't know but I'm fairly sure they must be. Again, the goal was not to "beat New Moon." That may be something the press or some others will latch on to but it's simply not a fair comparison. It was very easy to compare Twilight to New Moon since they opened at the same time one year apart. Not so much New Moon to Eclipse. Let's wait a week...or a few...or a month or more...before starting to compare the two. Better yet, let's just see how the film does over time in its own right, and maybe see if it sets more records. And, if you like it, tell your friends.