The third Twilight film, Eclipse breaks the record previously set by its own predecessor, New Moon, back in November. That release night saw a still huge $26.3 million, and went on to make $72.7 million by the end of the opening day and a third-highest ever first weekend haul of $142.8 million. Estimations currently have Eclipse pulling in well above the $150 million mark over the upcoming 4th of July weekend, thanks to the extended five day holiday period. Now, that’s a lot of tickets.
The movie had already made its way into the record books thanks to its giant 4,416 domestic (US) theatre run breaking Iron Man 2’s 4380 previous record earlier in the year. It has also helped the US’s largest movie ticket seller post a new record high of its own: of all advanced ticket sales on June 30th a staggering 91% of buyers were for Eclipse, helping the film become the hottest selling ticket in seller Fandango’s ten year history. While commentary is pointing to the veracious passion of the franchise’s female fans, it is highly likely that the movie is gaining further advantage from the increased action sequences- including the set-piece battle between The Newborns and The Wolfpack- which is no doubt aided by the involvement of 30 Days of Night’s helmer David Slade in the director’s seat.
Third place in the midnight money list goes to Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which weighs in with $22 million, whose follow-up will surely be the only heavy-weight release that could come anywhere near to the Eclipse figure, especially with the 3D element coming into play.
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse will open nationwide in the UK next week from the 9th, with special midnight previews screening on Friday 2nd, and previews continuing throughout the weekend.