Monday, July 5, 2010

Eclipse Opens with Record Breaking Midnight Launch!

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse ripped into the record books with its midnight launch, grossing over $30 million at more than 4,000 theaters. That surpassed The Twilight Saga: New Moon’s previous benchmark of $26.3 million. Included in Eclipse’s sum was a new IMAX midnight milestone of over $1 million at 192 venues, topping Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen’s $959,000.

Additionally, the first Twilight and New Moon were re-issued as a one-off, pre-Eclipse double-feature Thursday night at 2,037 theaters and made $2.4 million. Previously, Twilight took in $1.3 million in its re-issue the night before New Moon’s opening.

Casting the widest opening net ever, Eclipse bit into a whopping 4,416 locations on Wednesday (more theaters are expected to be added on Friday). Iron Man 2 previously held that title with 4,380 locations, while Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince holds the overall record for highest location count ever at 4,455. Eclipse’s count includes 193 IMAX venues, which is just shy of Shrek Forever After’s 194 record. Eclipse’s overall screen count, though, is estimated at 7,600, which is far from a new high.

Though it may have fewer screens than New Moon’s estimated 8,500 due to a more competitive market, Eclipse is packing more than enough showings to satisfy demand over the Independence Day holiday session, which will span six days, from Wednesday through Monday. New Moon shattered the opening day record last November, grossing $72.7 million in its Friday debut (which included its $26.3 million midnight start), and had racked up $178.9 million through its sixth day. It flamed out quickly and ultimately tallied $296.6 million, greatly improving on the first Twilight’s already stellar $192.8 million. Due to burning off demand on Wednesday and Thursday and other factors, Eclipse is not likely to top New Moon’s $142.8 million opening weekend.

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