NOTE: Box office totals for The Twilight Saga: Eclipse from 7/16 - 7/29 are posted HERE.

UPDATE THURSDAY, JULY 15 4:30 PM:

Theater counts have been issued for the week of Friday, July 16 - Thursday, July 22. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse drops 467 locations to a total of 4,001. The film will still have the widest release ahead of Inception with 3,792 locations. In third place is The Sorcerer's Apprentice with 3,504 locations.
UPDATE THURSDAY, JULY 15 3:00 PM:

Box office numbers are in for Wednesday, July 14. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse took in another $3,722,137 from 4,468 locations for a per theater average of $833, representing a decrease of 17.5% from Tuesday. This gives the film a cumulative domestic total of $247,931,714 after 15 days in release. Adding in overseas returns of $219M gives Eclipse a current worldwide total of $466,931,714.

It falls to third place behind Despicable Me with $7,159,885 and new entry The Sorcerer's Apprentice, which opened with $3,873,997. Toy Story 3 and Grownups round out the top five.


UPDATE WEDNESDAY, JULY 14:

Box office numbers are in for Tuesday, July 13. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse took in another $4,510,548 from 4,468 locations for a per theater average of $1,010, representing an increase of 4.21% from Monday. This gives the film a cumulative domestic total of $244,209,577 after 14 days in release. Adding in overseas returns of $219M gives Eclipse a current worldwide total of $463,209,577.

It stays in second place behind Despicable Me with $8,151,220 and a domestic cumulative total of $72,073,885 after 5 days in release. Toy Story 3, Grownups, and Predators round out the top five.


UPDATE TUESDAY, JULY 13:

Box office numbers are in for Monday, July 12. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse took in another $4,328,214 from 4,468 locations for a per theater average of $969, representing a drop of 48.17% from Sunday. This gives the film a cumulative domestic total of $239,699,029 after 13 days in release. Adding in overseas returns of $219M gives Eclipse a current worldwide total $458.7M.

It stays in second place behind Despicable Me with $7,525,540 and a domestic cumulative total of $63,922,665 after 4 days in release. Predators, Toy Story 3, and The Last Airbender round out the top five.


UPDATE MONDAY, JULY 12:

ACTUALS ARE IN: The final domestic box office numbers for its second weekend show that The Twilight Saga: Eclipse finished in second place with $31,708,438 from 4,468 locations for a per theater average of $7,097. This represents a decrease of 51.09% from the previous weekend of July 2-4. The film's domestic cumulative total is now $235,370,815 through its first 12 days of release. This is the official tally which, including the actual numbers for Friday-Sunday, has been revised downward by $1.63M from the previously announced $237M. Adding in overseas returns of $219M gives Eclipse a current worldwide total $454.4M.

The daily breakdown, with percent change from the previous day, includes Friday's $11,068,640 for a per theater average of $2,477 (+39.56%), Saturday's $12,288,703 for a per theater average of $2,750 (+11.02%), and Sunday's $8,351,095 for a per theater average of $1,869 (-32.04%). Overall, the 3-day weekend of July 9-11 was down 51.09% from the 3-day weekend of July 2-4. For those who wish to compare, New Moon dropped 70% in its second weekend.

Topping the charts was Despicable Me, which opened with $56,397,125 (adjusted downward by $3.7M). Predators opened behind Eclipse with $24,760,882 (adjusted downward by $539K). Toy Story 3 and The Last Airbender round out the top five.

Here is the reason why this overall number is lower than the one reported by the industry on Sunday. After the Saturday box office totals came in on Sunday morning, the studio estimated what Sunday would be and came up with a weekend projection. That is standard industry procedure. Of course, Sunday figures could only be estimated at that point. The actual numbers weren't known until now. The figures that come in after the weekend are usually not too far off from the estimates made over the weekend. They usually adjust slightly up or down but are rarely far off. In this case, the numbers were slightly overestimated for all three days, meaning that the percentage increases from Thursday to Friday and Friday to Saturday were less than anticipated and the drop from Saturday to Sunday was greater than anticipated. So the final number is revised downward by $1.63M.


UPDATE SUNDAY, JULY 11 1:00 PM:

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse finished second in its second weekend, taking in an estimated $33.4M from 4,468 locations with a per theater average of $7,475 for the Friday-Sunday period. This increases the film's domestic cumulative total to $237M through its first 12 days of release. Topping the charts was Despicable Me, which opened with $60.1M. Predators opened behind Eclipse with $25.3M. Toy Story 3 and The Last Airbender round out the top five. Eclipse took in another $81.1M from 9,440 theaters in 63 markets for a foreign total of $219M. This gives the film a new worldwide cumulative total of $456M.

The daily breakdown, with percent change from the previous day, includes Friday's $11.1M for a per theater average of $2,484 (+40%), Saturday's $12.4M for a per theater average of $2,775 (+11.7%), and Sunday's $9.9M for a per theater average of $2,216 (-20.2%). Overall, the 3-day weekend of July 9-11 was down 48.5% from the 3-day weekend of July 2-4. For those who wish to compare, New Moon dropped 70% in its second weekend.

These numbers are not "actuals," meaning they are only official estimates based on early reports. For those who are new to the box office numbers game, it may seem odd to have these figures when Sunday isn't even over yet. But it is standard procedure to have weekend totals announced at this time. After the Saturday box office totals come in on Sunday morning, studios always estimate Sunday and come up with a weekend projection. Therefore, Sunday and weekend figures can only be estimates at this point.

The actual numbers won't be known until Monday. But many years and literally thousands of projections have yielded formulas that allow the industry to predict fairly closely what Sunday will be based on Saturday's numbers and, therefore, what the weekend will look like. The actual numbers that come in after the weekend are usually not too far off from the estimates made on Sunday. They usually adjust slightly up or down but are rarely far off.


UPDATE SATURDAY, JULY 10 4:00 PM:

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. Foreign box office of $104.6M gives Eclipse a worldwide cumulative total of $319.262M.

The record for the first 10 days in release is held by The Dark Knight with $313,781,677. The Twilight Saga: New Moon is #6 with $230,947,696. Eclipse finishes at #10 with $214,662,377.


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.

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.

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).


UPDATE WEDNESDAY, JULY 7:

Box office numbers are in for Tuesday, July 6. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse took in another $10,567,862 from 4,468 locations. This gives the film a cumulative domestic total of $186,950,082 after 7 days in release. It still sits in first place at the top of the charts, ahead of Toy Story 3 and The Last Airbender.

The record for the first 7 days in release is held by The Dark Knight with $238,615,211. The Twilight Saga: New Moon is #6 with $188,077,665. Eclipse finishes close behind at #7 with $186,950,082. 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 TUESDAY, JULY 6:

ACTUALS ARE IN: The final domestic box office numbers for its first weekend show that The Twilight Saga: Eclipse finished in first place with $64,832,191 from 4,468 locations for a per theater average of $14,510 for the 3-day weekend of Friday, July 2 - Sunday, July 4. For the 4-day weekend of Friday, July 2 - Monday, July 5, Eclipse finished in first place with $83,637,242 from 4,468 locations for a per theater average of $18,719.

These figures include newly released official numbers (with percent increase or decrease from the previous day) of $28,153,316 (+16.3%) with a per theater average of $6,301 for Friday, $23,420,629 (-16.8%) with a per theater average of $5,242 for Saturday, $13,258,246 (-43.4%) with a per theater average of $2,967 for Sunday, and $18,805,051 (+41.8%) with a per theater average of $4,209 for Monday. This increases the film's domestic cumulative total to $176,382,220 through its first 6 days of release. This is the official tally which, including the actual numbers for Thursday-Monday, has been revised upward by $1.1M from the previously announced $175.29M. Adding in partial overseas returns of $100.2M gives Eclipse a current worldwide total $276,582,220.

The all-time record for the Independence Day weekend (Friday to Sunday) is held by Spider-Man 2 with $88,156,227, followed by Transformers with $70,502,384 and War of the Worlds (2005) with $64,878,725. Eclipse finishes fourth with $64,832,191. As I mentioned earlier, the last film that opened on a Wednesday, June 30 on the eve of a 4th of July weekend was Spider-Man 2 in 2004. That film holds the record for the first 6 days in release with $180M. For many, that was the number to beat. New Moon's first six days brought in $178.9M, placing it in 6th place overall. As it turned out, Eclipse finished in 7th place with $176,382,220.

Here is the reason why this overall number is higher than the one reported by the industry on Monday. After the Sunday box office totals came in on Monday morning, the studio estimated what Monday would be and came up with 3-day and 4-day weekend projections. That is standard industry procedure. Of course, Monday and weekend figures could only be estimated at that point. The actual Monday numbers weren't known until now. The actual numbers that come in after the weekend are usually not too far off from the estimates made over the weekend. They usually adjust slightly up or down but are rarely far off. In this case, the number was slightly underestimated, meaning that the percentage changes from one day to the next were slightly less than anticipated overall and more people went to see Eclipse than had been predicted. So the final number is revised upward by $1.1M.


UPDATE MONDAY, JULY 5:

Box office estimates are in for Sunday, July 4 and Monday, July 5. For Sunday, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse finished in first place, taking in $16.6M from 4,468 locations for a per theater average of $3,715, representing a drop of 30.5% from Saturday to Sunday. This brings its 5-day cumulative domestic total to $161M. On Monday, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse stayed in first place, taking in $13.545M from 4,468 locations for a per theater average of $3,032, representing a drop of 18.4% from Sunday to Monday. This brings its 6-day cumulative domestic total to $175.29M. Adding in partial overseas returns of $100.2M gives Eclipse a current worldwide total of $275.49M.

For the 3-day weekend of Friday, July 2 - Sunday, July 4, Eclipse finished in first place with an estimated $69M from 4,468 locations for a per theater average of $15,443. For the 4-day weekend of Friday, July 2 - Monday, July 5, Eclipse finished in first place with an estimated $82.545M from 4,468 locations for a per theater average of $18,475. In second place for the 4-day weekend was The Last Airbender with $53.15M from 3,169 locations for a per theater average of $16,772. This brings its 5-day cumulative domestic total to $70.5M.


The all-time record for the Independence Day weekend (Friday to Sunday) is held by Spider-Man 2 with $88,156,227, followed by Transformers with $70,502,384. Eclipse finishes third with $69M. As I mentioned earlier, the last film that opened on a Wednesday, June 30 on the eve of a 4th of July weekend was Spider-Man 2 in 2004. That film holds the record for the first 6 days in release with $180M. For many, that was the number to beat. New Moon's first six days brought in $178.9M, placing it in 6th place overall. As it turned out, Eclipse finished in 8th place with $175,289,978.


UPDATE SUNDAY 12:00 NOON:

Box office estimates are in for Saturday, July 3. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse finished in first place, taking in another $23.9M from 4,468 theaters for an average of $5,349. This represents a 16.1% drop from Friday to Saturday. Adding in the film's opening day box office take of $68.5M, Thursday's $24.2M, and Friday's $28.5M brings its 4-day cumulative domestic total to $145.1M.

Industry analysts are now projecting the film will take in another $16.6M today and $20M on Monday. This would give it $69M for the 3-day weekend of Friday-Sunday and $89M for the 4-day weekend (including the Monday holiday) of Friday-Monday. That would total $181M for the 6-day period of Wednesday-Monday since it's been in theaters. These numbers are lower than those estimated yesterday since the film's drop from Friday to Saturday was greater than anticipated.


UPDATE SATURDAY 8:00 AM:

Box office estimates are in for Friday, July 2. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse finished in first place, taking in another $28.6M from 4,416 theaters. Adding in the film's opening day box office take of $68.5M and Thursday's $24.2M brings its 3-day cumulative domestic total to $121.3M.

Friday's number is only an estimate for now until actual figures are released after the holiday weekend on Tuesday. The weekend projections are based on formulas that allow analysts to predict fairly closely what the weekend will look like based on the previous days' numbers and, therefore, what the weekend will look like.


UPDATE FRIDAY 11:00 PM:

As I posted earlier, Eclipse's first two days in release will not count in the official upcoming weekend numbers since a box office weekend technically begins on Friday. Instead, Wednesday and Thursday are counted as the final two days of the previous week.

The official numbers have now been released for the week of Friday 6/25 - Thursday 7/1 and, despite only having been in release the last two days of that period, Eclipse still managed to finish at #1 for the week with $92,744,978 at 4,416 theaters for an average of $21,002. Toy Story 3 was close behind with $91,274,487, which included all seven days vs. Eclipse's two days.


UPDATE FRIDAY 5:00 PM:

Final numbers are in for Thursday, July 1. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse took in another $24,211,138. Adding in the film's opening day box office take of $68,533,840 brings its 2-day cumulative domestic total to $92,744,978. This represents a 64.7% drop from Wednesday to Thursday and the film's per theater average fell from $15,519 to $5,483, but it was still good enough to be the second highest Thursday of all time (non-opening). Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen holds the record with $29.1M.

The decrease from Wednesday to Thursday was the worst ever for a film opening on a Wednesday. Although this seems like a significant drop, it was to be expected given the difference between a second day falling on a weekday vs. a weekend day. Even the film whose Wednesday opening was beaten by Eclipse, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, opened with $62M and dropped 53% from Wednesday to Thursday. It should also be kept in mind that The Twilight Saga films tend to be heavily front-loaded, that is, a higher percentage of fans want to be among the first to see the film -- more than for many other franchises and tentpole movies.

Other films which opened on a Wednesday and dropped on Thursday include Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (down 57%), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (down 58%), and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (down 62%). The last film which opened on a Wednesday, June 30 prior to the Independence Day weekend was Spider-Man 2, which dropped 41% from Wednesday to Thursday.

How does this compare with recordholder New Moon? That film took in $72.7M its opening day and dropped 41.8% to earn $42.3M the next. Its total was $115M after the first two days. But, again, that was a Friday to Saturday as opposed to a Wednesday to Thursday. Apples to oranges, as the saying goes. That said, a drop from Wednesday to Thursday for Eclipse from $68.53M to $24.21M is a pretty steep 64.7%. But that was to be expected since Thursday is still not part of the weekend.


UPDATE FRIDAY 12:00 NOON:

Early estimates as of Friday 12:00 noon show The Twilight Saga: Eclipse finished #1 again on Thursday, taking in another $24.2M from 4,416 locations. Adding in Wednesday's numbers gives the film a cumulative total of $92.8M domestic. Industry projections call for a possible 5-day weekend total of $110M and a 6-day holiday weekend totaling $178M. Spider-Man 2 took in $180M over its 6-day Independence Day holiday weekend.


UPDATE THURSDAY 5:30 PM:

Theater counts have officially been released for the week of Friday 7/2 to Thursday 7/8 (which includes the 4-day Independence Day holiday weekend of 7/2 -7/5). The Twilight Saga: Eclipse will add 52 theaters to increase from 4,416 to 4,468. Summit also announced that Eclipse took in $16.2M from 21 overseas markets on its first day of release.


UPDATE THURSDAY 2:45 PM:

Summit has now officially certified that The Twilight Saga: Eclipse took in $68,533,840 on Wednesday. The film opened in 4,416 theaters, the widest opening in history, with a per theater average of $15,519. New Moon's opening day average was $18,068. However, keep in mind that there's a big difference between a Wednesday and a Friday opening. A fair comparison of box office returns for Eclipse vs. New Moon really won't be possible until next week. In addition, the one-night Twilight/New Moon double feature brought in $2,385,237. See 1:00 PM update below for records and more.


UPDATE THURSDAY 1:00 PM:

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse has broken the record for a Wednesday opening, taking in an estimated $68.5M from 4,416 locations, the widest opening in history. 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. 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 after The Twilight Saga: New Moon, which 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. On Wednesday, June 30, 2004, Spider-Man 2 took in $40.4M ($52M adjusted for inflation). By the end of the Monday holiday it had taken in $180.1M (230M adjusted).

What to watch for: We won't be able to compare per theater averages for New Moon vs. Eclipse until we know exactly how many showings there were. Those figures should be released soon. Also keep in mind that the Independence Day holiday weekend is tabulated starting Friday, so the 3-day weekend totals will not include Wednesday and Thursday. Therefore, it's possible that Eclipse may not set a holiday weekend record.


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.




Author

Larry Richman

Larry Richman

For 20 years I was a professional in the entertainment industry, from commercial broadcast radio in America's fourth largest market to band management to record production. But my passion is independent film, and I spend much of the year traveling to film festivals to see indies and meet the actors, directors, and others responsible for creating them. I'm a writer, photographer, and videographer, currently serving as Senior Vice President for Media & Technology and Public Relations at PROnetworks as well as Editor at Larry411.com

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