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Eclipse Makes Budget Back First Day, Seeks July Fourth Weekend Record

Thompson on Hollywood By Anthony D'Allessandro | Thompson on Hollywood July 1, 2010 at 7:38AM

Anthony D'Allessandro looks at Eclipse's Fourth of July weekend ahead:
Thompson on Hollywood

Anthony D'Allessandro looks at Eclipse's Fourth of July weekend ahead:

Girls unloaded $68.5 million from their purses on Wednesday for a chance to see Summit Entertainment’s The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.  As anticipated, domestic records have been broken with the Saga's third installment. Eclipse easily became the highest grossing Wednesday opener ever, but came in second - to its previous sequel New Moon - for the single day record (New Moon had a Friday release, and holds the all-time record with $72.7 million).
In looking at this summer's numbers alone, what’s jaw dropping about Eclipse's box office debut is that it generated more money in a day than any of the top three Memorial Day films did over the entire four-day holiday (Shrek Forever After, Prince of Persia and Sex and the City 2).

Eclipse is playing at 4,416 theaters in North America and it had no problem receiving an A Cinemascore. The film ups its theater count to 4,468 on Friday, becoming the widest release in history, beating both Iron Man 2's opening count of 4,380 and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince's 4,455, which is the widest for a film at any point in its theatrical release.

Many analysts are betting that Eclipse unseats Spider-Man 2 as the biggest box office release spanning a six-day Fourth of July weekend (Spider-Man 2 also opened on June 30th back in 2004). Spider-Man 2 drew over $180 million with its highest grossing day (also a Wednesday) opening at $40.4 million. The film’s second highest day was Saturday, July 3 ($33.7 million) and its lowest was Sunday, July 4 ($21.95 million). It’s conceivable that Eclipse will follow a similar pattern.

Even if Eclipse falls $30 million short of Spider-Man 2, it is not a failure by any means. The film will still have a hearty Independence Day run. And, having made its $68-million budget back in one day, no box office cynic can argue that Eclipse is lackluster.

This article is related to: Box Office, Franchises, Headliners, Independents, Guest Blogger, Summer, Twilight, Rob Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Summit

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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.