The wait ended at midnight, and as MTV News can attest, the lines fans eager to see "Eclipse" snaked around theaters in New York and Los Angeles.
Those two metropolises weren't the only places beset by "Twilight" fervor. Deadline Hollywood reports that theaters in Boston, Washington D.C., Detroit, Cleveland, Denver and Salt Lake City were mobbed at midnight. So too were the theaters holding early screenings in countries like Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Brazil, Mexico, the Philippines, Belgium, Netherlands, Poland, Hungary and Finland.
At this point, "Eclipse" ranks as the widest domestic release in history as it opens in 4,416 theaters in North America — besting the record set by "Iron Man 2" earlier this year. Four thousand of those theaters held midnight screenings, Deadline reported, and several theater chains also had 3 a.m. screenings to meet public demand. IMAX was expected to hold 3 a.m. screenings in 120 of its theaters.
In the run-up to release, fans were also taking precautions against widespread sellouts, as "Eclipse" pre-sales spiked. Fandango reported that the vampire flick accounted for 91 percent of ticket sales on Tuesday, after staying in the site's top five since the pre-sale started in mid-May.
By the end of the weekend, "Eclipse" should have a staggering box-office haul. Early tracking suggests a three-day-weekend gross of as much as $140 million, with a six-day purse of up to $180 million.
Those are monster numbers, no doubt, but when you listen to how excited fans are, it's really not that surprising at all.
"I'm really excited," Oladayo Idowu, told MTV News outside a theater in New York. "I'm here for [the midnight showing], so I'm surprised my mom even let me out! I've been waiting for this movie since I saw 'Twilight.' I'm going to see it again and again and again."
Check out everything we've got on "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse."
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