In knowing the fervor and devotion of "Twilight" fans, it should come as no surprise that ticket sales for "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" have broken the record for highest-grossing midnight screenings — previously held by "New Moon."
According to the film's distributor, Summit Entertainment, "Eclipse" took in more than $30 million from midnight screenings on Wednesday (June 30), with final box-office numbers to be determined once the studio finishes its final count. The previous record for midnight showings is $26.3 million, set on the opening day for "New Moon" last November.
"Eclipse" will have to break $72.7 million to beat its predecessor in the all-time opening-day-gross category, but given the strong numbers Wednesday, and the fact that "Moon" opened on a Friday, not midweek, it is fair to say the third chapter in the hugely popular film franchise is on track to rake in serious dough throughout its opening weekend.
"Eclipse" ranks as the widest domestic release in history, opening in 4,416 theaters in North America, beating the record set earlier this year by "Iron Man 2." Four-thousand of those theaters held midnight screenings. Several theater chains also reportedly had 3 a.m. screenings to meet public demand. IMAX was expected to hold 3 a.m. screenings in 120 of its theaters.
In addition to being on par to break the "New Moon" opening-day and midnight-screening records, "Eclipse" has a shot at besting the record for a movie opening over the Fourth of July weekend. That record is currently at $200 million, set by last year's "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen."
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