Just How Huge Will ‘Twilight’ Be This Weekend?

One of the most interesting phenomena of the past few years has been the rise in Hollywood’s box-office prognosticators, people who make a living predicting how much a film like “Quantum of Solace” will make during its opening weekend. And in this time of perceived predictability, there are few pleasures as great for a movie fan as watching a film like “Borat” or “The Passion of the Christ” come out and make those people look like… well, they’re not very good at their jobs.

This week’s “Twilight” Tuesday takes you to last night’s premiere and afterparty for the latest film to confound the prognosticators. Although few had given the movie much of a chance to win its weekend until recently, now several are predicting that it could beat Disney’s talking-dog cartoon “Bolt,” and wild guesses have the $37 million film pulling in anywhere from $20 million to $60 million or more.

With “Twilight” director Catherine Hardwicke having gone on record saying that the film must make $150 million for its sequels to become a reality, such inside-baseball talk has suddenly become a matter that concerns every “Twilight” fan. So naturally, the talk on the red carpet last night kept turning back to the stars’ optimistic uncertainty.

“I’ve been making bets with people [on how much “Twilight” will make this weekend],” grinned Robert Pattinson. “But I don’t want to jinx it.”

“I would say I hope it makes $80 million opening weekend,” added Cam Gigandet, painting a rosy scenario. “Is that a lot?”

“At this point, I think it’s going to do well,” explained Edi Gathegi, perhaps revealing some insider information.

“I think $49 million would be on track.” Added Kellan Lutz: “I can only pray that we make our budget, plus more. I can only hope $35 million-plus.”

His main squeeze in the film, Nikki Reed, has been around Hollywood for some time and said: “You know, if it makes more than $37 million, we did well. I’ve heard crazy numbers, but it’s always nice to be pleasantly surprised.”

“We hope it’s like in the 30s to 40s,” said Hardwicke, explaining that an opening in the 40s could put “Twilight” on track for that magical $150 million plateau. “Hopefully, people will go back to see it again and again.”

Alright gang, your final “Twilight” Tuesday question before the film’s release is a two-parter: How much will “Twilight” make this weekend, and how many times will you see the movie while it’s in theaters?