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'Eclipse' records second-biggest single-day ticket sales ever, behind 'New Moon'

EclipseFans The newest "Twilight" installment may have eclipsed all movies at the box office at midnight, but it fell just short for its first full day.

"The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" sold $68.5 million worth of tickets in the U.S. and Canada on Wednesday, its first full day in theaters, according to an estimate from distributor Summit Entertainment. That's the second-highest total for a single day in box office history, not accounting for inflation, and the highest for any day except Friday.

The only movie that grossed more on a single day was the last "Twilight" film, "New Moon," which collected $72.7 million when it opened on a Friday last November.

People who closely follow ticket sales said that while "Eclipse" beat its predecessor in screenings that started at or soon after midnight, with $30 million-plus compared to "New Moon's" $26.3 million, it fell behind "New Moon" in matinees and evening shows.

That may not turn out to be a meaningful drop, however. With a long holiday weekend coming up, many "Twilight" fans are likely planning to see the newest installment in the next few days. Expectations for "Eclipse" remain very high, with people who closely track box office at studios expecting it to gross about $180 million in its first six days.

Audiences gave "Eclipse" an average grade of A, according to market research firm CinemaScore, slightly higher than the A- given to "New Moon." If fans do agree with most critics that "Eclipse" is a better film, it could generate better word of mouth and more repeat business and end up with a higher total gross than "New Moon's" $297 million.

-- Ben Fritz


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Photo: From left, Tiffany Collins, 16, Miranda Parkis, 15, and Tiffany's sister Ricki Collins, 15, all of Syracuse, N.Y., race past the ticket line toward their seats before a midnight showing of "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" at Shoppingtown mall in Syracuse on Tuesday night. Credit: Jim Commentucci / Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (4)

Yes. Us Twihards are nothing if not devoted to these movies. If it wasnt for us, the directors wouldnt get it right and they would not put in key scenes and certain quotes from the books. Also many of us Twihards are planning to see it more than once or twice.

I don't know if it is me, but there may be something fishy going on here? Hmmm.. I see something. Falling behind? I would have expected it to generate a bigger gross the first day,but who knows.

my money is on INCEPITON ON MIDNIGHT :D Yeah, baby. Only two more weeks. :)

IMO the whole "Twilight" phenomenon is mindless nonsense, but let's look on the bright side!!

If this thing was tried in downtown LA 5 years ago, before the opening of the LA Live complex, the teeny-boppers camping out there while waiting for the movie would have probably been outnumbered by the winos & drug addicts that used to populate that area!!

Haha. It was awesome!!! I saw it with my niece at midnight opening night and again with two of my nieces at noon today. It was MUCH MUCH better than the first two movies. Priceless...I think I'll go see it again this weekend. =)


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