Saturday, July 3, 2010

Twilight Saga: Eclipse, Last Airbender hold steady in Friday box office (07/02/10).

The Twilight sequel, Eclipse pulled in $28.6 million, which is a 18% uptick from the $24.2 million that the film pulled in on Thursday. Said Friday gross is the twenty-ninth biggest Friday ever, and the sixth-biggest non-opening Friday ever. While we can all bemoan the fact that the film is still pulling in less than half of its opening day total of $68.5 million, the romantic drama has still grossed $121.3 million in three days, which is the ninth-biggest three-day total ever. As it is, the Thursday and Friday numbers ($52.8 million) are within a few million of the first two days ofIndiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull ($55.6 million). Said Indy sequel pulled in $150 million in its first five days (Thurs-Mon). So if Eclipse performs accordingly for the rest of the holiday, we're looking at around $142 million for the Thursday-Monday portion (or whatNew Moon pulled in on its opening Fri-Sun opening weekend), with that extra $68 million opening-day tagged on just for fun for the six day haul. In other words, $200 million for six days should be a cake walk at this point unless the film completely collapses over the holiday.

The Last Airbender was apparently not a one-day wonder, as the critically-reviled fantasy improved 1.5% on its opening-weekend take. The M. Night Shyamalan picture grossed $16.6 million in its second day of release. It now has $32.9 million in two days. Ironically, had it opened on Friday, it likely would have had around $30 million just yesterday, putting it ahead of Twilight Saga: Eclipse for Friday and giving it a decent shot at winning the whole weekend. Still, with a Friday rise slightly similar to Terminator: Salvation (a critically-ripped franchise picture that opened on a Thursday but rose 10% on Friday) the film could do around $70-75 million for the five-day weekend, which is a huge win any way you slice it. Come what may, the surprisingly steady performance of the picture lends credence to the idea that audiences indeed are willing to see films that they otherwise wouldn't be interested in purely due to the 3-D presentation. Either that, or the original TV show has an even bigger fanbase than any of us realized (which makes the poor quality of the this would-be franchise starter all the more disconcerting, as Paramount may have killed a potent franchise by botching the first picture).

More news on the rest of the pictures tomorrow (short version - Toy Story 3 could be at $300 million by Monday, and Knight and Day is holding on as the choice of adult moviegoers), so until then take care.

Scott Mendelson

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