Box Office Mojo: Eclipse, 30 Million Record Setting Midnight Tally

According to BoxOffice Mojo:

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse ripped into the record books with its midnight launch, grossing over $30 million at more than 4,000 theaters. That surpassed The Twilight Saga: New Moon‘s previous benchmark of $26.3 million. Included in Eclipse‘s sum was a new IMAX midnight milestone of over $1 million at 192 venues, topping Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen‘s $959,000.

The vampre(sic) romance sequel had already cast the widest opening net ever, biting into a whopping 4,416 locations (more theaters are expected to be added on Friday). Iron Man 2 previously held that title with 4,380 locations, while Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince holds the record for highest location count ever at 4,455. Eclipse‘s count includes 193 IMAX venues, which is just shy of Shrek Forever After‘s 194 record.”

See more on Box Office Mojo

The thing to keep in mind is that this figure only counts sales in the USA made through 3:00am this morning. It does not count the sales that are picked up during the day today through 11:59pm this evening.  Once those figures come in tomorrow afternoon to reflect the first day’s complete total that number should be $150,000,000. This will solidly put Eclipse opening in the top ten movies of the year.

The big question is going to be if Eclipse can get to the 300,000,000 million mark. New Moon was just shy at circa 296,000,000. No matter what it is going to continues to smash records for what is a predominately female driven enterprise.

CNN: Yes, Hollywood, Women Do Go To Movies

CNN talks about how New Moon and films like The Blind Side surprise Hollywood executives with their success. It’s an interesting tale of history repeating itself on Valentine’s Day and then amnesia striking. The stats on the decline of women’s roles and directors is particularly telling.

“There’s an old Hollywood tale, and it goes like this: Open a female-led movie around Valentine’s Day. Watch women go in droves and drive up box office numbers.

Then let Hollywood executives call it a fluke, since everyone knows that women don’t go to movies.

Over the past few weeks, that tale has been told with a twist.

Two female-led movies have earned astronomically high box office numbers — like “third best opening weekend” high — on fall weekends typically dominated by blockbuster movies aimed at men. “New Moon,” the second film in the “Twilight” vampire series, has grossed more than $230 million since its opening, while “The Blind Side,” about a white family that takes in a homeless African-American boy, is already past the $100 million mark.

See the rest on CNN.

This holiday season The Blind Side, New Moon, and The Lovely Bones are all poised to do well. Why? In no short measure, plots that appeal to women!

By the end of this weekend New Moon should be in 5th and possibly 4th place for 2009 movies taking the place of the heavily male dominated audiences for Star Trek and The Hangover.

New Moon About to Eclipse Twilight Total

According to Hit Fix New Moon brought in over $14 million dollars on Wednesday.

“”The Twilight Saga: New Moon” go?  After making another $14.3 million on Wednesday for a new U.S. total of $179 million, the question isn’t whether it will hit the $250 million mark it’s whether it can hit $300 million.  Considering the first “Twilight” made only $192 million a year ago that would be a stunning achievement.”

According to Gossip Cop the Thursday total is $9 million

That would but New Moon’s total domestic earning at approximately $188.4 million dollars. Twilight earned $192.7 million in it’s teatrical run that lasted from November 21, 208-April 2, 2009. In other words, what it took Twilight a little over four months to earn, New moon will earn in a week. Without question New Moon will pull in at least 4 million this Friday which will have it jump the Twilight total. In fact it will probably surpass the coveted $200 million mark by the end of the weekend.

All of this will have New Moon land in the number 6 position right behind Star Trek starting next week. Where it goes from there is anyone’s guess.

EW is celebrating the success with this article

“The ascendance of the Twilight saga represents an essential paradigm shift in youth-gender control of the pop marketplace. For the better part of two decades, teenage boys, and overgrown teenage boys, have essentially held sway over Hollywood, dictating, to a gargantuan degree, the varieties of movies that get made. Explosive truck-smashing action and grisly machete-wielding horror, inflated superhero fantasy and knockabout road-trip comedy: It has been, at heart, a boys’ pig-out, a playpen of testosterone at the megaplex. Sure, we have “chick flicks,” but that (demeaning) term implies that they’re an exception, a side course in the great popcorn smorgasboard.

No more. With New Moon, the Twilight series is now officially as sweeping a juggernaut on the big screen as it ever was between book covers. And that gives the core audience it represents — teenage girls — a new power and prevalence. Inevitably, such evolutions in clout are accompanied by a resentful counter-reaction. For if power is gained, then somewhere else (hello, young men!) it must be lost. ..The key to New Moon’s appeal, of course, is that a lack of consummation is built into the movie’s very premise, and so the sexiness, as it was in the ’50s, has to emerge almost entirely from the atmosphere, and from the interplay of those faces. And that, more than anything, is what makes this a picture dominated, in spirit, by a new kind of girl power. Mock me all you want (and from the haters, I expect nothing less), but the reason I believe that the big-screen success of the Twilight saga bodes well for the future of Hollywood movies is that the teenage girls who are lining up to see New Moon are asserting, in an almost innocent way, their allegiance to a much older form of pop moviemaking: the narcotic potency of mood, story, and romantic suggestion over the constant visual wham-pow! of action, effects, and packaged sensation. It’s not that New Moon has none of that stuff. It’s that the movie uses fantasy to liberate, rather than to steamroll, its emotions. That’s what makes it a new-style, feminine-driven brand of popcorn, one that’s more than welcome at a moment when the other kind — the boys’ kind — has grown more than a bit stale.”

New Moon By The Numbers

Here’s the latest analysis of the Box Office numbers and what it all means. According to Box Office Mojo New Moon is in the number 12 position with a domestic earning of $153,345,623.

As our favorite number’s analyst Larry Richman points out:

“Monday’s box office numbers are in. The Twilight Saga: New Moon took in another $10,506,486 from 4024 locations, with a per theater average of $2611. This increases the film’s domestic total to $153.3M and was the 14th highest grossing non-holiday Monday for any film, 4th highest since July 2008. This also places New Moon in sixth place on the all-time list of the first four days of wide release whenever they occurred, not just weekends. The current worldwide total, adding in $132.1M from overseas markets, is $285.4M.”

Once the Tuesday numbers are in later this afternoon, it’s our opinion that New Moon should easily overtake The Fast and the Furious for the number 11 position and quite possibly land in the top ten by unseating The Proposal as well.

Regardless of the Tuesday numbers, we are going into the Thanksgiving weekend movie crunch. Most high schools are getting out early today and where are those kids going? Answer: the mall to the movies. So the Wednesday number is going to be huge as well, and that’s not even counting what will happen this weekend, or for that matter what will happen with the 20+ crowd’s movie going habits.

The other advantage to the New Moon tally is that it is running largely unchallenged by other films. It’s nearest competitors are The Blind Side, 2012, and A Christmas Carol.  Given the themes of those movies, it’s our opinion that New Moon might lose out a bit to the Blind Side, but it’s more the case of people seeing The Blind Side (or any other movie for that matter) AND New Moon. Let’s face it, for most people it’s a five day weekend. Many are going to get in two films, and New Moon is going to be one of them.

So, by the end of the weekend, we are thinking that conservatively New Moon should be in the number 8 position knocking at the backdoor of  Ice Age and Monsters & Aliens that hold the number 7 and 6 postions (just a hair’s breath apart) respectively.

The real challenge is going to be to see if New Moon can advance beyond Star Trek to garner a postion in the coveted top 5 or higher. Our original prediction was that New Moon would land in the number 5 position. We are thinking that our guess may be low. Only time will tell.

EDITED 2:00pm est:  We did it. We are the number 10 film of the year. The domestic total through Tuesday’s sales is  $164.8 million.

New Moon Continuing to Break Records

According to Nikki Finke at Deadline Hollywood (at 10:30 pacific time Saturday night):

“SATURDAY 10:20 PM UPDATE: Hollywood insiders tell me that, based on NEW MOON’s early Saturday numbers, the phenomenally performing pic opened with a gargantuan $140 million first weekend.

The Twilight Saga franchise moviemaker Summit Entertainment won’t report official North American, international and worldwide totals until Sunday. But the sequel’s vampires and werewolves shattered the All-Time 3rd Biggest Opening Weekend record of $135.6M (see below).”

Now what does that mean? Hands down the best number analysis that fans can understand right now is coming from Larry over at ProNetworks (3:00 am Eastern Time Sunday):

“For those who are new to the box office numbers game, it may seem odd to have these figures this early in the weekend. But it is standard procedure to have early Saturday totals come in late Saturday night. Most theater chains have already filed their reports at that point and many studios have access to them and unofficially release the information. Once those figures arrive they always estimate Sunday and come up with a weekend projection. Then, several hours later on Sunday, the official numbers are issued for Saturday. At that point they predict Sunday numbers again and come up with a revised weekend projection. This is always done on Sunday. Of course, Sunday and weekend figures can only be estimates at this point. The actual Sunday numbers aren’t known until Monday. But many years and literally thousands of projections have yielded formulas that allow the industry to predict fairly closely what Sunday will be based on Friday and Saturday’s numbers and, therefore, what the weekend will look like. The actual numbers that come in on Monday are usually not too far off from the estimates made on Sunday. They usually adjust slightly up or down but are rarely far off.

No matter what the totals turn out to be, this is already the widest opening of all time for an independent film and guaranteed to be the biggest ever box office opening for an indie. The top four places are held by major Hollywood studio films: The Dark Knight (Warner Bros.) at $158.4M, Spider-Man 3 (Sony/Columbia) at $151.1M, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (Disney/Buena Vista) at $135.6M, and Shrek the Third (Paramount/Dreamworks) at $121.6M. “

Follow Larry on Twitter here.

Holy Box Office Smash! New Moon Beats Dark Knight?

Official Summit Number now in!

“Summit has announced that The Twilight Saga: New Moon has officially set a new all-time midnight box office record, taking in $26.27M from 3514 theaters.”

According to Larry at ProNetworks (someone who regularly watches these things):


Unofficial reports say The Twilight Saga: New Moon has shattered The Dark Knight’s $18.4M midnight debut for a 3-day weekend. Sources put the total at $23-24M. This would also surpass Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, whose 5-day weekend began with $22.2M on a Tuesday night. Summit has not yet released official numbers.”

EDITED: HitFix also chiming in:

“No one expected “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” to disappoint at the box office, but even Summit Entertainment has to be surprised by the massive opening the sequel garnered from midnight shows across the country.  Distributors are still submitting their grosses but sources tell HitFix “New Moon” has set a new record and may have made as much as $25 million from its midnight launch.

To compare, previous record holder “The Dark Knight” made $18.4 million in over 3,000 theaters, but some of those screens were of the IMAX variety which charge higher ticket prices thereby inflating the overall gross.  Not jumping on the IMAX bandwagon (so far), only makes “New Moon’s” gross even more remarkable.”

The Hollywood Reporter on Overseas Sales:

“Summit reported Thursday afternoon that at midnight showings on 466 screens in Australia, the movie took in AUS$1.7 million ($1.6 million). It sailed past the previous Australian midnight record set by “Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith,” which took in AUS$1.26 million ($1.2 million) in 2005….” Click here to see European sales totals.

LA Times:

“The vampires have beat the boy wizard.

According to four people close to the movie, “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” sold more than $22.2 million worth of tickets in midnight shows last night, beating a record set this summer by “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.”

Two people close to the pictures said the exact gross, which is still being calculated by Summit Entertainment, could be as high as $26 million.”

So…What Did You Think?

If you didn’t see the movie yet, click on the comments at your own peril. Unsurprisingly, critics don’t like it. The one issue we thought was rather funny that many of them brought up is that they thought it was poorly paced whereas it’s not a flaw that we see, though there are others (Alice’s vision, anyone?).

Also of note, is that many of the critics are guys. Is it a Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus thing? Meaning that women want that slower pace to feel Bella’s pain whereas guys don’t?  We’re not saying the film doesn’t have flaws, but is this just the case of the guys not getting what women want?

Here’s some of what we Tweeted on the issue last night:

Side note, critics who don’t like it r all male. Not saying any1 in danger of an Oscar, but I find Transformers just as boring.

What they are seeing as slow (IMO) works as the depression Bella goes through. Thinking the fanbase not gonna have an issue

Press has never “gotten Twilight”. I could explain it, but they are so set in their cubbyhole visions they don’t want to see why it succeeds

It’s a woman’s POV film that resonates & they don’t know what the hell to make of it b/c they can’t get out of their own way fast enough.

Let me break it down: It’s the plot, stupid. It’s not that we don’t see the flaws, we love it despite the flaws! And that ticks the guys off

In 2008: Iron Man, Indiana Jones 4, Hancock are far from quality but did well. Why? They resonated w/guys. Why is what girls want a mystery

It’s going to be a top 10. Fans are happy, drive the box $, & love it. How do ya like them apples?. Oh yeah…One more thing..Bite me!”

Where do you stand?

Waiting on the Box Office Numbers

Thanks to Larry from ProNetworks who’s been following it all. He’s been Tweeting updates. Here’s where we stand according to Larry (will update this post as figures come in):

Early word is that New Moon could break Dark Knight’s midnight record.

Dark Knight did 18.4M from 3040 midnites, 67M Friday, -29% Fri-Sat = 47.6M, 43.6M Sun = 158.4M

New Moon did 3514 midnites. So it needs >18.4M to break TDK’s record. Some think New Moon could be all time #1 opening day.

But as I said earlier this wk, key is Fri-Sat drop. Twilight dropped 49% Fri-Sat. That’s the key to the weekend.

Reports coming in from all over, ppl in line starting Thu AM (if allowed), tweens, older women, some boys & men. Males key to wknd numbers.

Summit would not release midnite estimates this morning so waiting for hard numbers now.”

Industry expert and insider Nikki Finke backs up Larry’s assessment.

“This pic is doing phenomenal. It’s breaking records,” one rival studio exec gushed to me at 5 PM PT Thursday night. “It’s ahead of Dark Knight. It could break every existing record for Friday. But Saturday will be a different story.” That is quite a statement.

Where will New Moon Rank?

Last year, according to Box Office Mojo,
Twilight was the 7 th place finishing film earning $191,465,414 at the domestic box office. It opened with $69,637,740 at the 3,419 theaters where it was shown opening weekend.

This year New Moon is currently the record holder for the highest presales ever on Fandango. It is opening at over 4,000 theaters. So where do you think it will land at the end of the year? We think that it will easily get to at least the number 6 position. Can it overtake Star Trek for the number 5?

Just Edited: We had to remove the poll as it was hanging the site.

Taylor Lautner Interview on Box Office

Taylor is his usual down-to-earth and informative self:

If the last two books in the series hadn’t already been written, what do you think Jacob should do to win over Bella?

I don’t think he would have changed anything, and I don’t think he should change anything. Jacob and Edward are extremely different guys and it’s just whether you want one guy or another. Jacob is himself, and he has a relationship with Bella that Edward doesn’t. And Edward has a relationship with Bella that Jacob doesn’t. So I wouldn’t change a thing.

As an actor, how do you make the audience root for Jacob and get invested in his feelings when the outcome of the love triangle is already known?

Well, you try and take things one step at a time. When I’m filming New Moon, I’m not thinking about Eclipse. When I’m filming Eclipse, I’m not thinking about Breaking Dawn. We just have to focus on the movie that we’re doing. ”

See the rest of Taylor’s comments on Box Office