Box office estimates are in for Friday, August 6. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse took in another $740K from 1,704 locations for a per theater average of $434. This represents an increase of 18.6% from Friday. Its new cumulative domestic total is $291.552M after 38 days in release. Adding in overseas returns of $356.7M gives Eclipse a current worldwide total of $648.252M.
It drops into 11th place behind The Other Guys, opening with $13.2M at 3,651 locations for a per theater average of $3,615, Step Up 3-D, opening with $6.6M at 2,435 locations for a per theater average of $2,710, Inception, with $5.53M at 3,418 locations for a per theater average of $1,618 and a domestic cumulative total of $214.662M after 22 days in release, Dinner for Schmucks with $3.38M, Salt with $3M, Despicable Me with $2.92M, Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore with $2.15M, Charlie St. Cloud with $1.72M, Toy Story 3 with $860K, and Grown Ups with $750K.
For those comparing the films in The Twilight Saga, at this point in its release history (after 38 days) New Moon had taken in $280,962,758. Eclipse is now at $291,552,000. Both films hit the $250M mark on the 16th day.
Keeping track of records, the film with the least number of days to reach $250M was The Dark Knight, which hit $261,847,503 after eight days. New Moon is in 13th place, having taken 16 days to reach $251,530,186. Eclipse lands just behind it in 14th place, taking 16 days to reach $251,371,417. This puts the film ahead of Shrek the Third, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, and Iron Man 2, which all took 17 days to hit $250M.
So far, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse has set all-time box office records for Opening Wednesdays, Single Day Wednesday Gross (non-adjusted), and Single Day Wednesday Gross (adjusted for inflation). It is in second place for Opening Day Gross, Single Day Gross, and Non-Opening Thursday Gross. Release records include Widest Releases, Widest Independent Releases, Widest Opening Independent Releases, Widest PG-13 Rated Openings, and Widest PG-13 Rated Releases.
There's been quite a bit of discussion online regarding the film's box office success. In particular, I wonder about the fairness of comparing the Twilight films against each other. The validity of judging Eclipse vs. New Moon is questionable given their strikingly different release schedules. As I've been saying since it opened, the idea was not to compete against or beat New Moon's early numbers. That may be a goal of some people but the idea is to make money, and maybe set some records in the process.
First, remember that the film's opening weekend started on a Wednesday. There is no way that a "weekend" that begins on a Wednesday can be compared to a "normal" 3-day weekend (when New Moon opened). So any comparison between the two based on how many "weekends" it's been out simply isn't valid. Next, look at the time of year the two films were released. New Moon came out during the Thanksgiving-Christmas holiday season. It's a big time of year for Hollywood but still doesn't compare to summer, when they put out their "tentpole" films -- the potential blockbusters that will keep the studios in the black for another year. The competition is much more fierce beginning Memorial Day weekend through the 4th of July. It's simply a different marketplace.
Is Summit happy with the first month's box office returns? I don't know but I'm fairly sure they must be. Again, the goal was not to "beat New Moon." That may be something the press or some others will latch on to but it may not be a fair comparison. It was very easy to compare Twilight to New Moon since they opened at the same time one year apart. Not so much New Moon to Eclipse. I think it's wise to just see how the film does over time in its own right.