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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Twilight Largest Wednesday Release Ever @ $68.5 million

The third leg of Stephanie Meyer’s “Twilight” book series sold $68.5 million of movie tickets in its North American debut Wednesday, the second-biggest opening ever.

“The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” fell short of the $72.7 million “New Moon” took in last November when it opened the Friday before Thanksgiving. “Eclipse” tops the prior Wednesday-opening record of $62 million set a year ago by “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.”

“Eclipse,” distributed by Summit Entertainment, is playing at a record 4,416 theaters in North America. The movie also saw some $30 million in ticket sales for midnight and early morning showings, also a new high.

Ticket sales are expected to remain strong throughout the Independence Day weekend, typically one of the strongest movie-going periods of the year. Box-office analysts are on watch for whether “Eclipse” can top “Spider-Man 2,” which in 2004 also opened Wednesday, June 30 and took in $180.1 million in its first six days of release, still the record for a July 4 period. The overall 6-day record is 2008’s “The Dark Knight” at $222.2 million.

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