The first estimates are in and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse has rounded up an estimated $68 million in its first 24 hours in theaters. In other words, it made back its estimated production budget in roughly a day which should make Summit’s bean counters beam with joy.
While Eclipse’s first day was no doubt huge, it did not break a record like the $30 million midnight opening did. The all-time single day opening still belongs to Eclipse’s predecessor, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, with $72 million on November 20, 2009. Eclipse will take the number two spot away from Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight and its $67.2 million opening day. The last laugh could come from Batman 3 in 2012.
Twilight films have proven to be front-loaded so its box office onslaught should taper dramatically after this weekend passes. With kids out of school and parents out of work for the July 4 weekend, there’s still the potential for Eclipse to set some more records by the time Monday wraps up.