Twilight Sinks Teeth Into $70 Million

The fangirls came out in force this weekend with the much anticipated film adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” raking in an estimated $70.6 million in its opening weekend – the fourth biggest opening of the year behind only “Dark Knight,” “Indiana Jones” and “Iron Man” and just ahead of last week’s “Quantum of Solace”.

The film burst onto screens in the very early hours of Friday morning to chalk up a truly stunning $35.7 million opening day – the fourteenth highest of all time just ahead of “Iron Man” and the last “The Lord of the Rings”. With the exception of the first “Spider-Man” it is the highest opening day for a non-sequel. More importantly it shows that a mere $37 million budget film released by a new and still small-time distributor can play with the big boys – all the other ‘Opening Day’ records are held by big-budget studio tentpoles with only one exception, “The Passion of the Christ” which opened in 29th with $26.6 million.

Female-targeted blockbusters however, much like “Sex and the City” and “High School Musical 3” showed earlier in the year, tend to burn out a lot quicker – as was demonstrated when the film’s second-day dropped a quite large 41% to $21 million. Reviews for the film also were not complimentary with only a 44% & 5.4/10 rating on Rotten Tomatoes along with just a 56% & 6.6/10 on Metacritic. The film’s longevity remains to be seen, but in any sense this is an enormous success for all involved, especially its distributor Summit Entertainment, and expect sequels sooner than later.

Despite its slimmed down and more violence-toned darkness to hook in the US market, the poorly-reviewed new James Bond film “Quantum of Solace” took in $27.4 million in its second weekend – down a rather large 59.4% in its second weekend. The fall-off is the largest of any Bond in its second weekend – well-received Bond’s tend to drop 25% whereas poorly-received ones fall around 35-40%. The film still stands at $109.8 million, the fastest any Bond film has achieved that level in the US, but even with its near twice as big opening seems likely to end up equal to or below 2006’s “Casino Royale”. On the international front though 007 continues going gangbusters with a haul expected to add up to about $430 million globally by later today.

Disney’s “Bolt” also took in around $27 million, better than some of the studio’s other non-Pixar animated fare has done in recent years but likely less than they were hoping. On the limited release front, “Slumdog Millionaire” continues to ring stellar with $31,063 per screen average, the second best of any film (behind only “Twilight” with $20,636) in its second week of release.