"Twilight" sequel eclipsed by earlier installment

Mon Jul 5, 2010 12:49pm EDT
 
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Estimated ticket sales for the latest "Twilight" movie were revised downwards for the second time in as many days on Monday, although the vampire romance still drew plenty of fans to North American theaters.

"The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" earned about $82.5 million during the four-day U.S. Independence Day holiday weekend, taking its total to $175.3 million since it opened on Wednesday.

If the latest estimates hold when final data are issued on Tuesday, "Eclipse" will trail its predecessor by about $4 million. "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" earned $179 million in its first six days in November, without the benefit of a summer holiday.

Summit Entertainment had hoped for much stronger sales. On Saturday, it predicted four-day sales of $106 million and a six-day haul of $199 million. The numbers dropped to $89 million and $181 million the next day.

The studio said it was difficult to predict how sales would fare during the weekend since the film's core audience of young women was distracted by holiday festivities.

"Eclipse" will still be massively profitable for the studio, as the film cost just $68 million to make. Summit was also heartened that more male moviegoers were taking in the continuing romantic adventures of teen Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and werewolf Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner). Men accounted for about one-third of the audience, up from one-fifth for "New Moon."

Updated foreign sales were not immediately available. The studio said on Sunday that the film pulled in $100 million from 42 countries.

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<p>Film director David Slade of Britain (C) gestures as he is flanked by U.S. actress Ashley Greene and Australian actor Xavier Samuel while posing during a photocall to promote their latest film "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" in Madrid June 28, 2010. REUTERS/Sergio Perez</p>