Summit's The Twilight Saga: Eclipse was tops over the busy four-day holiday weekend with an estimated $82.55 million. That brings the estimated six-day start for Eclipse to a massive $175.29 million. Eclipse opened 3 percent below the $180.07 million six-day start of 2004's Spider-Man 2 and 2 percent below the $178.87 million six day start of last year's The Twilight Saga: New Moon. Eclipse is running 4 percent ahead of the pace of last year's Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
As strong as the six-day start was for Eclipse, the film has also set a new standard when it comes to early front-loading for a midweek release. The film's four-day weekend take is actually 11 percent softer than the $92.74 million the film grossed during its first two days. That level of front-loading obviously isn't a good sign going forward, but in opening as large as it did, holding power won't be as important for Eclipse as it is for most other films. There is also still the possibility that Eclipse could stabilize a bit at some point, especially since the film is playing stronger with male audiences than either of the two previous Twilight films did. Continued IMAX grosses and midweek summer business should also help the film's cause.
Internationally, Eclipse has grossed an additional $100.2 million from 42 foreign markets. That brings the film's worldwide total to an estimated $275.5 million.
Paramount's The Last Airbender was also off to a strong start over the holiday weekend. The big-screen adaptation of the Nickelodeon animated series finished in second with an estimated $53.15 million and has grossed an estimated $70.50 million through its first five days. That already tops the $64.51 million total domestic gross of director M. Night Shyamalan's previous effort, 2008's The Happening. Though reviews for The Last Airbender have been brutal, the film has held up reasonably well thus far, especially given its built-in audience from both fans of the series and fans of Shyamalan. As has been the case with Sony's Grown Ups, The Last Airbender looks to be another instance of audiences and critics not seeing eye to eye. With that said, The Last Airbender is still likely to level off before long given the early fan rush-out.
Toy Story 3 finished in third with an estimated $42.2 million over the four-day frame. In doing so, Disney's computer animated sequel has now crossed the $300 million mark with an estimated 18-day gross of $301.05 million. Toy Story 3 is the third release of 2010 to reach the $300 million milestone and is now the second highest grossing film ever from Pixar without taking into account ticket price inflation (it only trails the $339.71 million gross of 2003's Finding Nemo).
Toy Story 3 experienced a significant percentage decline for the second straight weekend. However, the weekend decline was still a reasonable one given the added presence of Eclipse and The Last Airbender in the marketplace and the fact that Independence Day falling on a Sunday weakened grosses on both Saturday and Sunday for all films. Disregarding the percentage decline, the film's third weekend gross itself was impressive. On the international front, Toy Story 3 grossed $28.5 million from 34 territories. That brings the film's international total to $153.2 million and its worldwide haul to $454.3 million.
Grown Ups also took a noticeable hit this weekend, but was still able to gross a very respectable $26.5 million over the holiday frame. The PG-13 ensemble comedy starring Adam Sandler and Kevin James finished in fourth and has now grossed an estimated $85.08 million in its first eleven days. Grown Ups continues to run neck and neck with 2006's Click, which grossed $83.63 million in its first eleven days. With the initial rush-out for Eclipse and The Last Airbender behind us, Grown Ups could begin to hold up better going forward.