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`Twilight' Vampire Film's Midnight Shows Top $30 Million, Set Sales Record

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse,” the third film in Summit Entertainment LLC’s teen-vampire series, generated record sales of more than $30 million from midnight showings in U.S. and Canadian theaters.

“Eclipse” surpassed the previous record of $26.3 million set last year by “The Twilight Saga: New Moon,” the second film in the franchise based on Stephenie Meyer’s books, the Santa Monica, California-based studio said today in an e-mail.

The first two “Twilight” films earned more than $1.1 billion in global ticket sales, according to researcher Box Office Mojo. “Eclipse” may take in as much as $175 million over the five days ending July 4, based on the estimate of Jeffrey Hartke, a Hollywood Stock Exchange analyst.

“Eclipse” is opening today in a record 4,416 theaters, besting “Iron Man 2” when it made its debut on May 7 in 4,380 theaters, according to researcher Hollywood.com Box-Office. More than 4,000 theaters offered midnight showings of “Eclipse,” Summit said.

Summit executives weren’t available to comment, spokesman Paul Pflug said in an e-mail.

Summit plans two more movies based on Meyer’s fourth book, “Breaking Dawn.” The films focus on Bella Swan, a teenager whose move to a small town puts her in the company of vampires and werewolves. In “Eclipse,” Swan, played by Kristen Stewart, must choose between two suitors, vampire Edward Cullen and werewolf Jacob Black.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael White in Los Angeles at mwhite8@bloomberg.net.

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