It's been no secret the highly-anticipated "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" is expected by many to be one of the biggest movies of the summer. Those predictions were confirmed today when pre-release polling for the June 30 release hit Hollywood's studios and the vampire saga debuted like a monster.
The surveys reveal the "Twilight" fanbase is as strong as ever with a higher percentage of young women interested in "Eclipse" than young men polled before the opening of "Iron Man 2" last month. The third cinematic installment in the Stephenie Meyer franchise also has significant interest from both younger and older men which proves the action spots has peaked the interest of the male demo.
It's unclear how big "Eclipse" will open, but its worth noting a record first day should not be expected. "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" scored the biggest opening day in history with $72.7 million in November, but the summer is a different animal as is the vacation-friendly July 4 holiday weekend.
Taking into account "Eclipse" will debut on a Wednesday, its more likely the picture match "New Moon's" $153 million haul after five days. However, if the David Slade thriller is truly the best of the three "Twilight" films so far (as rumored), word of mouth could fuel a much bigger opening.
More of a surprise, and a relief to the executives at Paramount Pictures, is polling also shows "The Last Airbender" will not be the dud many feared or expected. The Nickelodeon franchise's loyal following is excited about the live action incarnation of their favorite characters and should give it a healthy kick off on July 2. Where it goes from there is anyone's guess.
As for other upcoming release, "The A-Team" and "The Karate Kid" should battle to win this upcoming weekend with "Toy Story 3" looking at a $100 million plus debut next. "Grown Ups" is also ready for a big opening, but "Knight and Day" is still looking tepid for its Wed, June 23 debut. Fox will have to hope reviews and word of mouth can keep that Tom Cruise/Cameron Diaz action comedy in play for the long run.