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'Twilight' eclipses record with $68.5M debut

Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, stars of the hit 'Twilight' vampire movies, are now comic book stars. (Photo courtesy of Summit Entertainment / Kimberly French)

July 1, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Fans are over the moon for "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse," which pulled in $68.5 million in its first day to set a new record for a movie debuting on Wednesday.

The third installment in the vampire romance made $30 million from the midnight screenings alone, the most ever for a midnight debut.

With the holiday weekend ahead, the movie is positioned to beat last year's 4th of July weekend haul of $200 million by Monday.

"Eclipse" surpassed the previous Wednesday record of $62 million set last year by "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen." But it fell short of the all-time best opening day, a record held by its predecessor, last November's "The Twilight Saga: New Moon," which took in $72.7 million.

In a single day, "Eclipse" took in a fraction more than the $68 million the movie cost to produce.

The franchise concludes with a two-part adaptation of "Breaking Dawn," the final novel in Stephenie Meyer's best-selling series. Part one of "Breaking Dawn" is due in theaters Nov. 18, 2011.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.