Summit Entertainment found success opening Twilight on the pre-Thanksgiving weekend last year and will try to follow suit on the same weekend this year with sequel New Moon, but the distributor will break that pre-Thanksgiving streak with the third installment in the vampire romance franchise based on the four-novel series by Stephenie Meyer. The Twilight Saga's Eclipse is scheduled to open Wednesday, June 30, 2010, timed to be associated with the Independence Day holiday (the Fourth of July lands on a Sunday) in its first weekend.
The pre-Thanksgiving weekend of 2010 was already staked out by a much larger franchise, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part One), which effectively meant that Summit would have to wait until 2011 or two years after New Moon if they wanted to maintain the pre-Thanksgiving timing. The first Twilight grabbed the pre-Thanksgiving spot, moving from December, shortly after Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince jumped to July. As it stands, Eclipse will unfold only around seven months after New Moon. Currently, no other major releases are scheduled for June 30, 2010.
Summit disclosed the following storyline for Eclipse: "As Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge, Bella once again finds herself surrounded by danger. In the midst of it all, she is forced to choose between her love for Edward and her friendship with Jacob — knowing that her decision has the potential to ignite the ageless struggle between vampire and werewolf. With her graduation quickly approaching, Bella has one more decision to make: life or death."
The other news from Summit was the change in the nomenclature for the franchise. New Moon and Eclipse now brandish The Twilight Saga's at the beginnings of their titles.
In 13 weeks, the first Twilight has collected $189 million and eclipsed Interview with the Vampire as the most-attended vampire movie in recent memory. After an initial rush that led to a smashing $69.6 million start, the picture dropped precipitously in its second weekend. Instead of trailing off into oblivion as most movies would do in that situation, Twilight held up well from its third weekend on and ranked 24th this past weekend.