Twilight Opens Big: $71 Million

Never underestimate the buying power of America’s tweeners. That seems to be the lesson here for anyone who still doesn’t think there is money to be made among the sea of book reading girls out there, as “Twilight”, the first movie based on author Stephanie Meyer’s uber hot selling “Twilight” series of young adult novels, scored an impressive $70.6 million in its first weekend, according to industry estimates. That’s good for $20,636 per theater that had the common sense to book the film, in case you were wondering. The teen vampire movie about forbidden romance between a vampire and a spunky High School girl easily took the box office crown, with James Bond’s “Quantum of Solace” taking second place with $27.4 million in its second week of release. The weekend’s only other new release, the animated comedy “Bolt” scored the third spot with $27 million.

“Twilight’s” huge opening has it primed to easily best the other big tweener movie of the year, the Disney Channel theatrical sequel “High School Musical 3″, which seems to have stalled at $87 million in its fifth week. Of course, that’s nothing to sneeze at, as it’s still a whopping take for a movie made on a very modest $11 million dollar budget with zero household names outside of your average Disney Channel watching demographic.

Considering “Twilight’s” mega opening, I think it’s safe to say that a sequel, probably based on “New Moon”, the second in the series of novels, will be getting a fast track by Summit Entertainment into production faster than you can say, “Cha-ching!”. If we don’t see the film by 2009, I’d be very surprised.

Still haven’t gotten enough “Twilight”? More vampire angst in our movie gallery.