'Twilight' dawns with huge first-day take

Friday boxoffice estimated at $35.7 million

Summit Entertainment's "Twilight" dawned spectacularly at the domestic boxoffice this weekend.

Preliminary estimates show the youthful vampire romance rang up a huge first-day tally of $35.7 million from Friday. The big first day gross -- which included a multi-million-dollar haul from midnight Thursday performances -- makes a $70 million-plus opening likely for the PG-13 pic.

In a highly unusual move, Summit itself on Saturday morning projected a possible three-day tally of $74.3 million. The fledgling producer/distributor also said in a separate press release Saturday that it already has greenlighted a "Twilight" sequel, "New Moon."

"Moon" will be based on the second of a series of best-selling "Twilight" books by Stephenie Meyer.

"I don't think any other author has had a more positive experience with the makers of her movie adaptation than I have had with Summit Entertainment," Meyer said. "I'm thrilled to have the chance to work with them again."

Advance ticket sales through online ticketers Fandango and MovieTickets were through the roof leading up to the opening, amid reports of teen girls buying tickets in groups and also purchasing tickets for multiple engagements. Older females and younger males helped pad out opening audiences for the pic.

The Bond pic "Quantum of Solace" from Sony and MGM was No. 2 on Friday, with $8.6 million. That pushed its eight-day cume to $91.4 million.

Disney's animated comedy "Bolt" bowed third with a first-day haul of $7 million.

If the usual family patronage kicks in Saturday and Sunday, "Solace" and "Bolt" will probably trade places in the silver- and bronze-medal positions by the end of the weekend.
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