STUDIOS EXPECTING FABULOUS FOURTH
The Fourth of July weekend is likely to produce — by far — the biggest box-office grosses of the year. Summit Entertainment launched the third installment of its Twilight franchise at midnight last night (Tuesday/Wednesday), amid expectations that it will sell $150-million worth of tickets by Monday. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse collected $30 million, the most any movie has ever grossed for a midnight screening. Also opening is Love Ranch, starring Helen Mirren and directed by her husband, Taylor Hackford. It’s debuting in 11 theaters and not expected to draw big crowds. On Thursday, Paramount premieres M. Night Shyamalan’s 3D adventure The Last Airbender, which will be grabbing more than 2,000 3D screens. Analysts are predicting that it will earn $50-60 million over the holiday weekend. Finally, Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 3 is expected to remain a potent force among families and gross around $35-40 million in its third weekend.