“Eclipse” Falls Short, “Last Airbender” Surprises at Box Office

As expected, “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” dominated the 4th-of-July holidays at the box office, raking in an estimated $162 million from Wednesday through Sunday. However, the film’s five-day gross fell short of Summit Entertainment’s expectations. The film outfit had predicted the third installment of the vampire-human-werewolf love triangle to take at least $173 million in its first five days. “Eclipse” also failed to surpass or match its predecessor’s five-day haul last year, when “New Moon” collected $165 million in its first five days.

“Eclipse” was also the leader in the traditional Friday-to-Sunday box-office race, taking in around $69 million during that period. M. Night Shyamalan‘s “The Last Airbender,” an adaptation of the animated series “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” came in second despite being heavily panned by film critics and fans alike with $40.65 million from Friday to Sunday. Counting its opening-day gross on Thursday, “The Last Airbender” now has a total of $53.2 million. Shyamalan was heavily criticized for casting mostly white actors in roles portrayed by Asians in the original.

Meanwhile, “Toy Story 3” remained strong despite slipping to third place after two weeks at the top. The animated film took $30.2 million over the weekend to push its total to $289 million. “Toy Story 3” can tie “Shrek 2” as the fastest animated film to gross $300 million if it reaches the plateau by Monday.