Twilight: Eclipse bested its predecessor The Twilight Saga: New Moon to break the all-time record for biggest midnight box office reception in history. According to Variety, Eclipse earned a stunning $30 million from its midnight showings, which took place on 4,000 screens nationwide. By comparison, New Moon opened to $26.3 million during its midnight showing.

By now, it should be no surprise that Twilight can bring in the big bucks. Still, $30 million in one night is an impressive haul.

Besides its mega numbers on regular screens, Eclipse also set a midnight box office record for IMAX, earning over $1 million across 192 IMAX showings. There’s no reason to expect that the Twilight train will run out of steam anytime soon, either.

According to ScreenRant’s own Vic Holtreman, Eclipse is the best film in the series so far (though it didn’t have a lot to live up to). A quick look at RottenTomatoes reveals that Eclipse is holding steady at a 50% fresh rating, which is a vast improvement over New Moon‘s 27% rating. If the improved reviews hold, there is a chance that Eclipse could attract a fresh audience of moviegoers in addition to the Twilight faithful that are already planning to see the film.

Eclipse still has a long way to go before it surpasses New Moon‘s $142.8 million opening weekend take, and there are a number of factors working against it, including competition from another big release, The Last Airbender. If the Eclipse find the right audience, however, it could give Spider-Man 2 a run for its money as the biggest 4th of July opening ever. Spider-Man 2 made $180 million over six days, which, adjusted for today’s ticket prices is $230 million (thanks to Box Office Mojo for that data.)

For as much snark and attitude as the Twilight films receive from critics, Eclipse‘s record-breaking midnight opening is further confirmation that the franchise is not something that can be laughed off. Who knows? Maybe by the time the two-part Breaking Dawn comes out, even the most adamant Twilight haters among us will have fallen for Edward’s doughy, bushy, eyes. Then again, maybe not.

What do you think of Twilight: Eclipse‘s massive midnight numbers?

Source: Variety and Box Office Mojo