eclipse box office predicti 'Twilight: Eclipse': How much will it make?It’s a pretty safe bet — no, let’s make that a rock-solid bet — that “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” will dominate the box office over the Fourth of July weekend. So the question then becomes, how much money will it make?

Not that reviews really matter in the “Twilight” universe, but “Eclipse” has been better received among critics than last year’s “New Moon” was. Fans who have seen early screenings seem to be higher on the new movie than its predecessor.

Those things point to the possibility of an even bigger box-office take than “New Moon” had.

On the other side of the coin, threequels don’t have the greatest track record in recent years: The third installments of the “Matrix,” “Shrek,” “Harry Potter” and “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchises all made less than the movies that came before them.

]]>made in midnight showings when it opened in November, and the second is “New Moon’s” opening-day gross. Simply because it’s summer and a large portion of the movie’s core audience isn’t in school, “Eclipse” could pass one or both of those marks. “New Moon” ended up making $142.8 million in its opening weekend (on its way to a $296.6 million domestic total), but weekend comparisons between it and “Eclipse” aren’t really apples-to-apples since “Eclipse” is opening on a Wednesday. A better number for comparison might be the $200 million “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” made in its Wednesday-to-Sunday opening last summer. If “Eclipse” gets close to or passes “New Moon’s” opening-day take, then $200 million for five days seems like a pretty good bet. (Monday, July 5 is the government holiday for Independence Day, so that will add a sixth day of weekend-like totals to the movie.) One other thing: “Eclipse” is getting the widest release of any film ever. It will open on 4,416 screens Wednesday, 36 more than “Iron Man 2” got earlier this year. Zap2it’s bold and semi-scientific prediction for “Eclipse”: An opening day in the $70 million-$75 million range and about $205 million by the end of Sunday. Check out Zap2it’s “Twilight” Central for more on “Eclipse” and the rest of the saga. Follow Zap2it and Zap2itRick on Twitter and Zap2it on Facebook for the latest TV, movie and celebrity news. Photo credit: Summit Entertainment