‘Twilight’ shining bright at box office

Summit's vampire pic on pace for $30 mill Friday

Summit Entertainment’s “Twilight” could see an opening day take of $30 million from 3,419 playdates after grossing north of $7 million in Thursday midnight shows.

If so, “Twilight” could land a spot on the top 20 list of best opening day grosses, somewhere between No. 17 and No. 20.

“Twilight” is expected to open in the $50 million to $60 million range, although it has a shot of ending in the 60s. It depends upon how much traffic slows down from Friday to Saturday.

“Twilight,” based on the best-selling book series by Stephenie Meyer, is No. 3 on online ticketer Fandango’s list of top advance ticket sales. Only “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith” and “The Dark Knight” sold more.

Females, specifically tween girls and teenage girls, are driving “Twilight.” But it’s not just younger femmes turning out to see the teen vampire romancer, but older women and teen boys, too.

The top three grossing theaters so far are in Utah. Meyer, who lives in Arizona, is Mormon.

Sunday could be a bigger movie-going day than normal since 17% to 18% of kids will be out of school the next day. According to a Fandango survey, 34% of moviegoers said they intended to duck out of classes Friday in order to see the movie.

“Twilight” is a tremendous victory for Summit Entertainment. “Twilight” landed at Summit after several other shops passed, including MTV Films.

It’s a ready-made franchise for Summit, since there are four books in Meyer’s series, which have sold more than 17 million copies worldwide, including $8.2 million in the U.S.