July 01, 2010 at 09:54 PM EDT

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse should put to rest for good the notion that movies have to appeal to all audiences to be massive successes. Yes, the Twilight series is an anomaly, and it’s unlikely another franchise could replicate its special brand of audience fervor, but let’s be clear: The film’s Wednesday opening, which garnered $68.5 million, just out-grossed Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen — without blowing anything up. Now the question is: Just how much will Eclipse gross over the six-day July 4th weekend? My guess is $200 million. It’s a huge number, but thanks to the holiday, there are lots of opportunities for Twi-Hards to get back to the theaters to see their favorite love triangle on the big screen.

Also hoping to take advantage of the holiday frame is M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender. The film, based on the popular Nickelodeon series, has received dismal reviews. Paramount is just hoping that the series’ fanbase will come out in support of the film. Of course, it’s not helping much that Paramount made the controversial choice to cast a several Caucasian actors as characters that were of Asian descent in the series. Still, the movie grossed $3 million on Wednesday night and could reach $50 million by the end of Monday. The studio did a last-minute 3-D conversion of the footage, a technique that nowadays is being seen as cheap attempt to draw in more eyeballs. Whether or not it works remains to be seen.

The rest of the top ten will be dominated by holdovers. Toy Story 3 shouldn’t drop more than 40 percent this weekend, and could reach $300 million by the end of the holiday frame. The beloved animated flick from Pixar has already made $244 million after only 12 days of release. Adam Sandler’s Grown Ups is likely to fall about 50 percent during its sophomore session, but with $50 million already in its pocket, no one’s likely to be complaining. Tom Cruise’s Knight and Day will be hoping to keep its drop off in the 50 percent range. Exit polls were solid, which is what the studio is counting on to maintain momentum on the PG-13 rated actioner. Check back with us throughout the holiday for box office updates.

Read more:

‘Eclipse’ opening breaks record for biggest single-day Wednesday opening

‘Eclipse’ to have widest domestic release in history

Image Credit: Kimberly French

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