By Nicole Sperling
July 01, 2010 at 04:07 PM EDT

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse is a box office monster, nabbing the new record for biggest single-day Wednesday opening gross with $68.5 million (including $30 million earned from Tuesday night’s midnight shows). That tops Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen‘s previous record of $62 million during its Wednesday opening last summer. But Summit has even more reason to smile: Exit pollster Cinemascore has given the film an “A” from audiences. That bodes very well for Eclipse, which is the first film in the Twilight Saga to open in the summer. Eclipse opened in 4,416 theaters Wednesday, and will play in a total of 4,468 theaters this weekend, which sets another record: the widest opening ever in the U.S. (Iron Man 2 and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince played in 4,390 and 4,445 theaters, respectively.)

Check back here for my full Fourth of July weekend box office preview, coming later this afternoon.

More ‘Eclipse’:

Nicole Sperling:

Owen Gleiberman: ‘The Twilight Saga: Eclipse’ Movie Review

‘The Twilight Saga: Eclipse’: A hater’s guide

‘Eclipse’ audience reaction: Team Jacob seems to have gained momentum