Rotten Tomatoes speculates Eclipse's Success

Rotten Tomatoes has a write-up on the possibility that Eclipse will overtake (in more ways than one) the first two in the saga. Currently, the Tomatometer stands at 49% (ROTTEN).

This Summer movie season has had its share of successes - Iron Man 2, Toy Story 3, and even surprise hit The Karate Kid have all fared well at the box office, but movie fans have known that the return of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series had to be included in their predictions of the Summer's biggest hits at box office. With fan and critic screenings taking place long before the movie's release this week, the players involved in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse are not only up against an army of newborn vampires, but the expectations of a Summer box office that has lagged on finding enormous blockbusters, along with the unshakable expectations of fans (who we'll admit will end up seeing the movie anyway) who are already lining up to see the movie with a level of commitment that puts Black Friday sales to shame.

Twilight's first two chapters, Twilight (50%) and The Twilight Saga: New Moon (27%), have both finished with rotten Tomatometer scores. Even with the lukewarm critic reaction, the franchise has taken it to the bank with all the grace of a vampire-escorted glide through the forests of Forks, WA, with worldwide box office earnings of $392.5 million and $709.7 million, respectively. In fact, New Moon sits at #37 on the all-time worldwide box office list, above a list of films that includes Forrest Gump, Transformers, and not only Iron Man, but this Summer's Iron Man 2 as well. Though everyone knows that fans of the best-selling novels will "see it no matter what," early reviews are giving Eclipse the chance to become The Twilight Saga's best reviewed installment yet. We all know the box office numbers will be big, but based on Tomatometer, can Twilight: Eclipse its predecessors?

Eclipse got off to a strong start this Monday, with three reviews, all of which were fresh. The reviews included one from Variety's Peter Debruge, who writes, "The pleasant surprise this time around is that the result finally feels more like the blockbuster this top-earning franchise deserves." He also notes that the film "feels the most cinematic of the series so far," with a shooting style that "gives things a more dynamic energy."

Twilighters often cite the idea that some people just don't "get it" when it comes to the franchise. Recognizing this idea, but noting that the movie still needs to stand on its own cinematic feet, Cole Smithey writes, "The latest installment of the Twilight franchise's teeny-bopper-vampire-werewolf-melodrama comes the closest so far to presenting an entertaining cinematic experience but still not close enough for uninitiated audiences." With the opinion that the film is the best of the series so far, The Hollywood Reporter's Kirk Honeycutt writes, "It took three films, but The Twilight Saga finally nails just the right tone in Eclipse, a film that neatly balances the teenage operatic passions from Stephenie Meyer's novels with the movies' supernatural trappings."

Though The Boston Globe's Wesley Morris was underwhelmed with the film, he places it in the context of this Summer season. "In a season of lobotomized action spectacles, watching three teenagers - one of whom happens to be as old as the hills - prattle for two long hours about their feelings is noble." Looking at the series as a whole, he categorizes them this way, "If the first two movies were 'get a room,' part three is 'get a therapist.'" Calling the film, "more of the same," USA Today's Claudia Puig notes, "The huge contingent of girls - and women with girlish fantasies - who liked the first two movies will doubtless enjoy Eclipse. But this third go-round won't make Twihard converts of the rest of us."

Caveating his review with the fact that he liked the first two Twilight films, Michael Phillips from the Chicago Tribune bemoans, "Already, Eclipse has garnered notices praising it as the best and most action-packed of the three. Which I don't understand. For me it's the most ponderous and most sloppily directed, and by far the most deadening when the dramatic necessity known as 'talking' must be confronted, in between battles." Despite the increased action, he says, "More happens in Eclipse than in the previous Twilight zone, New Moon, and yet it's duller."


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