Twilight: Eclipse, the third and latest film in the multi-million-dollar Twilight film franchise, has taken the top spot at last weekend’s UK box office, putting Shrek Forever After in second place.

The film, starring tween heartthrobs Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner alongside the ever-grumpy Kristen Stewart, has taken over £13m in its opening weekend.

Reviews are currently split either for or against. This is a major improvement on the overwhelmingly disappointing reviews given to New Moon, the second film in the series.

Getting top ranking comes as no surprise –  twihards are notoriously fanatical – some would say more so than even the Harry Potter fans during the novel releases and the first few films.

The twihards’ dedication to the world of Edward (Pattinson), Jacob (Lautner) and Bella (Stewart) have most definitely equated into an impressive financial return for the film.

Other well-known action franchise releases last weekend, such as Predators, failed to do anywhere near as well. The latest in the Predator franchise only managed just over £2m.

This must be painful for the studio, but if anything indicates that, along with True Blood, the western world is definitely in the throes of vampire fever.

With the final film, Twilight: Breaking Dawn due for release in late 2011, it remains to be seen if the films will be able to maintain their current cult success over the long term.

They may not have the global numbers of Harry Potter, but they have drawn out an entirely new demographic (tweens) and got them into cinema by focusing on mythology, relationships and muscles.

That’s not a bad achievement, especially if you’re getting royalties from Team Jacob t-shirts, surely?

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