Utah "Twi-hards" — or fans of author Stephenie Meyer's best-selling "Twilight" novels — continue to prove their undying devotion to the characters and stories.

Throngs of "Twi-hards" packed into Megaplex Theatres locations along the Wasatch Front on Tuesday for midnight showings of "Eclipse," the new movie adaptation in the "Twilight" saga.

According to Megaplex officials, the chain's District location in South Jordan finished first nationally in attendance and ticket sales, while its Jordan Commons theater in Sandy was a close second.

The Megaplex Gateway in Salt Lake City and Junction in Ogden also placed in the top five. The film was shown at midnight on more than 70 screens at the five Megaplex Theatres locations along the Wasatch Front.

Many of those moviegoers also attended VIP events hosted by the Megaplexes before the midnight screenings.

"Utah 'Twilight' fans … are the best in the nation. We're delighted so many people chose to attend," said Blake Andersen, Megaplex Theatres' senior vice president and general manager.

According to Anderson, Megaplex locations have finished first and second nationally for each of the "Twilight" films.

Final box-office totals for the midnight screenings of "Eclipse" were expected to be released later Wednesday. The film opened at 4,416 locations nationally, which also makes it the widest movie opening ever. That count includes 193 IMAX venues, with Jordan Commons among them.

Distributor Summit Entertainment also has announced that the new movie in the Twilight saga, "Breaking Dawn," will be split into two movies. The first of these is scheduled to arrive Nov. 18, 2011. The second part will follow in 2012.

— Jeff Vice