New Moon's first day more than doubled that of its predecessor Twilight, which debuted to $36 million on around 6,000 screens at 3,419 sites. Twilight's first weekend wound up at $69.6 million, which was also less than New Moon's first day. Due to fans storming theaters on its opening day, Twilight's first weekend was heavily Friday-loaded, leading to much lower grosses for Saturday ($21.3 million) and Sunday ($12.4 million). The fan fervor was even more intense for New Moon, so the picture will not maintain Friday's pace throughout the weekend.
New Moon's $72.7 million first day included an estimated $26.3 million from its midnight opening, which was also a record. The Dark Knight made $18.5 million on its midnight opening, which means it generated more business after its midnight showings ($48.7 million) than New Moon did ($46.4 million). The Dark Knight still holds the record for biggest weekend (Friday-Saturday-Sunday) ever: $158.4 million.
Also debuting, The Blind Side posted a strong estimated $10.9 million on approximately 4,100 screens at 3,110 sites, ranking as the highest-grossing opening day ever for a sports drama. 2012 plummeted 65 percent from last Friday to an estimated $8.1 million, lifting its total to $89.8 million in eight days. Precious expanded into nationwide release (629 theaters) and boasted a solid estimated $3.6 million, bringing its total to $14 million in 15 days. Meanwhile, Planet 51 opened to a modest estimated $3.15 million on around 3,400 screens at 3,035 sites.
Fueled by New Moon, Friday set another milestone: the first time the Top Ten movies tallied over $100 million in a single day. All told, the Top Ten movies grossed an estimated $104 million. The previous high, not coincidentally, was the day The Dark Knight opened, July 18, 2008, which came in at $97.5 million.
Related Stories & Charts• Daily Box Office for Friday, Nov. 20
• All Time Opening Days
• 11/20/09 - 'New Moon' Breaks Midnight Record
• 11/21/08 - 'Twilight' Tingles at Midnight
• 11/24/08 - Box Office Enters 'Twilight' Zone
• 12/15/08 - 'New Moon' Nabs Release Date