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Sunday, November 22, 2009

New Moon Takes #3 Spot on All-time Best Opening List!

Summit Entertainment now officially estimates that The Twilight Saga: New Moon took in $140.7M from 4024 theaters this weekend. This puts the film in third place for all-time opening weekends, behind The Dark Knight ($158.4M) and Spider-Man 3 ($151.1M) and ahead of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest ($135.6M). The film also hauled in $118.1M from 25 foreign countries for a worldwide total $258.8M.

In addition to becoming the new champ in midnight box office and single-day totals on Friday, New Moon has now shattered several other records as well. It was the #1 biggest non-summer opening weekend of all time and the biggest ever box office opening for an independent film (and widest indie release in history). New Moon also broke the record for fastest to reach $100M, beating The Dark Knight and Spider-Man 3. Of the top 34 films with numbers released today, New Moon took in more than all the 33 others combined.

After its record-shattering $72.7M first day Friday, there was a 41% drop from Friday to Saturday when it took in $43.2M. This was about the exact same percentage decrease Twilight had one year ago (down 40.8% Saturday, down 41.9% Sunday). Another 40% drop going into Sunday, based on advance sales, tracking polls, and other industry formulas, is expected to bring in another $24.8M for a weekend total of $140.7M and a per theater average of $34,965. Audiences were 80% female with 50% under 21. Many international regions have yet to release the film. Sources expect New Moon to eventually pass $500M worldwide. Twilight ended its run with $385M.

For those who are new to the box office numbers game, it may seem odd to have these figures when Sunday isn't even over yet. But it is standard procedure to have weekend totals announced at this time. After the Saturday box office totals come in on Sunday morning, studios always estimate Sunday and come up with a weekend projection. Of course, Sunday and weekend figures can only be estimates at this point. The actual Sunday numbers aren't known until Monday. But many years and literally thousands of projections have yielded formulas that allow the industry to predict fairly closely what Sunday will be based on Friday and Saturday's numbers and, therefore, what the weekend will look like. The actual numbers that come in on Monday are usually not too far off from the estimates made on Sunday. They usually adjust slightly up or down but are rarely far off.

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