Wow. I knew the fans of The Twilight Saga: New Moon were crazy for this movie, but I didn’t realize they were going to be THIS crazy. It’s an enormous $140 million opening domestic haul for the whole weekend for New Moon, a haul usually associated with movies that open during the summer. What’s more, several box office records have fallen by the wayside.

Let’s just go over the records that have fallen, shall we?

1. The Friday haul of $72 million is the biggest Friday gross of all time, EVER. It tops the $67.2 million record of The Dark Knight from last year.

2. The midnight sales, again, were the highest of all time. $26.27 million at 3,514 locations, beating the record previously held by Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which made $22.2 million at 3,003 earlier this year.

3. The $140 million weekend is the highest domestic opening of all time for a non-summer release.

4. Let’s not forget the pre-sale records set by MovieTickets.com and Fandango.com for advance sales.

5. It is also the highest opening weekend haul of 2009 and the top opening haul for the first three days of a release (beating Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen’s $127,851,614 for its Wednesday-Thursday-Friday rollout).

I kind of equate this sort of reaction to the Twilight series to the Star Wars phenomenon. Heck, I have to, look at the numbers. When people go crazy for a movie franchise, they go crazy in a big way. I guess what is really interesting is that it’s the female segment of the population that is making this movie a hit, because usually the biggest blockbusters have had a heavily male audience But I was at a dinner the other night, and the women at the table were all raving about Twilight and New Moon and saying how great it all was. I guess that’s an indication of the appeal this movie has. And women everywhere are in love with Robert Pattinson.

There will be a few people who will have raised eyebrows over the fact that a movie released in the fall did so well. I’m not really too surprised, though; box office results tend to pick up as Christmas approaches, and then after the new year they go right back down the drain. I guess the story was that the haul was this high so fast. $140 million — that’s unbelievable. The original Twilight didn’t make nearly that kind of money in one weekend.

I don’t know how well this movie will do next week going into Thanksgiving. There was a pretty steep drop right through this weekend alone. I don’t think first place is out of the question for this movie, though, right through the Thanksgiving holidays.

You kind of think that other movies would end up trampled in the stampede to see New Moon, but The Blind Side did very well in the face of all this, hauling in $34 million. And Planet 51 got $12.6 million.

  1. The Twilight Saga: New Moon – $140,700,000
  2. The Blind Side – $34,510,000
  3. 2012 – $26,500,000
  4. Planet 51 – $12,600,000
  5. A Christmas Carol (2009) – $12,230,000
  6. Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire – $11,008,000
  7. The Men Who Stare at Goats – $2,773,000
  8. Couples Retreat – $1,952,000
  9. The Fourth Kind – $1,730,000
  10. Law Abiding Citizen – $1,615,000

I will be back in time for the Wednesday holiday releases when we will preview some more new movies. Until then, don’t bet on the movies.

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