The only thing a vampire craves more than blood is box office gold, as proven by the decisive success of "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" in theaters this weekend. The second installment of the "Twilight" series exceeded expectations by opening to record-smashing numbers, easily paving the way for a first place finish of $140.7 million domestically, $118.1 million from international markets and a worldwide total of $258.8 million.
"New Moon" successfully captured several records, including but not limited to: the best single opening day for a film at $72.7 million, outgrossing the previous record held by "The Dark Knight" at $67.2 million; the best gross for midnight showings at $26.3 million, a record previously held by "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" at $22.2 million; and the biggest November opening in history, surpassing "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" at $102.7 million. Additionally, "New Moon" experienced the third best opening weekend ever, surpassing "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" and falling directly behind "The Dark Knight" and "Spider-Man 3."
While one might suspect that "New Moon's" audience was almost entirely made up of teenagers, Summit Entertainment's official analysis of North American moviegoers indicates that only 50% of the film's crowd was under the age of 21, showing that the love triangle between Edward, Bella and Jacob extends beyond the target age group. The audience was, however, 80% female.
A further surprise comes in the form of "New Moon's" box office competitors, as a handful of movies certainly didn't achieve the "Twilight" sequel's numbers but nonetheless held moviegoers' interests. The Sandra Bullock-starring "The Blind Side" earned an impressive second place finish with $34.5 million, while newcomer "Planet 51" bowed in fourth place with $12.6 million. Box office veterans "2012" and "A Christmas Carol" took third and fifth place, respectively.
What do you make of the success of "New Moon"? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!