'New Moon' poised for biggest box office day ever [Updated]
According to four people who have closely watched ticket sales data today but requested anonymity because they are not authorized to release the information, the teen vampire phenomenon is all but certain to gross more than $67.2 million, the record set by "The Dark Knight" last year for the biggest single-day take at the box office.
By 5 p.m., the movie had already sold more than $50 million worth of tickets in the U.S. and Canada. When evening shows are included, the total will likely be more than $70 million, the people said.
Given the huge amount of pent-up interest among fans, who are rushing out to theaters on opening day, ticket sales are expected to drop significantly on Saturday and Sunday. Nonetheless, a total weekend gross of more than $110 million is all but certain and more than $120 million is very possible. That would give "New Moon" the biggest weekend gross for any movie this year and make it one of the top five pictures of all time at the domestic box office, not accounting for ticket price inflation.
Ticket sales from the 25 foreign countries where "New Moon" is opening this weekend will almost certainly push the worldwide weekend gross to more than $150 million.
Summit Entertainment, the studio behind the "Twilight" films, will release an official total for Friday ticket sales on Saturday morning.
Update (Nov. 21, 8:50 AM): Summit reports that "New Moon" grossed $72.7 million on Friday, easily breaking the single day sales record set by "The Dark Knight." It will now likely collect more than $120 million through Sunday.
Inspirational drama "The Blind Side," starring Sandra Bullock, sold $10.9 million worth of tickets in the U.S. and Canada on Friday, setting it up to be no. 2 for the weekend with an impressive $30 million-plus.
-- Ben Fritz
Photo: Moviegoers wait to see "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" at the AMC movie theater at the Westfield Century City shopping mall in Los Angeles Thursday night. Credit: Matt Sayles / Associated Press.