UPDATE 5:00 PM MONDAY 12/21:

The final domestic box office numbers for its fifth weekend show that The Twilight Saga: New Moon finished in fifth place, taking in $4,407,598 from 3035 locations with a per theater average of $1,452. These figures include newly released official numbers of $1,387,458 for Friday, $1,641,835 for Saturday, and a 16.1% drop to $1,378,305 Sunday.

This increases the film's domestic cumulative total to $274,598,319 through its first 31 days of release and represents a 44.6% drop from last weekend. This is the official tally which, including the actual number for Sunday, has been revised upward by $40K from the previously announced $4.37M (a negligible amount). This gives New Moon a worldwide cumulative total of $634,698,319.
Topping the charts was new entry Avatar with a slightly lower-than-estimated $77,025,481 from 3452 locations for a per theater average of $22,313. Overseas, the film earned $164,545,565 in its opening days from 14,461 screens in 106 territories. Its worldwide cumulative total of $241,571,046 is still the biggest "nonfranchise, nonsequel opening ever." The Princess and the Frog dropped 49.7% from first to second place in its fourth weekend with $12,185,949 from 3475 locations for a per theater average of $3,507. In third place was The Blind Side, dropping 33.4% from second place with $10,021,280 from 3407 locations for a per theater average of $2,941. In fourth place was another new entry, Did You Hear About the Morgans? with $6,616,571 from 2718 locations for an average of $2,434.

Also surprising was the 51.2% plummet of Invictus , moving it from third to sixth place below New Moon. The film had been ahead of New Moon since its release. Likewise, A Christmas Carol, which had moved past New Moon during the week, dropped 49.6% into seventh place. The Twilight Saga: New Moon should be in sixth or seventh place. But it actually moved up higher than expected due to its smaller drop of 44.6%.

New Moon
is currently the #5 domestic moneymaker of 2009. $2.73M will move New Moon past The Hangover into fourth place. $18.41M will move New Moon past Up into third place for the year. $27.37M will surpass Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince to become the #2 film of 2009. There are 11 days left in the year (including today), with one more weekend. At $3-4M per Friday-Sunday, adding in $2-300K each weekday, it can easily finish fourth for the year. Keep in mind that the other five films in the top six all opened in the May-July blockbuster period.


Here is the reason why this overall number is different than the one reported by the industry on Sunday. After the Saturday box office totals came in on Sunday morning, the studio estimated what Sunday would be and came up with a weekend projection. That is standard industry procedure. Of course, Sunday and weekend figures can only be estimated at that point. The actual Sunday numbers weren't known until now. The actual numbers that come in after the weekend are usually not too far off from the estimates made on Sunday. They usually adjust slightly up or down but are rarely far off. In this case, the number was only $40K below the estimate.


UPDATE 4:00 PM MONDAY 12/21:

Actuals are beginning to come in. Avatar made $24,744,346 on Sunday, good enough to chart as the 19th best Sunday of all time. It still didn't come close to New Moon's first Sunday take of $27,846,502, #12 best of all time.


UPDATE 2:00 PM MONDAY 12/21:

Actual numbers for the weekend have not been released yet, but 20th Century Fox is now saying that the estimate of $73M for Avatar was too low. Their internal numbers show a weekend total closer to $76.8M due to a lower than expected 3% drop from Saturday to Sunday. This would place it second behind I Am Legend in all-time December releases. However, this includes higher ticket prices from 2023 3D theaters, including 178 IMAX theaters.


UPDATE 1:00 PM SUNDAY 12/20:

The Twilight Saga: New Moon finished fifth in its fifth weekend, taking in an estimated $4.37M from 3035 locations with a per theater average of $1,440. These estimates include $1.4M Friday, $1.6M Saturday, and $1.37M Sunday. This increases the film's domestic cumulative total to $274.56M through its first 31 days of release and represents a 45.1% drop from last weekend. The worldwide cumulative total is now $634.66M.

Topping the charts was new entry Avatar with a lower-than-expected $73M from 3452 locations for a per theater average of $21,147. Overseas, the film earned $159.2 million in its opening five days from 14,461 screens in 106 territories. Its worldwide cumulative total of $232.2M was still the biggest "nonfranchise, nonsequel opening ever."

The Princess and the Frog dropped from first to second place in its fourth weekend with $12.224M from 3475 locations for a per theater average of $3,518. In third place was The Blind Side, dropping from second place with $10.03M from 3407 locations for a per theater average of $2,575. In fourth place was another new entry, Did You Hear About the Morgans? with $7M from 2718 locations for an average of $2,575.

Also surprising was the plummet of Invictus from third to sixth place below New Moon. The film had been ahead of New Moon since its release. Likewise, A Christmas Carol, which had moved past New Moon during the week, drops to seventh place. The Twilight Saga: New Moon should be in sixth or seventh place. But it actually moved up higher than expected.

These numbers are not "actuals," meaning they are only official estimates based on early reports. 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.


UPDATE 2:00 PM SATURDAY 12/19:

Friday's box office estimates are in. In its fifth Friday, The Twilight Saga: New Moon is in fifth place, taking in an estimated $1.4M from 3035 locations for a per theater average of $461. Topping the charts was Avatar with $27M from 3452 locations for a first weekend estimate of $80M.

The Princess and the Frog drops into second place with $3.41M from 3475 locations. Moving down from second to third place was The Blind Side with $3.17M from 3407 locations. Opening in fourth place was Did You Hear about the Morgans?, which took in $2.4M from 2718 locations. New Moon's domestic cumulative total is $271.59 through its first 29 days of release. The current worldwide cumulative total is $631.7M.

So how was Avatar's opening vs. New Moon's? After all the hype and anticipation, Avatar's first day didn't come close to New Moon's, despite being Fox's biggest ever non-Summer opening. With $27M, James Cameron's long-awaited blockbuster had only the 33rd biggest first day of all time. New Moon sits on top at #1 with $72.7M, almost as big as Avatar's entire weekend estimate. And that's with higher 3D ticket prices, too. Another big surprise was the plummet of Invictus from third to sixth place. The film had been ahead of New Moon since its release, but it has now dropped below. Likewise, A Christmas Carol, which was in fourth place ahead of New Moon, drops to seventh place. The Twilight Saga: New Moon should be in seventh place. But it actually moved up two slots.


UPDATE 4:00 PM FRIDAY 12/18:

Thursday's box office numbers are in. The Twilight Saga: New Moon took in another $721,275 from 3635 locations, with a per theater average of $198. This represents an increase of 1.8% from Wednesday and the film remains in fifth place. This increases New Moon's domestic total to $270,190,721 after 28 days in release. A revised foreign cumulative total of $360.1M gives the film a worldwide total of $630,290,721.

The top four films are The Princess and the Frog, The Blind Side, Invictus, and A Christmas Carol.

Here are the weekly numbers for the period from December 11-17. In its fourth week, The Twilight Saga: New Moon took in $10,830,138 from 3635 locations for a per theater average of $2,979. This represents a 44.2% drop from its third week. It finished in fourth place for the seven-day period.


UPDATE 6:00 PM THURSDAY 12/17:

Theater counts have been announced for the week of Friday 12/18 - Thursday 12/24. The Twilight Saga: New Moon is dropping 600 theaters for a total of 3,035 in its fifth week of release. This will be its first week out of the #1 position, placing it fourth among all films at the box office. The Princess and the Frog is first with 3,475 locations. In second place is the new release Avatar at 3,453 and in third place is The Blind Side with 3,407 locations.

UPDATE 4:00 PM THURSDAY 12/17:

Wednesday's box office numbers are in. The Twilight Saga: New Moon took in another $708,427 from 3635 locations, with a per theater average of $195. This represents a decrease of -3.9% from Tuesday and the film remains in fifth place. This increases New Moon's domestic total to $269,469,446 after 27 days in release. The current worldwide total is $628.17M.

The top four films are The Princess and the Frog, The Blind Side, Invictus, and A Christmas Carol.


UPDATE 3:00 PM WEDNESDAY 12/16:

Tuesday's box office numbers are in. The Twilight Saga: New Moon took in another $736,890 from 3635 locations, with a per theater average of $203. This represents an increase of 4.8% from Monday but the film has dropped to fifth place. This increases New Moon's domestic total to $268,761,019 after 26 days in release. The current worldwide total is $627.46M.

The top four films are The Princess and the Frog, The Blind Side, Invictus, and A Christmas Carol.


UPDATE 3:00 PM TUESDAY 12/15:

Monday's box office numbers are in. The Twilight Saga: New Moon took in another $703,152 from 3635 locations, with a per theater average of $193. This represents a drop of 66.2% from Sunday and the film remains in fourth place. This increases New Moon's domestic total to $268,024,129 after 25 days in release. The current worldwide total is $626.72M.

The next milestone comes when the film takes in another $9,291,520. That will put New Moon's domestic cumulative total above The Hangover into fourth place for 2009. An average of $584,000 per day from now until the end of the year will make that happen, which certainly seems plausible. If it earns $24,980,035 from today through December 31 it will surpass Up to finish in third place. That would require an average box office take of $1.47M per day.


UPDATE 4:00 PM MONDAY 12/14:

The final domestic box office numbers for its fourth weekend show that The Twilight Saga: New Moon took in $7,960,394 from 3635 locations with a per theater average of $2,190. These figures include newly released official numbers of $2,440,591 for Friday, $3,438,395 for Saturday, and a 39.5% drop to $2,081,408 Sunday (when it moved up past Invictus for third place for the day).

This increases the film's domestic cumulative total to $267,320,977 through its first 24 days of release. This is the official tally which, including the actual number for Sunday, has been revised downward by $40K from the previously announced $8M (a negligible amount). The film continues to dominate the 66 overseas territories in which it's playing, bringing in another $22.3 million from 9,163 theaters for a foreign total of $358.7M. This gives New Moon a worldwide cumulative total of $626.02M.

New Moon is currently the #5 domestic moneymaker of 2009, having passed Star Trek's $257.73M last week. $9.97M will move New Moon past The Hangover into fourth place. $25.69M will move New Moon past Up into third place for the year. $35M will surpass Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince to become the #2 film of 2009. There are 18 days left in the year, including two weekends. At $8-10M per Friday-Sunday, adding in $2-3M each Monday-Thursday, it can easily finish fourth for the year and come close to third place. Keep in mind that the other five films in the top six all opened in the May-July blockbuster period.

Here is the reason why this overall number is different than the one reported by the industry on Sunday. After the Saturday box office totals came in on Sunday morning, the studio estimated what Sunday would be and came up with a weekend projection. That is standard industry procedure. Of course, Sunday and weekend figures can only be estimated at that point. The actual Sunday numbers weren't known until now. The actual numbers that come in after the weekend are usually not too far off from the estimates made on Sunday. They usually adjust slightly up or down but are rarely far off. In this case, the number was only $40K below the estimate.


NOTE: Opening weekend box office totals for The Twilight Saga: New Moon are posted HERE. The first week and second weekend totals are HERE. The second week and third weekend totals are posted HERE. The third week and fourth weekend totals are posted HERE.





Author

Larry Richman

Larry Richman

For 20 years I was a professional in the entertainment industry, from commercial broadcast radio in America's fourth largest market to band management to record production. But my passion is independent film, and I spend much of the year traveling to film festivals to see indies and meet the actors, directors, and others responsible for creating them. I'm a writer, photographer, and videographer, currently serving as Senior Vice President for Media & Technology and Public Relations at PROnetworks as well as Editor at Larry411.com

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  • Author: Larry Richman
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