NOTE: Box office totals for The Twilight Saga: New Moon are continued HERE.


UPDATE 4:00 PM MONDAY 11/23:

The final domestic box office numbers for opening weekend show that The Twilight Saga: New Moon took in $142.8M. This is the official tally which, including the actual number for Sunday, has been revised upward by $2.1M from the previously announced $140.7M. This also results in an increase in the per theater average from $34,965 to $35,497.

Here is the reason why this overall number is higher than the one reported by the industry yesterday. 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 today (posted below). 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. In this case, the number was underestimated, meaning that the percentage drop from Saturday to Sunday was smaller than anticipated and more people went to see New Moon than had been predicted. So the final number is revised upward by $2.1M. That may not sound like a lot, but think about this: of the top 90 films out this weekend, 83 made less than $2.1M.

After its record-shattering $72.7M first day Friday, there was a 41.8% drop from Friday to Saturday when it took in $42.3M. This was slightly larger than the percentage decrease Twilight had one year ago (down 40.8% Saturday). However, a smaller than anticipated 34.2% drop going into Sunday brought in another $27.85M for a weekend total of $142.8M and a per theater average of $35,497. Of the top 13 films only two had smaller Saturday to Sunday drops. Of the 118 movies reporting numbers this weekend, New Moon took in more money than all the other 117 films combined.

The reason for the less-than-anticipated drop on Sunday (as well as the surprising weekend box office overall) will no doubt be examined by everyone in the industry, but one interesting fact emerges. A film's box office decrease from Saturday to Sunday is generally affected most by word-of-mouth (or lack of it) and reviews. In the case of New Moon, the critics were quite unkind. Yet the public still continued to head to the theater in droves, more than even the studio had anticipated. Let's call it "the New Moon factor." From this point on, when a moviegoer is excited about a forthcoming film and is told, "but the reviews are awful," they can simply say, "look at New Moon."

This new number is the one that will go down in the record books, although it doesn't change the movie's position on the charts or add or remove any of the records it broke. The film stands 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).

In addition to becoming the new champ in midnight box office and single-day totals on Friday, New Moon 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, and had the highest opening ever for a "vampire" genre film (passing Twilight). New Moon passes Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen's $109M for the top opening weekend of 2009. It's per theater average of $35,497 was the fourth best ever. If New Moon ended its run today it would still be the 15th highest grossing film of 2009. Audiences were 80% female with 50% under 21. Sources expect New Moon to eventually pass $500M worldwide. Twilight ended its run with $385M. International markets are also reporting record box office receipts. As of this update, the film has hauled in $132.1M from 24 foreign countries for a worldwide total $274.9M. Nikki Finke has a running list at Deadline Hollywood from Argentina to the UK.


UPDATE MONDAY 12:00 PM:

The next update comes Monday afternoon when "actuals" are released. These figures take the confirmed Sunday box office numbers (which have been estimated in the previously issued figures) and add them to the confirmed numbers from Friday and Saturday to come up with the official weekend total. This revised number is usually not too far off from the estimated weekend total (which is $140.7M) but may be higher or lower.

UPDATE SUNDAY 12:00 PM:

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, and had the highest opening ever for a "vampire" genre film (passing Twilight). New Moon passes Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen's $109M for the top opening weekend of 2009. It's per theater average of $34,965 was the fourth best ever. Of the top 34 films with numbers released today, New Moon took in more than all the 33 others combined. International markets are also reporting record box office receipts. Nikki Finke has a running list at Deadline Hollywood from Argentina to the UK.

After its record-shattering $72.7M first day Friday, there was a 41.8% drop from Friday to Saturday when it took in $42.3M. This was about the exact same percentage decrease Twilight had one year ago (down 40.8% Saturday). Another 34.2% drop going into Sunday brought in another $27.85M 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.


UPDATE SUNDAY 3:00 AM:

SATURDAY NUMBERS: Early estimates as of Sunday 3:00 AM show The Twilight Saga: New Moon taking in another $43M on Saturday. Adding in Sunday projections means a $140M+ opening may be taking shape.

This would translate into a 40% drop from Friday to Saturday, about the exact same percentage decrease Twilight had one year ago (down 40.8% Saturday, down 41.9% Sunday). Adding the $43M estimate to Friday's official number of $72.7 brings the total to $115.7M. Another 40% drop going into Sunday is projected to yield about $24M, based on advance sales, tracking polls, and other industry formulas. That would bring the weekend total to around $140M and put New Moon in third place overall for all-time opening weekends, behind The Dark Knight and Spider-Man 3 but ahead of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.

These numbers are not official and are only estimates based on early reports. However, these preliminary figures are usually fairly close to the final data. Summit Entertainment will officially announce domestic and worldwide weekend numbers later on Sunday.

For those who are new to the box office numbers game, it may seem odd to have these figures this early in the weekend. But it is standard procedure to have early Saturday totals come in late Saturday night. Most theater chains have already filed their reports at that point and many studios have access to them and unofficially release the information. Once those figures arrive they always estimate Sunday and come up with a weekend projection. Then, several hours later on Sunday, the official numbers are issued for Saturday. At that point they predict Sunday numbers again and come up with a revised weekend projection. This is always done on Sunday. 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.

No matter what the totals turn out to be, this is already the widest opening of all time for an independent film and guaranteed to be the biggest ever box office opening for an indie. The top four places are held by major Hollywood studio films: The Dark Knight (Warner Bros.) at $158.4M, Spider-Man 3 (Sony/Columbia) at $151.1M, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (Disney/Buena Vista) at $135.6M, and Shrek the Third (Paramount/Dreamworks) at $121.6M.


UPDATE SATURDAY 11:30 AM:

FRIDAY NUMBERS: Summit Entertainment has announced that The Twilight Saga: New Moon took in $72.7M from 4024 theaters on Friday, setting a new all-time single day box office record.

Friday's number includes the previously reported all-time record $26.27M in midnight screenings. This one-day total is also not far below the $85M 3-day weekend estimate originally proffered by Summit and accepted by many industry insiders. Few expected the film to approach the $100M mark. My personal guess, which I made last Tuesday, was $110M. Based on the numbers already in, advance sales, and tracking polls, some are now predicting a $125M weekend. That wouldn't top The Dark Knight's $158.4M opening but would still be the biggest non-summer 3-day opening weekend of all time.

This opening day number far surpasses that for The Dark Knight, which took in $67.17M from 4366 theaters on July 18, 2008 (including $18.4M from midnights). That film's take dropped 29.1% from Friday to Saturday to bring in another $47.65M, and ended with $43.6M on Sunday for an opening weekend total of $158.4M.

As I've been saying all week on my Twitter, though, the key to the total weekend box office will be the percentage drop (or increase) from Friday to Saturday. One year ago this weekend, Twilight dropped 40.8% from Friday to Saturday. As terrific as that film's opening day's numbers were, they didn't hold up. So that's the key to this weekend. No matter how well New Moon did on Friday it won't surpass 3-day record holder The Dark Knight if there's a significant decline today. This one day total, by the way, is slightly more than double Twilight's $36M opening day a year ago and surpasses its total opening weekend take of $69.6M.

Let's crunch some numbers. Keep in mind that The Dark Knight dropped 29.1% from Friday to Saturday and 8.5% from Saturday to Sunday. A modest 20% drop today would bring in another $58.16M. That totals $130.86M going into Sunday. That's not far from The Dark Knight territory already. Cutting Saturday's total in half on Sunday equals a 3-day total of just under $160M. Even a decline of 40% today adds $43.62M on Saturday, totaling $116.32 heading into Sunday.

No matter what the totals turn out to be, this is already the widest opening of all time for an independent film and guaranteed to be the biggest ever box office opening for an indie. The top four places are held by major Hollywood studio films: The Dark Knight (Warner Bros.) at $158.4M, Spider-Man 3 (Sony/Columbia) at $151.1M, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (Disney/Buena Vista) at $135.6M, and Shrek the Third (Paramount/Dreamworks) at $121.6M.


UPDATE FRIDAY 2:00 PM:

Summit has announced that The Twilight Saga: New Moon has officially set a new all-time midnight box office record, taking in $26.27M from 3514 theaters.

This shatters The Dark Knight's $18.4M midnight debut for a 3-day weekend. It also easily surpasses the all-time record for midnight showings which was held by Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which took in $22.2M on a Tuesday night on its way to a 5-day weekend total of $158M. The Dark Knight went on to take in $67.17M that opening day, dropped 29.1% from Friday to Saturday to bring in another $47.65M, and ended with $43.6M on Sunday for an opening weekend total of $158.4M.


UPDATE FRIDAY 12:00 NOON:

Unofficial reports say The Twilight Saga: New Moon has shattered The Dark Knight's $18.4M midnight debut for a 3-day weekend. Sources put the total at $23-24M. This would also surpass Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, whose 5-day weekend began with $22.2M on a Tuesday night. Summit has not yet released official numbers.


UPDATE FRIDAY 8:00 AM:

The early word this Friday morning from industry sources is that The Twilight Saga: New Moon may be on its way to breaking the all-time midnight screening record set by The Dark Knight (for a 3-day weekend). That film grossed $18.4M from 3040 showings. It went on to take in $67.17M that opening day, dropped 29.1% from Friday to Saturday to bring in another $47.65M, and ended with $43.6M on Sunday for an opening weekend total of $158.4M.

In contrast, New Moon played 3514 midnight screenings last night, 474 more than The Dark Knight. This would certainly indicate that it's headed for a new midnight record as it only needs to break $18.4M to do so. It might also be on its way to an all-time opening day record, although the film plays at 4024 theaters this weekend vs. The Dark Knight's 4366 locations.

As I've been saying all week on my Twitter, though, the key to the total weekend box office will be the percentage drop (or increase) from Friday to Saturday. One year ago this weekend, Twilight dropped 40.8% from Friday to Saturday. As terrific as that film's opening day's numbers were, they didn't hold up. So that's the key to this weekend. No matter how well New Moon does today it won't matter if there's a precipitous decline tomorrow.

Reports from theaters all over the country indicate a mix of tweens and older women, with a decent amount of boys and older men. Males are the key to success for this film to overtake The Dark Knight. The all-time record for midnight showings is held by Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which took in $22.2M on a Tuesday night on its way to a 5-day weekend total of $158M.


UPDATE WEDNESDAY 6:00 PM:

Summit's official weekend box office estimate is $85M. Most industry estimates are in agreement. Some Hollywood insiders say Summit is low-balling it and that the number could push $100M. My guess, which I posted on my Twitter on Tuesday, is a Friday take of $50M, a maximum 20% drop Friday-Saturday bringing in another $40M, and a $20M Sunday for a weekend total $110M (at least).

Iron Moon: Will New Moon beat Iron Man? That film took in $98.6M at 4154 theaters. It opened on a Thursday and earned $38.7M by Friday, increased 6% from Friday to Saturday with another $37.35M, and added $26M Sunday.

What to watch for: Thursday's midnight numbers. The last Harry Potter took in $22M on a Tuesday night/Wednesday morning to set the all-time record. If New Moon does more than that then a $100M+ weekend is a good bet. If my guess of $110M holds out, it would be the #7 all-time opening weekend. It has to top $102.75M to make the Top 10.

Movietickets.com has announced that New Moon is now their #1 advance ticket seller of all time, beating Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith as well as every film in the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings franchises. New Moon tickets now account for 94% of all online sales.

The movie is now playing in Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland, opens tomorrow in Argentina, Australia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, Sweden, and Thailand, and opens Friday in Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, India, Norway, Turkey, and the UK. Oh, and the US.


UPDATE TUESDAY 6:00 PM:

The final theater count for The Twilight Saga: New Moon has just been released. The film will open at 4024 locations (much more than the previously estimated 3500+), with 3500 midnight shows and the Twilight reissue at 2057 theaters.


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

Comments (8)

  • twilighters anonymous (lol) Reply

    WOW that's amazing. I knew it would make lots of money, but didn't expect it to break records. Didn't think of it...that's really nuts. Us Twilighters are certainly dedicated lol. I heard some people are seeing it about 8 times this weekend. That's just a tad too obsessive for me lol. I'm actually waiting till Tuesday to see it, to try to avoid the endless lines, screaming, and sold out shows. ;D

    November 20, 2009 at 10:32 pm
  • Twi-hard fan! Reply

    It was ABSOLUTELY AMAZINGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! TEAM EDWARD <3

    November 21, 2009 at 5:56 am
  • Twilight Mega Fan!!! Reply

    That?s awsome.. at the moment i read the book and imagine the characters and they?re actions, i knew this movie will be AMAZING.. i ♥ the twilight saga :D

    November 21, 2009 at 1:03 pm
  • Twihard Fan Reply

    That is amazing. The movie was phenomenal and I knew it would do well I just didn't know how well.

    November 23, 2009 at 9:06 am
  • Myz.Cullen Reply

    TEAM TWILIGHT RULEZ!!!!I LOVE EDWARD!

    November 23, 2009 at 1:35 pm
  • Elisia Rogers Reply

    i absolutley love the saga. and i think the films are amazing although they will never be as good as the books. i love all the cast and i think they suit the characters great! ive already started my count for eclipse!
    i love it. its an unhealthy obsession but im not complaining..
    i am a twilighter! wooo..
    and i love robert .. ( even before twilight ) smile
    twitter me @ robisgorjeous

    xoxoxo

    November 23, 2009 at 5:10 pm
  • dAniiElA CullEn Reply

    OmG!!!!!!!
    I DoNt BeLiVe It!!!
    AmAziiiiiiiiiiinG!!!!
    I MeAn The movie was phenomenal!!!!
    TEAM EDWARD 4 EVER!!!

    (sorry jake i dont date whith dogs)
    hehe

    November 23, 2009 at 9:17 pm
  • Rlagg Reply

    just blows my mind the sucess of this pic

    April 26, 2010 at 2:55 am

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