"New Moon" shines on record holiday box office

Sun Nov 29, 2009 5:36pm EST
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By Bob Tourtellotte

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" rose to the top of movie box office charts for the second straight week on Sunday with a three-day haul of $42.5 million on a record-breaking holiday weekend in North America, according to studio estimates.

Over the five-day U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, the vampire romance starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner took in $66 million, pushing its two-week total in theaters to $230.7 million in North America, said independent studio Summit Entertainment, which backed the movie.

Internationally, the high-profile sequel to last year's monster hit "Twilight," based on the best-selling novels by Stephenie Meyer, has taken in $243 million for a worldwide total just under $475 million in two weeks.

Richard Fay, president of domestic distribution for Summit, said the movie continued to do strong repeat business from mostly teenage girls who are fans of the movies and books, and it was able to expand its audiences to include older women.

Total movie ticket sales for the five-day holiday period in North America reached a record $278 million, beating the old figure of $244 million set back in 2000 when "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and "Unbreakable" were the two top films, according to sales tracker Hollywood.com Box-Office.

Coming in at No. 2, also for the second straight week, was Sandra Bullock football film "The Blind Side" with three-day sales of $40.1 million and a two-week total of $100.5 million. Disaster film "2012" rounded out the top three with $18 million in three days, boosting its three-week total to $139 million.


"Blind Side," produced by Alcon Entertainment and released by Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros,, played well to all audiences. Bullock helped draw women, sports lured men and the feel-good tale about a woman played by Bullock who helps a homeless boy become a football hero attracted families.   Continued...