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'New Moon' Breaks Box Office Records Except a Key One + Dangerous 'Twilight' Weakness

New Moon with Robert Pattinson Taylor Lautner Kristen Stewart. Anomalous global blockbusterNew Moon with Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, and Kristen Stewart. The second installment in The Twilight Saga movie franchise, New Moon has surpassed expectations, having become one of the biggest global blockbusters of the year – while nearly seizing the title of Movie with the Best Domestic Opening Weekend Ever from The Dark Knight (and runner-up Spider-Man 3). Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that New Moon is an anomalous global blockbuster, as it revolves around a live-action female character. Directed by Chris Weitz from a screenplay by Melissa Rosenberg, itself an adaptation of Stephenie Meyer's novel, New Moon stars Kristen Stewart as a human adolescent who, after being emotionally seduced and abandoned by a centenarian vegetarian vampire (a non-human-blood-drinking Robert Pattinson), develops a bond with a young Quileute Indian (Taylor Lautner) who, much to his surprise, comes to the realization that he is a part-time werewolf – one who needs to parade around shirtless due to some sort of chronic body-temperature dysfunction for which there's no treatment.

'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince' & 'The Twilight Saga: New Moon': Young actors & fantasy mix among year's international blockbusters

Dec. 14 update: Two fantasy movies based on literary bestsellers and starring a trio of young actors – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and The Twilight Saga: New Moon – are two of the biggest worldwide box office hits of 2009.

Directed by David Yates, the former is a Warner Bros. release based on J.K. Rowling's novel. Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint star.

Directed by Chris Weitz, the latter is a Summit Entertainment release based on Stephenie Meyer's novel. Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner star.

Earlier in the year, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince boasted the highest-grossing international (five-day) opening weekend ever: $236 million. The adventure fantasy, the sixth installment in the Harry Potter franchise, went on to earn $627.4 million in the international market.

Up to Dec. 13, New Moon has earned an astounding $34.6 million in France (which also includes Monaco, Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia). In Germany (which includes only Germany), the female-centered romantic fantasy has grossed $30.3 million; in Spain, $27.8 million; and in Italy, $23.8 million.

In all, during its first three weeks New Moon has amassed more than $320 million internationally.

More international blockbusters

Outside North America (for box office purposes, only the U.S. and Canada), sandwiched between Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and The Twilight Saga: New Moon are:

  • Carlos Saldanha's animated Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, which collected $682.2 million in summer/fall 2009.
  • Roland Emmerich's 2012, starring John Cusack and a ton of special effects, with $519.3 million to date – compared to a relatively modest $155.28 million in the domestic market.
  • Pete Docter's animated Up, which will surely be up for a Best Animated Feature Academy Award early next year, with $390.5 million thus far.

'New Moon': Unusual international blockbuster

Adapted by Twilight screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg, New Moon, the second movie in the Twilight Saga series, is an anomaly among international blockbusters in that it centers on a live-action female character.

Set in the rainy town of Forks, in Washington State, the story revolves around the willful but conflicted adolescent Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), who, following several absurd twists of fate, finds herself torn between the love of handsome centenarian vegetarian vampire – i.e., no human blood-drinking – Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and bare-torsoed teenage Quileute Indian and part-time werewolf Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner).

Somehow, this multispecies love-lust-indecision triangle has struck a chord with certain segments of the moviegoing (and bestseller-buying) public, chiefly teenage girls and older women – in the U.S., New Moon's audience was reportedly 50 percent under 21 and 80 percent female.

'New Moon' record-breaking feats fail to include an important one

Unexpectedly, the $50 million-budgeted New Moon earned $72.7 million on its first day out at the North American box office, Nov. 20, including a record-setting $26.3 million from Thursday midnight screenings.

The second Twilight Saga movie thus shattered the domestic single-day box office record, which had been previously held by Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight. Starring Christian Bale, the recently deceased Heath Ledger, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Aaron Eckhart, the Batman Begins sequel took in $67.16 million on opening day in July 2008.

According to boxofficemojo.com and other sources, on its opening weekend New Moon shattered the following records – not taking inflation into account:

  • Biggest midnight grosses ever: $26.3 million.
  • Not only biggest opening day, but also biggest single day ever: $72.7 million vs. The Dark Knight's $67.2 million
  • Biggest first two days ever: $115.9 million Fri.-Sat. vs. The Dark Knight's $114.8 million.
  • Biggest November opening ever, far surpassing Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire's $102.7 million.
New Moon Twilight with Robert Pattinson Kristen Stewart: Global blockbuster with serious domestic weaknessNew Moon: Twilight sequel with Robert Pattinson as the vampire Edward Cullen and Kristen Stewart as the human Bella Swan (plus Elizabeth Reaser and Peter Facinelli in the background). The interspecies love triangle – Taylor Lautner's werewolf is the other third – is the key reason for New Moon's global blockbuster status, even if one with a serious weakness, at least at the domestic box office. Hardly a critical favorite, on its second weekend out New Moon plummeted a whopping 70 percent. The following weekend, it was down another 64 percent. And that's how the much sturdier The Blind Side, starring football mom Sandra Bullock, became the other female-centered movie to top the U.S. and Canada box office this fall season.

Biggest opening weekend ever? Not 'New Moon'

On its first weekend, Nov. 20–22, New Moon took in $142.8 million in North America – or more than twice the $69.6 million the original Twilight brought in on its debut weekend a year ago, and almost three-quarters of that film's total domestic earnings.

But one important box office record that New Moon failed to break was that of best domestic opening weekend ever. That particular one still belongs to a couple of male-oriented superhero movies: The Dark Knight with $158.4 million, followed by the Sam Raimi-Tobey Maguire 2007 collaboration Spider-Man 3 with $151.11 million.

Chiefly thanks to New Moon's phenomenal box office success, the Nov. 20–22 weekend – with a $258.6 million total take – turned out to be the second highest-grossing ever at the domestic box office (for the Top Ten movies; not adjusted for inflation).

Weekend earnings failed to surpass only those of the late July 2008 weekend when The Dark Knight opened. The Top Ten box office at that time soared to a little above $260 million.

Internationally, New Moon scored $118.1 million, bringing its opening-weekend worldwide total to $260.9 million.

'New Moon' box office weakness

On Thanksgiving weekend, Nov. 27–29, New Moon was the no. 1 box office hit worldwide. Over the five-day holiday, Chris Weitz's fantasy took in $66 million; reaching a domestic total of $230.7 million after only ten days out.

For comparison's sake: at the end of its run, Twilight reached $192.7 million in the U.S. and Canada, and $350 million worldwide.

But there's a weak side to the fierce popularity of the Twilight sequel: mostly dismissed by critics, on its second weekend in the domestic market New Moon was down a whopping 70 percent – a dramatic drop even when taking into account its record-breaking Thursday midnight screenings. On its third weekend out, Dec. 4–6, New Moon was down another 64 percent.

This past weekend, Dec. 11–13, New Moon collected $7.96 million – or a little more than half of what the Sandra Bullock star vehicle The Blind Side grossed.

Remember that on its first two weekends out, New Moon was actually ahead – on its first weekend, markedly ahead – of Bullock's (much sturdier) sentimental family drama. The situation was reversed a week ago; the reversal has now been accentuated.

'New Moon' cast

Besides Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner, New Moon also features:

Michael Sheen. Peter Facinelli. Elizabeth Reaser. Kellan Lutz. Ashley Greene. Jackson Rathbone. Rachelle Lefevre. Dakota Fanning.

Nikki Reed. Billy Burke. Booboo Stewart. Michael Welch. Christian Serratos. Daniel Cudmore. Jamie Campbell Bower.

Christopher Heyerdahl. Cameron Bright. Charlie Bewley. Julia Jones. Gil Birmingham.

Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominee Graham Greene (Dances with Wolves, 1990; and no relation to either Ashley Greene or the British author of The End of the Affair and Our Man in Havana).

Likely Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominee Anna Kendrick (Up in the Air).

In addition to dozens of others vampires, werewolves, and scattered humans.

Directed by David Slade from a screenplay by Melissa Rosenberg, and bringing back Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse is scheduled to hit theaters in June 2010.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, the fourth and final movie in the franchise, doesn't have a planned release date, yet.

Catharine Hardwicke directed the original Twilight, with Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson as the leads, and a long-haired Taylor Lautner in a supporting role.

Prior to New Moon, Chris Weitz's eclectic film credits include The Golden Compass, About a Boy, and American Pie.

Two unexpected international blockbusters: 'Slumdog Millionaire' & 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'

In other box office news, according to a Dec. 17 Screen International piece, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is the biggest worldwide blockbuster released in 2009, with a $929.4 million cume up to Dec. 6. Bear in mind that late 2009 releases such as New Moon and James Cameron's upcoming Avatar will still be playing around the globe in 2010.

Here are a couple more international blockbusters worth mentioning:

  • Danny Boyle's Anglo-Indian-U.S. co-production and Best Picture Oscar winner Slumdog Millionaire, toplining Dev Patel and Freida Pinto, pulled in $225.1 million outside North America.
  • Starring Noomi Rapace and Michael Nyqvist, Niels Arden Oplev's Swedish thriller The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the first of a trilogy of films produced by Nordisk, has thus far raked in $87.9 million internationally – a remarkable figure for a non-Hollywood production, especially one, like New Moon, that focuses on a female character.

Weekend box office: Hand-drawn 'The Princess and the Frog' tops

This past weekend, Dec. 11–13, Walt Disney's hand-drawn, 2D adventure The Princess and the Frog scored $24.2 million after expanding to 3,434 locations in the U.S. and Canada, according to actuals found at Box Office Mojo.

According to some, that's in line with what was expected; others call it a “soft” opening. No records were shattered, that's for certain.

Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, The Princess and the Frog features voices by Dreamgirls actress Anika Noni Rose, Bruno Campos, Oprah Winfrey, John Goodman, Randy Newman, and Terrence Howard. Total to date: $27.8 million.

The Blind Side Sandra Bullock in prayer scene. Best box office year ever for an actress?The Blind Side with Sandra Bullock in prayer scene with Tim McGraw, Quinton Aaron, Jae Head, and Lily Collins. John Lee Hancock's sentimental socially conscious drama has passed the $150 million milestone at the domestic box office, as it forges ahead to become Sandra Bullock's biggest hit to date. Bullock, in fact, is surely enjoying one of the best years ever for an actress: her other 2009 hit, Anne Fletcher's romantic comedy The Proposal, co-starring Ryan Reynolds, has brought in nearly $164 million domestically. Bullock's third 2009 release, All About Steve, was an all-around flop, but even when taking inflation into account, how many actresses have had two $150+ million hits in the same calendar year? Not even Barbra Streisand during her heyday in the 1970s. As a result of the unexpected and continuous success of The Blind Side – a movie with a Message, to boot – there's a good chance the Speed and While You Were Sleeping actress will be in the running for both the SAG Awards and the Academy Awards.

'The Blind Side' to become biggest Sandra Bullock box office hit?

Starring Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw as an affluent white couple who “adopt” an inner-city, football-playing black teenager (Quinton Aaron), John Lee Hancock's sleeper hit The Blind Side slipped to no. 2, with $15.05 million – thus, however slightly, passing the $150 million milestone. Cume: $150.2 million.

The Blind Side is on its way to becoming the biggest Sandra Bullock domestic box office hit ever, even when taking inflation into account. Her no. 1 commercial success to date remains one of her first movies as a star, Jan de Bont's Speed. Co-starring Keanu Reeves, the 1994 action thriller pulled in $121.24 million, or about $217 million today.

Why has 'The Blind Side' become the sleeper hit of 2009?

“Box-office experts” explain away the surprising success of The Blind Side in the following manner:

  • Sandra Bullock lured women moviegoers (as if Bullock hasn't had her share of box office flops/disappointments in the last few years – e.g., All About Steve, co-starring Bradley Cooper and Thomas Haden Church, just a few months ago; the 2007 thriller Premonition).
  • The sports-themed story lured the men (as if every year there aren't tons of sports movies that flop miserably, or, as in the case of this weekend's Invictus, become commercial disappointments).
  • “Families” checked it out because of the inspirational storyline about a white woman who helps out a young black football player.
  • Christians, for their part, may have been attracted by the dinner table scene shown above.

Bullock's box office bonanza

In any case, The Blind Side is Sandra Bullock's second major 2009 domestic box office hit, following Anne Fletcher's romantic comedy The Proposal ($163.97 million), in which she co-starred with Ryan Reynolds.

Prior to these two, Bullock's last star vehicle to pass the $100 million milestone was Donald Petrie's Miss Congeniality back in 2000. If adjusted for inflation, Marc Lawrence's 2002 romantic comedy Two Weeks Notice, co-starring Hugh Grant, would be her only other pre-2009 release this century to reach nine figures domestically.

The Blind Side reportedly cost only $35 million – not including marketing and distribution expenses. Also in the cast: Jae Head, Lily Collins, Ray McKinnon, Kim Dickens, and Best Actress Oscar winner Kathy Bates (Misery, 1990).

Invictus with Matt Damon as rugby player François Pienaar: Inspirational drama suffers uninspiring receptionInvictus with Matt Damon as Springboks rugby team captain François Pienaar. Based on John Carlin's book Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation, Clint Eastwood's “inspirational” mix of sports, politics, and Hollywood prestige is set during the Rugby World Cup in South Africa in 1995, the year after former political prisoner Nelson Mandela was elected president. Will the underdog Springboks manage to take home the World Cup's cup and thus unite black and white South Africans for all eternity? The answer is … Have you ever sat through a crowd-pleasing Hollywood movie? National Board of Review Best Actor co-winner* Morgan Freeman plays Nelson Mandela, while Matt Damon is the Springboks captain François Pienaar. Expect the feel-good Invictus to receive a handful of Oscar nominations, which may help its anything-but-unbeatable domestic box office, as apparently there's room for only one “inspirational” sports-themed movie per season. The one to beat in late 2009 is John Lee Hancock's sleeper blockbuster The Blind Side, starring do-good, all-American football mom Sandra Bullock. * Morgan Freeman shared the National Board of Review's Best Actor award with George Clooney for Jason Reitman's Up in the Air, which has been doing good business in the U.S. and Canada.

'Invictus' disappoints

Set during the Rugby World Cup in South Africa in the mid-1990s, new entry Invictus finished third with a modest $8.61 million at 2,125 locations.

Starring Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman – the latter as Nelson Mandela – Clint Eastwood's mix of sports and politics is a likely Oscar nominee in several categories; that should lift its box office prospects somewhat early next year.

Even so, Invictus is an “inspirational” sports movie that has absolutely no chance of reaching the heights of The Blind Side. In fact, unless it receives lots and lots of love from the Academy, Invictus will be lucky if it manages to gross as much as The Blind Side earned on its first weekend out ($34.19 million).

'New Moon' continues to lose steam

At no. 4, as mentioned further up The Twilight Saga: New Moon brought in $7.96 million after suffering another sizable drop, 48 percent. The domestic total for the vampire, human, and werewolf love triangle: an impressive $267.32 million.

Next in line, Disney's Robert Zemeckis-directed A Christmas Carol, featuring a motion-captured Jim Carrey as Scrooge, picked up $6.83 million, bringing its total to $124.42 million.

Following in sixth place with $5.01 million was Jim Sheridan's Brothers, a remake of Susanne Bier's 2004 Danish drama. In the (all human) love-triangle cast: Natalie Portman, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Tobey Maguire. Total: $17.4 million.

Disney's third Top Ten film, the Robin Williams-John Travolta dud Old Dogs, pulled in $4.4 million at no. 7, for a domestic total of $39.99 million.

'2012' passes $150 million milestone

Roland Emmerich's disaster flick 2012 raked in $4.35 million in eighth place. Total: $155.3 million after five weeks. Starring John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Oliver Platt, and Danny Glover, 2012 follows a group of people trying to survive a series of cataclysms as the world is about to end.

Rounding out the Top Ten were Nimród Antal's Armored, a crime actioner starring Matt Dillon, Jean Reno, and Laurence Fishburne, which took in $3.5 million (cume: $11.7 million); and James McTeigue's flop Ninja Assassin with $2.7 million (cume: $34.3 million).

'The Lovely Bones' & 'A Single Man' shine in platform releases while 'Me and Orson Welles' flops

Among limited/platform releases, Peter Jackson's supernatural crime drama The Lovely Bones grossed $116,000 at three theaters, for a remarkable $38,667 average. The likely Oscar contender stars Saoirse Ronan, Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon, and Stanley Tucci.

At nine theaters, Tom Ford's A Single Man earned $216,328 – or $24,036 per site. The psychological drama based on a 1960s Christopher Isherwood novel stars 2009 Venice Film Festival Best Actor winner Colin Firth as a Los Angeles-based gay professor thinking of suicide following the unexpected death of his partner (Matthew Goode). Julianne Moore and Nicholas Hoult co-star.

Starring Penélope Cruz as an actress-escort in love with her director and at odds with her “sponsor,” Pedro Almodóvar's Broken Embraces earned $115,164 at six locations, for a solid $19,194 average. Total thus far: $602,357.

Despite good reviews and the Zac Efron brand, Richard Linklater's Me and Orson Welles, also featuring Claire Danes and Christian McKay (as the Citizen Kane and The Lady from Shanghai actor/filmmaker), raked in $176,192 at 54 theaters, or a mere $2,753 per site.

Everybody's Fine with Robert De Niro. Remake of Marcello Mastroianni movie a box office flopEverybody's Fine with Robert De Niro. Kirk Jones' sentimental family drama Everybody's Fine has turned out to be a major box office disappointment. Starring Robert De Niro in the old Marcello Mastroianni role, the film is a remake of Giuseppe Tornatore's 1990 melodrama Stanno tutti bene: a widower travels cross-country to meet with his children, now living their own dysfunctional lives. Drew Barrymore, Melissa Leo, and Kate Beckinsale are De Niro's co-stars. Co-written by Massimo De Rita and frequent Michelangelo Antonioni collaborator Tonino Guerra (L'Avventura, Blow-Up), besides Mastroianni the original also featured veteran Michèle Morgan (Port of Shadows, La Symphonie Pastorale), Valeria Cavalli, Norma Martelli, Marino Cenna, and Roberto Nobile.

'Everybody's Fine' is anything but

Dec. 7 update: John Lee Hancock's The Blind Side and Chris Weitz's The Twilight Saga: New Moon were the two top movies at the domestic box office this past weekend, Dec. 4–6 – with the sentimental Sandra Bullock star vehicle finally surpassing the Kristen Stewart-Robert Pattinson-Taylor Lautner interspecies love triangle.

At the other end of the scale, Kirk Jones' Everybody's Fine was a major disappointment, raking in a mere $3.85 million – or $1,806 per screen at no. 10 on the domestic chart.

Everybody's Fine is a remake of Giuseppe Tornatore's 1990 melodrama, with Robert De Niro in the old Marcello Mastroianni role: a widower who travels cross-country to meet with his children. Drew Barrymore, Melissa Leo, and Kate Beckinsale co-star.

Also worth noting, at no. 21 David and Scott Hillenbrand's Transylmania, in which a group of college students drink, party, and get murdered with equal ease, was a total disaster, grossing $264,000 – or a horrendous $262 per screen.

'Up in the Air' performing strongly

Among the newcomers and “expanders,” the Dec. 4–6 weekend's one real success story was Up in the Air, which pulled in $1.18 million at no. 13, or more than $78,763 per site at 15 theaters.

Jason Reitman's socially conscious comedy-drama stars George Clooney as a frequent-flying corporate downsizer who falls in love with fellow frequent-flyer Vera Farmiga right when he's about to get grounded. New Moon actress Anna Kendrick co-stars.

Both Clooney and Up in the Air have already been chosen as Best of 2009 by the National Board of Review (Clooney tied in the Best Actor category with Morgan Freeman for Invictus) and the Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association.

'Fantastic Mr. Fox' disappoints

Nov. 30 update: Entering the Top Ten this weekend, Nov. 27–29, was Wes Anderson's generally well-received stop-motion feature Fantastic Mr. Fox, which earned a weak $6.96 million. Total to date: $10.1 million.

George Clooney voices the lead character while Meryl Streep is Mrs. Fox. Also in the voice cast: Jason Schwartzman, Owen Wilson, Willem Dafoe, and Bill Murray.

Based on a Roald Dahl novel, Fantastic Mr. Fox opened strongly at four locations two weekends ago, collecting $199,142. But it doesn't seem at all likely that Anderson's effort will be able to recover its reported $40 million budget at the domestic box office.

International prospects are unclear, though Fantastic Mr. Fox is performing quite strongly in the U.K., where it opened with $2.47 million in late October.

'The Road' performs modestly & 'Planet 51' bombs

Also opening in limited release this weekend was John Hillcoat's The Road, starring Viggo Mortensen and Charlize Theron as two of the inhabitants of a post-apocalyptic Earth. The modest performer finished in tenth place, with a weekend gross of $1.5 million at 111 venues.

Sony Pictures' $70 million-budgeted commercial flop Planet 51, on its second weekend out, collected $10.21 million at 3,035 locations. Total to date: $28.48 million.

The animated adventure follows an astronaut who ends up getting trapped on a distant planet. The voice cast includes Dwayne Johnson, Jessica Biel, Justin Long, Gary Oldman, Seann William Scott, and John Cleese.

'2012' destroys competition

Nov. 16 update: A Sony Pictures release, Roland Emmerich's apocalyptic actioner 2012 destroyed the competition at the U.S. and Canada box office this weekend, Nov. 13–15, with a solid $65.23 million from 3,404 locations.

As found at Box Office Mojo, 2012 scored $19,165 per theater, while easily surpassing the $35.8 million opening gross of Emmerich's previous film, 10,000 B.C.

The weekend's other wide release, Pirate Radio a.k.a. The Boat That Rocked landed at no. 11, with a measly $2.9 million from 882 locations. Directed by Richard Curtis, the comedy follows a group of DJs broadcasting rock 'n' roll songs from a boat in the North Sea.

In the Pirate Radio cast: multiple Oscar nominee Kenneth Branagh (e.g., Best Actor & Best Director nominee for Henry V, 1989), two-time Oscar winner Emma Thompson (Best Actress for Howards End, 1992; Best Adapted Screenplay for Sense and Sensibility, 1995), Best Actor Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman (Capote, 2005), Tom Sturridge, Bill Nighy, Rhys Ifans, January Jones, and Chris O'Dowd.

And finally, Precious was a major surprise at no. 4, collecting an impressive $6 million at only 174 locations. In the cast of Lee Daniels' dysfunctional family drama: Gabourey Sidibe, Mo'Nique, Paula Patton, and Mariah Carey.

A Christmas Carol with Jim Carrey as Ebenezer Scrooge: No 1 hit as Walt Disney meets Charles DickensA Christmas Carol with Jim Carrey. The Walt Disney Studios' A Christmas Carol was the no. 1 movie at the U.S. and Canada box office on the first weekend in November. In the Robert Zemeckis-directed 3D motion-capture feature, Jim Carrey stars as the wrinkled, long-nosed, perpetually scowling Ebenezer Scrooge, Charles Dickens' Christmas cheerless character previously played on the big screen by the likes of Seymour Hicks (1913 and 1935), Reginald Owen (1938), Albert Finney (1971), Buddy Hackett (1988), Michael Caine (1992), a motion-captured Tom Hanks (2004, in Zemeckis' The Polar Express), and, most notably, Alastair Sim (1951).

'A Christmas Carol' tops pre-Thanksgiving box office

Nov. 8: As expected, Walt Disney's A Christmas Carol took the no. 1 spot at the North American box office this weekend, Nov. 6–8, with a good $30.05 million as per Box Office Mojo.

Starring Jim Carrey as Scrooge, the Robert Zemeckis-directed 3D motion-capture fantasy tale based on Charles Dickens' classic opened at 3,683 locations and scored an average of $8,159 per theater.

At no. 2, the Michael Jackson concert documentary This Is It delivered another strong performance, earning $13.15 million at 3,481 locations. Sony's Kenny Ortega-directed rockumentary has brought in an impressive $57.01 million to date.

Most of the film's footage was shot in June 2009 at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles and at The Forum in Inglewood (also in L.A. County).

George Clooney & Milla Jovovich open modestly

New entry The Men Who Stare at Goats opened in third place with a just okay $12.7 million from 2,443 sites. Grant Heslov's military parody stars George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Jeff Bridges, and Kevin Spacey.

Following at no. 4 with a three-day gross of $12.23 million was another new release, Olatunde Osunsanmi's The Fourth Kind. The sci-fi thriller stars Milla Jovovich as a psychologist treating mentally unstable patients in a small Alaskan town.

Faring worse was Richard Kelly's new entry The Box, which finished sixth with $7.57 million from 2,635 venues. Cameron Diaz and James Marsden play a couple facing a tough decision – $1 million vs. a stranger's death – after they're handed a mysterious wooden box, courtesy of Frank Langella.

Ahead of The Box was Paranormal Activity, which added $8.27 million for an excellent $97.1 million domestic total. The sleeper horror hit – reportedly budgeted at only $15,000 (obviously not including the sizable amount spent on its marketing) – is currently playing at 2,558 sites.

'Precious' arrives

At no. 7, the Vince Vaughn comedy Couples Retreat picked up $6.12 million for a cume of $95.68 million. Next in line, F. Gary Gray's Law Abiding Citizen, starring Gerard Butler and Jamie Foxx, earned $6 million, reaching a cume of $60.7 million.

Rounding out the Top Ten, Spike Jonze's fantasy adventure and box office disappointment Where the Wild Things Are brought in $4.17 million at no. 9 ($69.22 million total), while Summit Entertainment's animated feature Astro Boy collected $2.62 million for a cume of $15.11 million.

Also noteworthy was the solid debut of Lee Daniels' Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire, which scored $1.8 million at only 18 theaters.

Gone from the Top Ten were the following box office disappointments: the horror flicks Saw VI and The Stepfather; Mira Nair's Amelia, starring Hilary Swank as aviatrix Amelia Earhart; and Paul Weitz's Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant.


Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner New Moon image: Summit Entertainment.

Tim McGraw, Quinton Aaron, Jae Head, Lily Collins, and Sandra Bullock The Blind Side image: Ralph Nelson / Warner Bros.

Image of Matt Damon as François Pienaar in Invictus: Warner Bros.

Robert De Niro Everybody's Fine image: Miramax Films.

Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Elizabeth Reaser, and Peter Facinelli New Moon image: Summit Entertainment.

Jim Carrey A Christmas Carol image: Walt Disney Studios.

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32 Comments to 'New Moon' Breaks Box Office Records Except a Key One + Dangerous 'Twilight' Weakness

  1. sanchez fredy

    i always wanted 2 meet michael.but never had the chance he seem like a nice guy alittle shy but nice i will always remember him 4 ever.he was & still is #1

  2. selena

    edward is the besteesstt and in this world no one can conplete him

  3. jacklinn

    i wwwiiissshhhhhhh ttttthhhhhhaaaaatttt wwwwwwwwaaaaaaaassssssss mmmmmeeeeee

  4. rach'dd

    i think new moon movie is the best

  5. catalina

    amo a esa pareje de sandra bullock con Tim McGraw (L) son tan linda pareja y me encanto la pelicula la e visto millones de veces la ame :)

  6. debbs

    i really think they should get someone else to wright the next movie melissa rosenberg only puts it the way she see it. hasn't she read the books? i have read them (all of them ) 5 times now and she leaves SOOOOO much of the books out . sorry just a thought.

  7. HP forever

    Im so glad to see HBP do so well!!!! It is still the largest franchise and 'fandom'in the world!Congrats to Jo and the actors! They deserve a job well done…as for the highest grossing film of 2010 i do believe it will be the long await climax and ending to the phenomenon of Harry Potter…The Deathly Hallows!

  8. new avatar

    new moon will be the biggest film of 2010 after avatar

  9. sass

    Give us more of Rob and Kris!!
    MORE!!!!!!! Do you hear ME!!!

  10. mimi

    note to readers, the poster above, jwt IS SICK IN THE HEAD…


  11. jwt

    The ad I saw showed a croc and a frog, I thought the princes was a crocodile
    Instead it was a ….black woman, false advertising
    And the prince is ….arabic or muslim
    This is Obama multi ethnic brainwashing again to innocent KIDS now
    i'm scared my kid will rememeber the movie
    Dont go back home like a loser with a bad taste in your mouth, ask
    your money back like me!

  12. HappySue

    I have seen New Moon 3 times and going for 4!
    Loved all 3 of Stars but especially Rob and Kristen. Which there was more of them in it but thought Weiss did right though per the book. Wish we would see Rob and Kristen out. I still don't believe Rob when he says not together. Love Them, At 69 years still going! Not dead yet!

  13. Twilighterxxx

    Yeah new moon made 300 million!
    I dont think any body cares that its in 4th place now!!
    I saw it 3 times in the opening weekend, and then again the other day!!
    Its amazing!!!
    And it deserves every penny it gets!!
    Arhhh…cant wait for eclipse now!

  14. kelly

    do you know how much money new moon has grossed in all? a lot. i dont think summit is crying because its in 4th place.

  15. morgan

    I love jacob so much him and bella are my favorite i love jacob!!!!


  16. Courtney Burch

    I love you guys and I love the boys Edward and Taylor Lautner and I love Robert Pattinson.

  17. Tara Andrysiak

    NEW MOON was amazing! Way better than the first movie. I can;t wait until June for Eclipse!!!!


  18. carolyn

    There is simply 1 (One) reason why New Moon is 2nd - Not that Blind Side is not an excellent movie - but in NO WAY would NM be 2nd now except for… regardless of the love triangle Summit & Melissa Rosenberg STILL DON'T GET IT- why we love the T Saga, why we waited with bated breath….and what they didn't provide….


  19. Twilighterxxx

    Wow!!! New moon was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!
    I saw it three times in the opening weekend and then again a couple of days agao…Arhh it was epic!!

    Cant wait for eclipse now…please release a trailer soon!!!


  20. chelsea

    jacob body and edwards head is totaly hooooooooooooooooooooooooooot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Me and my friend Peyton Heizer said so

  21. Melay

    i really love Kristen Stewart, she is beautiful and a very very good actress. i am a certified twilight addict.

  22. Twilighterxxx

    New moon was AMAZING…over the opening weekned i saw it 4 times!!!
    The whole cast and crew (and summit) did an empic job!!!
    Cant wait for eclipse now…

    Team edward!!!

  23. Twilighterxxx

    New moon was AMAZING! Its literally the best film on earth…
    I saw it on the friday it came out, then i went to see it twice the next day, then i went to see it a 4th time on the sunday…it really is the best film ever!
    Summit, chris, and the whole cast and crew did an epic job on new moon, hope they keep it up for eclipse and breaking dawn!!

  24. chris

    of course the blind side will win
    twilight new moon has been out for 4 wks
    its already made a s**tload of $

  25. Tara Andrysiak

    I've heard that The Blind Side is good, but New moon is seriously awesome! Way better than the first movie and much closer to the books if you read the books first :) I've already been to see it twice lol

  26. El Menia

    This is the best movie EVER!!!!!!!

  27. ANDREA


  28. indrwyn

    New Moon is my favotrite Twilight book and its my favorit Twilight movie. so good watch wolfes hunting Victoria but she escaped.

  29. kim

    Edward is so hot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. Ester

    I still say they would have done better if they went with the zombies. They have their core young-girl fans locked down - this would have let guys feel more comfortable seeing it.

  31. hee

    New Moon is a wonderful movie. A romantic sequel for Twilight. Kristen and Rob look very cute together, but I prefer Kristen and Taylor.
    Taylor has a better body than Rob. He looks skinny. Taylor has been working out and his body looks great and strong. I specially like the scene when he takes his shirt in front of Bella. She cant believe her eyes. i coudlnt either. I also like the beginning when they show the new moon at the beginning of the movie. Its a beutiful moment. I bought the New Moon Blueray. Its in my collection. I watche it almost every day. Sometimes I also watch Twilight and Eclipse. I need to buy Breaking Dawn dvd. Thats next.

  32. cm34

    Michael Jackson proves he's still THE KING.