Alt Film Guide
Classic movies. Gay movies. International cinema. Socially conscious & political cinema.
Home Movie NewsBox Office New Moon Breaks Box Office Records Except Key 1 + Debilitating Twilight Weakness

New Moon Breaks Box Office Records Except Key 1 + Debilitating Twilight Weakness

New Moon Robert Pattinson Taylor Lautner Kristen Stewart. Anomalous global blockbuster
New 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 from The Dark Knight (and runner-up Spider-Man 3) the title of Movie with the Best Domestic Opening Weekend Ever. Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that New Moon is an anomalous global blockbuster, as it revolves around a live-action female character.

‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’ & ‘The Twilight Saga: New Moon’: Youth & fantasy mix among year’s international blockbusters

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, respectively, the second and the sixth biggest international 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

Besides Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and The Twilight Saga: New Moon, as found at the remaining titles among the Top Six movies at the 2009 international box office (up to mid-December) are the following:

  • 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.
  • Michael Bay’s Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, with $431.12 million – $65.83 million of which from China alone. In the brainless actioner, brainy machines battle alongside – and against – Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, and Josh Duhamel.
  • 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 – the human teenager Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), torn between her love for a handsome vampire (Robert Pattinson) and her affection for a young Quileute Indian (Taylor Lautner) who also happens to be a werewolf.

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 initial audience was reportedly 50 percent under 21 and 80 percent female.

New Moon Twilight Robert Pattinson Kristen Stewart: Global blockbuster serious domestic weakness
New Moon: Twilight sequel with the vampire Robert Pattinson and the human Kristen Stewart. The interspecies love triangle – Taylor Lautner’s werewolf is the third party – is the key reason for New Moon‘s global blockbuster status, even if one with a serious weakness 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.

Record-breaking ‘New Moon’ feats

Unexpectedly, the $50 million-budget New Moon earned $72.7 million on its first day out at the North American (U.S. and Canada) 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 Box Office Mojo and other sources, on its opening weekend New Moon shattered the following records (not taking inflation into account):

  • Biggest midnight gross ever: $26.3 million.
  • Biggest opening day and 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 weekend ever – $142.8 million – far surpassing Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire‘s $102.7 million.

Yet there’s one crucial domestic box office record that New Moon failed to break.

Biggest opening weekend ever? Not ‘New Moon’

As mentioned above, on its first weekend out, Nov. 20–22, New Moon took in an impressive $142.8 million in North America – or more than twice the $69.6 million the original Twilight brought in on its debut weekend in November 2008, and almost three-quarters of that film’s total domestic earnings.

Even so, New Moon failed to achieve the best domestic opening weekend ever. That particular record 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.

Overall, 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; and not adjusted for inflation).

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

Internationally, New Moon scored $118.1 million on its opening weekend, bringing its 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 (U.S.) holiday, Chris Weitz’s romantic fantasy took in $66 million domestically (U.S. and Canada), reaching $230.7 million after only ten days out.

For comparison’s sake: at the end of its run, Twilight reached $192.7 million at the domestic box office and $350 million worldwide.

But in spite of its undeniable popularity, the Twilight sequel suffers from a debilitating weakness: mostly dismissed by critics, on Thanksgiving weekend New Moon was down a whopping 70 percent in the U.S. and Canada – a dramatic drop even when taking into account its record-breaking pre-opening-weekend 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, at no. 4 on the chart, collected $7.96 million – down a more modest but still significant 48 percent.

For comparison’s sake, that’s only a little more than half of the gross of the Sandra Bullock star vehicle The Blind Side, also on its fourth weekend out.

But why should that matter?

Well, remember that on its first two weekends out, New Moon was actually ahead – on its first weekend, markedly ahead – of Bullock’s sentimental family drama. Their ranking was reversed a week ago; the reversal has now been accentuated.

New Moon Taylor Lautner shirtless: Teen Quileute Indian is werewolf sex symbol mix
New Moon with Taylor Lautner shirtless & dripping wet. Set in the rainy town of Forks, Washington, New Moon revolves around the willful but conflicted human adolescent Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), who, after being emotionally seduced and abandoned by the centenarian vegetarian vampire Edward Cullen (a non-human-blood-drinking Robert Pattinson) develops a strong bond with the young Quileute Indian Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner), who, much to his surprise, discovers that he is a part-time werewolf – one who, while in human form, needs to parade around shirtless due to a chronic body-temperature dysfunction for which there’s no cure.

‘New Moon’ cast

In addition to Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner, New Moon also features:

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

Nikki Reed. Billy Burke. Booboo Stewart. Michael Welch. Anna Kendrick. 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).

‘Eclipse’ on the horizon

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 scheduled 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, and, with brother Paul Weitz, About a Boy and American Pie.

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

As for the domestic box office, 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, as per final figures 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 the voices of 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 prayer scene. Actress best box office year ever?
The Blind Side prayer scene. John Lee Hancock’s sentimental 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. From a commercial standpoint, Bullock is enjoying one of the best years ever for any actress: her other 2009 hit, the romantic comedy The Proposal has brought in nearly $164 million domestically. True, her third 2009 vehicle, the comedy All About Steve, was an all-around flop – but even adjusting for inflation, how many actresses have had two $150+ million hits in the same calendar year? Not even Barbra Streisand during her heyday in the 1970s.

‘The Blind Side’ to become biggest Sandra Bullock box office hit ever?

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 slightly passing the $150 million milestone this past weekend. 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 the year?

Box office “experts” explain 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., just a few months ago, All About Steve, co-starring Bradley Cooper and Thomas Haden Church; 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, are commercial disappointments).
  • “Families” checked it out because of the “inspirational” storyline about a white woman who helps out a young black football player. (Once again, check out the “inspirational” Invictus’ box office further below.)
  • Christians, for their part, may have been attracted by the dinner table prayer scene shown above. (Everything’s possible.)

Sandra Bullock’s box office bonanza

Whatever the reasons, 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 in the U.S. and Canada was Donald Petrie’s Miss Congeniality back in 2000. Adjusted for inflation, Marc Lawrence’s 2002 romantic comedy Two Weeks Notice, co-starring Hugh Grant, is her only other pre-2009 release this century to reach nine figures domestically.

The Blind Side reportedly cost only $30–35 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 Matt Damon as rugby player François Pienaar: Inspirational drama uninspiring reception
Invictus with Matt Damon as Springboks rugby team captain Francois 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 and sentimentality is set during South Africa’s Rugby World Cup in 1995, the year after former political prisoner Nelson Mandela was elected president. Will the local underdog, the 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 flick?

‘Inspirational’ sports & politics drama ‘Invictus’ has dispiriting debut

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 as Francois Pienaar, the captain of South Africa’s rugby team Springboks, and National Board of Review Best Actor co-winner* Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela, Clint Eastwood’s audience-friendly mix of sports and politics is a likely Oscar nominee in several categories. That should help to lift its box office prospects somewhat early next year.

Even so, Invictus is one “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, the anything-but-unbeatable Invictus will be lucky if it manages to end its run with a domestic gross matching the $34.19 million The Blind Side earned on its first weekend out.

Apparently, there’s room for only one “inspirational” sports-themed movie per season.

* Morgan Freeman shared the National Board of Review’s Best Actor award with George Clooney for Up in the Air, which has been doing good business in the U.S. and Canada.


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

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

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

New Moon Breaks Box Office Records Except Key One + Debilitating Twilight Weakness” last updated in August 2018.

Recommended for You

Leave a Comment

*IMPORTANT*: By using this form you agree with Alt Film Guide's storage and handling of your data (e.g., your IP address). Make sure your comment adds something relevant to the discussion: Feel free to disagree with us and write your own movie commentaries, but *thoughtfulness* and *at least a modicum of sanity* are imperative. Abusive, inflammatory, spammy/self-promotional, baseless (spreading mis- or disinformation), and just plain deranged comments will be zapped. Lastly, links found in submitted comments will generally be deleted.


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

selena -

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

jacklinn -

i wwwiiissshhhhhhh ttttthhhhhhaaaaatttt wwwwwwwwaaaaaaaassssssss mmmmmeeeeee

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 :)

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.

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!

mimi -

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


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!

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!

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!

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.

morgan -

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


Courtney Burch -

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

Tara Andrysiak -

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


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….


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!!!


chelsea -

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

Melay -

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

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!!!

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!!

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

kim -

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

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.


This website uses cookies to improve your experience. If you continue browsing, that means you've accepted our Terms of Use/use of cookies. You may also click on the Accept button on the right to make this notice disappear. Accept Read More