'New Moon' midnight showings earn record $26.3 mil

AP News
Posted: Nov 20, 2009 2:32 PM

"The Twilight Saga: New Moon" has set a box-office record for midnight screenings.

Summit Entertainment estimated Friday that it earned $26.3 million after opening early in the morning.

That would topple the previous midnight record, held by "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince." It earned $22.2 million this year. "The Dark Knight" from 2008 is third with $18.5 million.

"New Moon" is the second installment of the popular "Twilight" series. It opened at midnight in 3,514 theaters with a per-theater average of $7,476.

Paul Dergarabedian (der-gayr-uh-BEE'-dee-uhn) is a box-office analyst for Hollywood.com. He says the midnight start "portends an opening weekend that could be one of the biggest of the year."