There were no early bedtimes for Twihards as the second film in the "Twilight" series, "New Moon," opened at midnight on Thursday.
The hysterically-anticipated sequel was greeted by its largely female audience with screams, cheers and tears as they flocked to see the movie. Some girls reportedly clutched handbags rattling with bottles of prescription tranquillizers so they could make it through the film without uncontrollable frenzy or fainting fits.
And the fans' dedication paid off. "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" proved to be more of an eclipse in its theatrical debut, breaking two box office records before this weekend is even over.
According to reports for the U.S. box office, the vampire romance set a new record for a midnight opening, taking $26.27 million and beating "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince"'s $22.2 million from July 15, which had itself beat the previous record set by "The Dark Knight"'s $18.4 million from July 18 last year.
The film's Friday performance (including the Thursday midnight showings that went into the early hours of Friday) went on to take the record for best opening day with $72.7 million, beating "The Dark Knight" which had earned $67.2 million. The first "Twilight" only made $7 million at its midnight showings and $36 million on its first day.
The signs of a big success were there earlier, with Fandango selling more than ten tickets per second on its Web site on Friday, while MovieTickets.com said "New Moon" now held its record for the highest number of advance ticket sales.
MovieTickets.com said the film had snatched the No. 1 spot from "Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith," surpassing blockbuster film franchises including "Harry Potter" and "Lord of the Rings" on its way to set the new record.
MovieTickets.com president Joel Cohen said: "By landing the No. 1 spot on our advance ticket sellers list, 'New Moon' has broken a record that has stood unchallenged for almost five years.
"While this achievement is significant, it comes as little surprise considering the film's dedicated fanbase and the growing trend of purchasing advance tickets online for highly anticipated films such as the 'Twilight' series."
What do you think of the box-office success of the "Twilight" films so far and what do you expect from next year’s installment?
Directed by Chris Weitz, "New Moon" stars Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner, Robert Pattinson and Ashley Greene – it’s playing everywhere currently. "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" opens June 30, 2010 and is directed by David Slade.
More news to come! Catch ya' later!
Sources: Screen Rant, The Geek Files, Deadline Hollywood, Box Office Mojo