New Moon Shines Brightly With $140 Million Opening

The Twilight Saga: New Moon rose to record heights in its opening weekend, grossing $140 million ‘ good enough for the third-best all-time opening weekend behind leader The Dark Knight and Spider-Man 3.

The film set records for midnight openings with $26.3 million and the opening-day record previously held by The Dark Knight with a $72 million gross on Friday.

New Moon also did huge business overseas, grossing an estimated $118 million in 25 territories, bringing the film’s total worldwide gross to a huge $258 million.

Nothing else came close to New Moon, but other new releases still performed well, with The Blind Side, a drama starring Sandra Bullock, earning $34.5 million, while holdover 2012 slid to third place with $26.5 million.

Opening in fourth place was Planet 51, a CG animated feature film from Sony, with $12.6 million. The film, which featured animation from Spanish studio Ilion, edged out Disney’s A Christmas Carol, which earned $12.3 million to bring its domestic total to $79.8 million.

Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox continued to do well on a limited run on only four screens, earning $199,000 for a per-screen average of $49,750 ‘ outperforming New Moon‘s average of $35,000 but falling short of the $54,000 per screen average earned by the Sony Pictures Classic release Broken Embraces on two screens. Mr. Fox is due to go wide Wednesday in advance of the four-day Thanksgiving holiday weekend.