'Twilight' installment nabs $26.3 million

Summit Entertainment’s sequel “New Moon” has set box office history in breaking all records for midnight runs, grossing a whopping $26.3 million as it unspooled in 3,514 theaters at 12:01 a.m. Friday.

That easily beats the $22.2 million collected by Warner Bros.’ “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” this summer. Today, “New Moon” goes into a total of 4,024 runs domestically.

For a female-driven property to draw such a turnout is also history-making.

Next record for “New Moon” to eclipse: Best opening day. Current record-holder is Warners’ “The Dark Knight,” which grossed $67.2 million from 4,366 runs on July, 18, 2008.

However the first day grosses for “New Moon” turn out, they will far exceed the $36 million earned by “Twilight” on its first Friday exactly a year ago. (Thursday night, Summit re-issued “Twilight” in 2,057 theaters nationwide. Runs took in $1.3 million.)

“Twilight’s” opening weekend total was $69.7 million. Already, “New Moon” is destined to do better. B.O. observers say “New Moon’s” ultimate performance will depend upon how many people it can appeal to outside its core fanbase.

Overseas, early numbers for “New Moon” also are exceeding results for “Twilight.”

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