Pic takes $4.35 million on first day in Gaul

PARIS — “New Moon” is already glowing in Europe, auguring well for its U.S. bow Friday.

Released in France and Spain Wednesday, the “Twilight” sequel had exhibs howling with joy.

In Gaul, “New Moon” grossed Euros2.9 million ($4.35 million) from 488,133 admissions and 751 prints on its opening day.

“It’s way beyond our most optimistic predictions,” said Olivier Lebraud, marketing and promotion topper at SND, the French distributor. “We were worried to open right after the tsunami created by ‘2012,’ but in fact ‘Twilight 2’ worked very well across France, even in mid- and small-sized cities.”

Distribbed by Aurum, “New Moon” rose magnificently in Spain, too, taking Euros1.4 million ($2.1 million) off 603 prints and 700 screens.

According to Pau Brunet, a market analyst at Spain’s Box Office.es, “Twilight 2” could gross Euros9 million ($13.5) off its first five-day weekend. That’s not an all-time record: “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” took $14.3 million off a four-day first weekend — but it’s not that far off.

“It’s spectacular,” said an over-the-moon Spanish exhibitor. He had only one caveat: “The kind of spectator for these films wants to see them immediately.”

But that’s much better than not at all.

Emiliano de Pablos and Emilio Mayorga contributed to this report.

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