Websites report record traffic for 'New Moon'

Diehard “Twilight” fans really are planning ahead this time. Online ticketing service Fandango said that by last Saturday it had pre-sold more tickets to Summit Entertainment’s “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” than it had for any other title, that many days ahead of its bow, in its 10-year history, including such behemoths as “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” and “Stars Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith.”

On Wednesday, “New Moon” also became the top pre-seller in MovieTickets.com’s history, fueling speculation that “New Moon” will rack up especially big grosses after its 12:01 a.m. Friday opening at the domestic B.O.

A year ago, “Twilight” grossed $69.7 million in its domestic debut weekend, the best showing ever for a female-driven property.

To build on anticipation, Summit is returning “Twilight” to the bigscreen tonight in 2,057 theaters nationwide, allowing faithful fans to see the two titles back-to-back.

Midnight shows of “New Moon” will be offered in 3,500 theaters; that will grow to 4,024 Friday morning.

“New Moon” is also making a major international push, opening day-and-date in 25 markets, including Australia, France, Italy, Indonesia and Mexico. Over the next three weeks, film will roll out in more than 50 additional territories. Summit owns worldwide rights to the “Twilight” franchise, based on Stephenie Meyer’s young-adult book series, and pre-sold rights to foreign distribs.

At the domestic B.O., it’s not unusual for a fan-based movie to see particularly heavy traffic on Friday.

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