LOS ANGELES — Once upon a time, a little film called "Twilight" was scheduled to come out within a few weeks of a "Harry Potter" movie, and Hollywood prognosticators found it absurd to suggest that the vampire series posed any sort of box-office threat. Months after that, buzz on the red carpet at the "Twilight" premiere was that the film could open with a weekend between $40 or $50 million — it ended up with $69.6 million.
Now, it's a year later and "New Moon" has become the biggest advance-ticket seller in Fandango history. So, we took the obvious question to the film's stars at Monday's (November 16) red-carpet premiere: How big will this weekend's "New Moon" opening be?
"We have a bet about that," revealed Chaske Spencer, who plays wolf pack member Sam Uley in the sequel, divulging that the shirtless stars have a friendly wager going on. "There's a guy — a member of the wolf pack, I can't tell you who — but we have a bet, and the loser buys dinner. I think it's going to gross triple [what the first film made]. And I think somebody's going to be buying me some dinner."
"It'll be bigger than ['Twilight']," Ashley Greene insisted. "I just got an e-mail saying we broke the presale record. I'm going to say $79 million."
"I hope it makes $69 million," grinned Nikki Reed, not wanting the sequel to outweigh Catherine Hardwicke's first flick. "I just hope that the fans are pleased. I don't know what you define success by, but that would be a success."
"My estimate is a bit more moderate than most, but it's still lofty," Edi Gathegi explained. "I'm going to go with $92 million — the series has returned in all the right ways, and this is a fantastic film. The fans are going to carry over, and more guys are going to come because of all the action."
"$72 million," Kellan Lutz said, adding that there's only one criteria guiding his prediction. "I can read the future."
"$88 million," guessed Daniel Cudmore, who gets to kick Robert Pattinson's ass in "New Moon" as the Volturi Felix. "I just like that number. I'd be happy with that."
How much do you think "New Moon" will pull in this weekend, Twilighters? Weigh in below with your best guess, and we'll keep track of which fan (and star) comes closest. But please, try to be more specific than Mr. Taylor Lautner.
"Larry, come on," he shot back at me, looking around at all the fans on the red carpet. "Did you actually get anyone [to guess]? We'll have to wait and see. But the good news is, we'll see very soon."
Check out everything we've got on "The Twilight Saga: New Moon."
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