Summit Entertainment is reporting that the "Twilight" sequel opened on Thursday night to an unprecedented $26.3 million during its midnight screenings across the country. The film unspooled on 3,514 screens, playing at 12:01 a.m. for die-hard fans — many of whom arrived at the theaters dressed as their favorite characters.
That total handily beats the midnight-screening record of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince." This seems to vindicate "Twilight" star Jackson Rathbone, who famously responded to our question of whether Stephenie Meyer's franchise could take on J.K. Rowling's juggernaut, "I don't know; they've got brooms."
In case you need further proof that "Twilight" is the new "Potter," look no further than the recent news that "New Moon" set the record for most presold tickets before opening day, or that the movie's soundtrack charted at #1. Or that a one-day re-release of "Twilight" grossed $1.3 million on 2,057 screens on Thursday. And so, the lion fell in love with the lamb, and moviegoers fell in love with the "Twilight" series.
"New Moon" is the second installment in the "Twilight Saga" series that is scheduled to release "Eclipse" next summer and almost inevitably "Breaking Dawn" sometime after that. In addition to the box-office numbers, the opinions of the fans so far seem to be mostly favorable, and even Kurt Loder seems to like it more than the original film. Stay tuned to MTV News throughout the weekend, as we'll continue bringing you the very latest news on the "New Moon" box-office receipts.
Check out everything we've got on "The Twilight Saga: New Moon."
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