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'New Moon' Sets New Box-Office Record For Midnight Screenings

Thursday night's $26.3 million take breaks record set by 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.'

In [movie id="414921"]"New Moon,"[/movie] Bella is filled with confusion as Edward leaves her, Jacob Black makes his move and the nomad vampires continue to surround Forks. When it comes to Twilighters and the box office, however, there is no such indecision -- and the results are already showing in record-setting numbers.

Summit Entertainment is reporting that the [article id="1626716"]"Twilight" sequel opened on Thursday night[/article] 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 [article id="1624997"]movie's soundtrack charted at #1[/article]. 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 [article id="1626653"]Kurt Loder[/article] 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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