Nov 30, 2009 11:29 AM by Associated Press
Vampires and werewolves continued to howl at the box office with a $42.5 million weekend for "The Twilight Saga: New Moon."
Summit Entertainment's "Twilight" sequel remained No. 1 over what proved a record Thanksgiving weekend for Hollywood. But "New Moon" was nearly blind-sided for the top spot by a real-life football drama.
"The Blind Side" had a great second weekend with $40.1 million coming in at No. 2 just behind "New Moon." Released by Warner Bros., the inspirational story of Baltimore Ravens tackle Michael Oher stars Sandra Bullock as a woman whose wealthy family takes in the homeless teen and enrolls him in private school.
The two movies propelled Hollywood to record revenues over the five-day Thanksgiving period. Wednesday-to-Sunday receipts came in at an estimated $275 million, according to Hollywood.com box-office analyst Paul Dergarabedian.
That surpassed the previous Thanksgiving record of $244.4 million set in 2000, when "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and "Unbreakable" topped the box office.
With 2009 domestic revenues at $9.5 billion, Hollywood is on the verge of breaking the record of $9.7 billion set in 2007. Studios have a month of prime holiday business ahead, so the industry should easily top the $10 billion mark domestically for the first time.
"We're going to buzz past it," Dergarabedian said.
New wide releases had so-so results this weekend. Disney's family comedy "Old Dogs," starring Robin Williams and John Travolta as single guys forced to mind 7-year-old twins one of them never knew he had fathered, came in at No. 4 with $16.8 million for the three-day weekend and $24.1 million since opening Wednesday.
The Warner Bros. action tale "Ninja Assassin" opened at No. 6 with $13.1 million over the weekend and $21 million since Wednesday. The movie features Korean pop star Rain and Naomie Harris in a thriller about a hit man on the run from his assassination clan.
"Fantastic Mr. Fox," the 20th Century Fox animated comedy with a voice cast led by George Clooney, expanded to nationwide release and pulled in $7 million to finish at No. 9.
"New Moon" raised its domestic total to $230.7 million after just 10 days. That's nearly $40 million more than the first movie, last year's "Twilight," took in during its entire 20-week run. The movie's worldwide gross stands at $473.7 million.
The "Twilight" movies star Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner in an adaptation of Stephenie Meyer's books about teen heartache among a school girl, a vampire and a werewolf.
"New Moon" is approaching numbers achieved by another teen fantasy sensation, the "Harry Potter" films, which had domestic totals ranging from $250 million to $317 million.
"We always hesitated to compare ourselves to ‘Harry Potter,' but the numbers do speak for themselves," said Richie Fay, head of distribution for Summit.
While the weekend haul for "New Moon" dropped a steep 70 percent from the movie's $142.8 million opening, "The Blind Side" actually went up 18 percent from its $34.1 million first weekend. Dan Fellman, head of distribution for Warner Bros., said the movie is on track to top $200 million.
"The Blind Side" is drawing equal audiences among men and women and finding fans from ages 8 to 80, said Andrew Kosove, co-founder and co-chief executive officer of Alcon Entertainment, which produced the film.
"Even though Michael Oher is a football player, and football is a part of the story, the movie is really not a sports movie. It's a family movie," Kosove said.
"The Blind Side" lifted its 10-day total to $100.3 million and has generated Academy Awards buzz for Bullock.
In limited release, the Weinstein Co. apocalyptic drama "The Road" opened strongly with a $1.5 million weekend and $2 million since opening Wednesday. Adapted from Cormac McCarthy's novel, the film stars Viggo Mortensen as a father struggling to survive with his young son in the wasteland of America after an unspecified catastrophe.
Disney's animated musical "The Princess and the Frog" did huge business, debuting in two theaters with $712,000 over the weekend and $1.1 million since Wednesday. Updating the Brothers Grimm fairy tale "The Frog Prince" to jazzy New Orleans in the 1920s, the film expands nationwide Dec. 11.