With resounding force, The Twilight Saga: New Moon affirmed this weekend what Titanic, Backstreet Boys, and Shaun Cassidy did before it: Pre-teen girls are an unstoppable market force. Despite generally poor reviews—which would dissuade approximately 0% of the series’ fans anyway—New Moon enjoyed the third highest opening weekend ever with $140.7 million, second only to The Dark Knight and Spider-Man 3. That accomplishment is all the more impressive when you consider that it more than doubled its predecessor Twilight’s opening frame from a year before and it only cost $50 million to produce. (More fun facts: 80% of viewers were women, and another 50% under 20 years old.) It’ll likely drop like a stone in week two, but given the current take-the-money-and-run mentality of blockbuster filmmaking, even a total collapse wouldn’t matter much at this point.
Equally surprising: The Sandra Bullock football drama The Blind Side made for remarkably robust counter-programming, with $34.5 million in receipts—also in the face of less than charitable reviews. Coupled with The Proposal’s quietly staggering performance among the giants this summer ($164 million), Bullock now makes a compelling argument for being the most bankable actress in Hollywood. (Making a compelling film, however, remains elusive.) The week’s other major studio offering, the animated Planet 51, took in a middling $12.6 million for fourth.
In limited release, the Warner Herzog-Nicolas Cage team-up Bad Lieutenant: Port Of Call New Orleans appeared mostly to justify its cult reputation, earning $9500 per screen on 27 screens for a $257,000 haul. And the ever-reliable Pedro Almodóvar opened big with his latest, Broken Embraces, which took $108,000 on 2 screens.
For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.