"New Moon" shines on record holiday box office

LOS ANGELES Sun Nov 29, 2009 5:36pm EST

1 of 4. Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner pose during a photocall to promote 'The Twilight Saga: New Moon' in Madrid, November 12, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Sergio Perez

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" rose to the top of movie box office charts for the second straight week on Sunday with a three-day haul of $42.5 million on a record-breaking holiday weekend in North America, according to studio estimates.

Over the five-day U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, the vampire romance starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner took in $66 million, pushing its two-week total in theaters to $230.7 million in North America, said independent studio Summit Entertainment, which backed the movie.

Internationally, the high-profile sequel to last year's monster hit "Twilight," based on the best-selling novels by Stephenie Meyer, has taken in $243 million for a worldwide total just under $475 million in two weeks.

Richard Fay, president of domestic distribution for Summit, said the movie continued to do strong repeat business from mostly teenage girls who are fans of the movies and books, and it was able to expand its audiences to include older women.

Total movie ticket sales for the five-day holiday period in North America reached a record $278 million, beating the old figure of $244 million set back in 2000 when "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and "Unbreakable" were the two top films, according to sales tracker Hollywood.com Box-Office.

Coming in at No. 2, also for the second straight week, was Sandra Bullock football film "The Blind Side" with three-day sales of $40.1 million and a two-week total of $100.5 million. Disaster film "2012" rounded out the top three with $18 million in three days, boosting its three-week total to $139 million.

SEEING "BLIND"

"Blind Side," produced by Alcon Entertainment and released by Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros,, played well to all audiences. Bullock helped draw women, sports lured men and the feel-good tale about a woman played by Bullock who helps a homeless boy become a football hero attracted families.

"This is a movie that plays equally to both genders," said Andrew Kosove, co-chief executive of Alcon Entertainment. "A great deal of moviegoing is consensus driven (among families) and we were the consensus movie for the weekend."

Natural disaster flick "2012" also continued to score well. Internationally, its ticket sales now stand at $456 million, boosting its global haul to $595 million, said distributor Columbia Pictures, a unit of Sony Corp.

Among new movies, Disney comedy "Old Dogs" with John Travolta and Robin Williams was No. 4 in North America with $16.8 million on the weekend and $24 million for five days. Warner Bros' "Ninja Assassin" with Korean superstar Rain was No. 6 with $13.1 million and $21 million for the 3-day and 5-day periods, respectively.

Other noteworthy titles include Disney's "A Christmas Carol," which claimed the No. 5 spot with $16 million, pushing its North American cumulative ticket sales to $105 million.

Twentieth Century Fox expanded the release of its animated movie "Fantastic Mr. Fox," widely around the United States and it climbed to the No. 9 spot with $7 million on the weekend. Fox is a unit of News Corp

(Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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