'New Moon' sets a midnight box-office record

kristenstewart_robertpattinson_twilight_newmoon_290.jpgEdward Cullen > Harry Potter, at least where midnight screenings of a new movie are concerned.

"Twilight: New Moon" smashed a box-office record Thursday night, hauling in more than $26 million from midnight showings of the movie. Summit Entertainment says the second film in the "Twilight" series earned an estimated $26.27 million in 3,514 theaters.

The previous record for a midnight opening came just four months ago, when "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" took in $22.2 million on July 15. The movie, which opened on a Wednesday, has taken in better than $300 million at the domestic box office and another $600 million-plus worldwide.

"New Moon's" huge midnight numbers sets up a massive opening weekend for the film. "Twilight" made $69.6 million on its first weekend in theaters last year; the midnight screenings alone have already put "New Moon" more than a third of the way toward surpassing that total.

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