UPDATE 11:00 AM THURSDAY 12/24:
Wednesday’s box office estimates are in, kicking off the five-day Christmas holiday weekend. The Twilight Saga: New Moon took in another $925K from 1593 locations. The film has now dropped from fifth to eighth place with the Wednesday release of Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel and Up in the Air, a large increase for A Christmas Carol, and a significant drop in theater count. New Moon’s domestic total is $277.5M after 34 days in release, placing it above The Hangover ($277,322,503) to become the #4 grossing film of 2009. The current worldwide total is $637.6M.
The top seven films are Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, Avatar, The Princess and the Frog, The Blind Side, Up in the Air, Did You Hear about the Morgans, and A Christmas Carol.
UPDATE 4:00 PM WEDNESDAY 12/23:
Tuesday’s box office numbers are in. The Twilight Saga: New Moon took in another $1,050,161 from 3035 locations, with a per theater average of $346. This represents an increase of 8.1% from Monday and the film remains in fifth place. New Moon’s domestic total is now $276,566,062 after 33 days in release. The current worldwide total is $636,666,062.
The top four films are Avatar,The Princess and the Frog, The Blind Side, and Did You Hear about The Morgans?. New Moon needs just $756,442 to pass The Hangover and become the #4 film of 2009.
UPDATE 3:00 PM TUESDAY 12/22:
Monday’s box office numbers are in. The Twilight Saga: New Moon took in another $917,582 from 3035 locations, with a per theater average of $302. This represents a drop of 33.4% from Sunday and the film remains in fifth place. This increases New Moon’s domestic total to $275,515,901 after 32 days in release. The current worldwide total is $635,615,901.
The next milestone comes when the film takes in another $1.81M. That will put New Moon’s domestic cumulative total above The Hangover into fourth place for 2009. An average of $181,000 per day from now until the end of the year will make that happen, which certainly seems plausible. If it earns $17.5M from today through December 31 it will surpass Up to finish in third place. That would require an average box office take of $1.75M per day.
UPDATE 5:00 PM MONDAY 12/21:
The final domestic box office numbers for its fifth weekend show that The Twilight Saga: New Moon finished in fifth place, taking in $4,407,598 from 3035 locations with a per theater average of $1,452. These figures include newly released official numbers of $1,387,458 for Friday, $1,641,835 for Saturday, and a 16.1% drop to $1,378,305 Sunday.
This increases the film’s domestic cumulative total to $274,598,319 through its first 31 days of release and represents a 44.6% drop from last weekend. This is the official tally which, including the actual number for Sunday, has been revised upward by $40K from the previously announced $4.37M (a negligible amount). This gives New Moon a worldwide cumulative total of $634,698,319.
Topping the charts was new entry Avatar with a slightly lower-than-estimated $77,025,481 from 3452 locations for a per theater average of $22,313. Overseas, the film earned $164,545,565 in its opening days from 14,461 screens in 106 territories. Its worldwide cumulative total of $241,571,046 is still the biggest “nonfranchise, nonsequel opening ever.” The Princess and the Frog dropped 49.7% from first to second place in its fourth weekend with $12,185,949 from 3475 locations for a per theater average of $3,507. In third place was The Blind Side, dropping 33.4% from second place with $10,021,280 from 3407 locations for a per theater average of $2,941. In fourth place was another new entry, Did You Hear About the Morgans? with $6,616,571 from 2718 locations for an average of $2,434.
Also surprising was the 51.2% plummet of Invictus , moving it from third to sixth place below New Moon. The film had been ahead of New Moon since its release. Likewise, A Christmas Carol, which had moved past New Moon during the week, dropped 49.6% into seventh place. The Twilight Saga: New Moon should be in sixth or seventh place. But it actually moved up higher than expected due to its smaller drop of 44.6%.
New Moon is currently the #5 domestic moneymaker of 2009. $2.73M will move New Moon past The Hangover into fourth place. $18.41M will move New Moon past Up into third place for the year. $27.37M will surpass Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince to become the #2 film of 2009. There are 11 days left in the year (including today), with one more weekend. At $3-4M per Friday-Sunday, adding in $2-300K each weekday, it can easily finish fourth for the year. Keep in mind that the other five films in the top six all opened in the May-July blockbuster period.
Here is the reason why this overall number is different than the one reported by the industry on Sunday. After the Saturday box office totals came in on Sunday morning, the studio estimated what Sunday would be and came up with a weekend projection. That is standard industry procedure. Of course, Sunday and weekend figures can only be estimated at that point. The actual Sunday numbers weren’t known until now. The actual numbers that come in after the weekend are usually not too far off from the estimates made on Sunday. They usually adjust slightly up or down but are rarely far off. In this case, the number was only $40K below the estimate.
NOTE: Opening weekend box office totals for The Twilight Saga: New Moon are posted HERE. The first week and second weekend totals are HERE. The second week and third weekend totals are posted HERE. The third week and fourth weekend totals are posted HERE. The fourth week and fifth weekend totals are posted HERE.