Here is what I wrote when The Dark Knight broke the opening day record:

“Though final numbers will be revealed Monday-ish, The Dark Knight has
been targeted to have hit somewhere around $65 to $66 Million dollars
on opening day, and that includes the record breaking midnight show
totals.”

- All this could be said of New Moon. Opening day record is now somewhere between $67-$73 Million dollars (Nikki Finke is reporting $72.7 Million) with the $23 Million midnight the new record holder for a midnight show.

“With many theaters reporting grosses hourly, this number is
likely not too far off the mark. So, at this juncture, it is fair to
say that records have been broken. And that The Dark Knight is
on target to have the biggest opening weekend of all time until
something bigger opens.”

- Herein lies the difference. Twilight 2 will likely not have the biggest opening weekend, and Batman‘s 158 Million three day record should hold. This is mostly because this phenomenon is considered very front loaded. How front loaded? Finke is suggesting that the film will only do $125 Million for the weekend. Still $140-$150 can’t be out of reach if everyone has so far underestimated this film, and it’s possible that TDK could go down, but very unlikely.

“Obviously, this record-setting day means that
the film is loved by everyone, and that the film is a masterpiece. This
would top last year’s Spider Man 3 opening day ($59.8 Million), another film that is now regarded as both better than Citizen Kane and the works of C. Everett Coop and Phillip Marlowe.”

- Though I was being snarky toward the fanboys, the reason I was snarky is the same reason why this Twilight number means nothing. If you have to tout numbers to prove one thing, and then discount them when they don’t agree with your thesis (“The Dark Knight is a good movie because it made a lot of money and everyone loves it.”) then either New Moon is just as good if not better than The Dark Knight, or numbers mean nothing. At the end of the day, the takeaway is that the fanbase for both is insanely rabid, and possibly both insane and rabid (Team Jacob). Or, as I said last time:

“let me state that I’m not poo-pooing this number or the film,
not at all, but merely acknowledging that phenomenons and zeitgeists
rarely have anything to do with quality. In fact, an opening day has
very little to do with quality as 92.3% of the audience is seeing it
for the first time (other than people who bought multiple tickets for
opening day. Which is a Friday, so they must be either really rich, or
really unemployed. Or drug dealers. Or actors.)”

- Then I said this:

“So let’s celebrate a rare time when a good film makes
money. But, as I always say about anything
opening-weekend-wise, let’s not forget that what a huge number means is
only that a lot of people saw it. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they love
it
or even like it. A hunky actor who died semi-tragically may have made
this must-see more so than a love of Bale or the last film or anything
else associated with the project. That Christopher Nolan can likely now
get any picture he wants made as long as it’s under $100 Million or so
is the real triumph.”

- Here is a case where very few critics like this film. Doesn’t matter. And – ultimately – though Chris Weitz is now out of director jail after The Golden Compass, I don’t think many in the industry likes these films, either. That’s not always how money works. Some might argue this is the better film than the first, but the first did $190, and though Robert Pattison and Kristen Stewart are well known-ish now, that didn’t pump up the Adventureland gross. Catherine Hardwicke, director of the first? May have a Hamlet adaptation coming. It used to be if you got a film like this to open, you wouldn’t be kicked off the next film, but Hardwicke was, and such is this thing. For the record, I underestimated this film, but so did most everyone else in the scheme of thing. I don’t think anyone predicted it would beat the opening day record of The Dark Knight until sometime yesterday. Regardless, this is the new record holder.