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Weekend Estimates: New Moon Clings to Top Spot Over Record-Breaking Weekend

November 29th, 2009

The Twilight Saga: New Moon held on to top spot at the box office over the weekend, but only by a couple of million dollars, according to studio estimates released on Sunday. The Blind Side had a fantastic second weekend, with an 18% increase from its opening, and came close to pulling off a surprise victory.

New Moon was always going to struggle in the comparison after a gargantuan opening weekend. It also suffered from a weak Thanksgiving Day, as movies with more broad family appeal enjoyed greater success. But a $42.5 million weekend is still and extremely healthy performance, and takes the movie to $230.7 million after just ten days in release.

The Blind Side earned an estimated $40.1 million for second place, an increase of 18% from last weekend's debut, driven by great reviews and word-of-mouth, and helped by a message that resonated with family audiences over the long weekend.

With two juggernauts dominating the chart, wide new releases struggling a bit. Old Dogs opened with $16.8 million for Disney. Ninja Assassin earned $13.1 million for Warner Bros.. The Fantastic Mr. Fox could manage only $7 million as Fox expanded it to 2,033 theaters.

Limited releases had a better time of it. Weinstein Co.'s The Road drummed up $1.5 million in 111 theaters. Disney, meanwhile, returned to their tradition of opening animated features in exclusive engagements and brought in a remarkable $712,000 for The Princess and the Frog in just two theaters, their fourth-best opening using this approach.

Overall business for the weekend looks as though it will be up about 17% from last year, and set a new all-time record for Thanksgiving Weekend. The previous record mark for the weekend was set in 2000 (see chart) when How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Unbreakable dominated.

Filed under: Weekend Box Office, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, The Blind Side, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, Ninja Assassin, The Road, Old Dogs, The Princess and the Frog