Stephen King might think J.K. Rowling is a better writer than oft-maligned Stephanie Meyer, but Twilight fans gave critics and naysayers the middle finger at midnight screenings on Friday, helping The Twilight Saga: New Moon become the highest-grossing midnight screening ever with $26.27 million. New Moon’s next target? The Dark Knight and the record for highest opening day with $67.2 million in ticket sales. Folks tracking New Moon’s progress believe the movie will gross over $70 million.
As it stands, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is the highest grossing movie of 2009 with $402 million domestically. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is a distant second with $301 million. I don’t know about you, but even with the overwhelmingly negative reviews of New Moon, I wouldn’t expect its box-office returns to diminish sharply, in fact, this seems the type of movie that would encourage repeat viewings from its ginormous fan base. I’m betting New Moon punches Harry Potter in the soft parts and at minimum, grabs second place on the list of box office cash cows for 2009.