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'New Moon' snaps 'Dark Knight' box-office record with $72.7 million opening day

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The Twilight Saga: New Moon grossed $72.7 million on Friday, according to estimates from Summit Entertainment, shattering The Dark Knight‘s previous opening-day record of $67.2 million. (The figure includes the $26.3 million New Moon banked from midnight screenings, also a box office record.) The astronomic figure puts Bella, Edward, and Jacob on a clear path to possibly the biggest opening weekend ever, all the more impressive considering New Moon is opening in 342 fewer theaters than The Dark Knight did last year.

UPDATE: Meanwhile, it appears the vampires and werewolves of New Moon didn’t devour the box office whole; the Sandra Bullock true-life drama The Blind Side opened to a robust $10.9 million for second place on Friday, according to early estimates. The über-disaster flick 2012 landed at third with $8.1 million, a 65 percent drop from its debut last Friday. Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire continued its improbable box-office run, bringing in $3.6 million in just 629 theaters for fourth place. And the animated sci-fi comedy Planet 51 opened at fifth with an earth-bound $3.1 million.

Be sure to check back here tomorrow for the full box office report.