“New Moon” Breaks Records For Internet Buzz and Midnight Box Office

By J. Sperling Reich | November 20, 2009 11:57 am PST

Already one of the most anticipated film releases of 2009, it should come as no surprise that “Twilight Saga: New Moon” is setting all sorts of records, both at the box office and on Internet social networking sites.

According to Variety, the second installment in the “Twilight” franchise smashed the North American box office record for midnight showings by grossing $26.3 million when it screened on 3,514 screens Thursday evening (or more precisely Friday morning). The previous record of $22.2 million was set this past summer by “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”. On Thursday the Los Angeles Times was predicting the film would open in North America to over $90 million. Ben Fritz’s article points out that the first “Twilight” film had a significant box office drop off of 41% from Friday to Saturday in its opening weekend and a similar decline is expected this time around.

Spurring such wild daily swings of the box office is moviegoers use of Internet social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. On Wednesday 81,000 messages were posted to Twitter and “New Moon” was the top trending topic on the site on Thursday evening and Friday.     Mashable has a post this morning detailing what people are saying about the film in their online conversations. They pull their information from a quick study put together by Crimson Hexagon, a company that analyzes social networking trends. Below is a chart measuring 4500 tweets, as Twitter postings are called, referencing the film:

J. Sperling Reich