Sometimes a movie will consume the internet for weeks before its release, and then turn out to be Snakes on a Plane. This is not one of those times. New Moon didn't set the all time opening weekend box office record, but it came uncomfortably close, and -- holy crap -- it now owns the record for the highest single-day gross ever, a $72 million Friday. Twilight opened to almost precisely half of New Moon's $140 million number, and went on to gross $192 million. The sequel should pass that mark by next weekend.

New Moon's staying power is a bit difficult to forecast. On one hand, its grosses may be frontloaded, as is typical when rabid fans of the source material rush out to pack midnight and opening-day showings. On the other, this might just be the kind of film that, even more so than its predecessor, generates repeat business. (Along these lines, I wonder if the egregious objectification of men in New Moon's marketing campaign is a victory for feminism. I vote yes.)

Getting somewhat lost in all the New Moon hoopla is the slightly less dramatic victory scored by the earnest, good-natured tearjerker The Blind Side, which took second place with nearly $35 million, which I suspect is another testament to the enduring box office draw of Sandra Bullock. (As a side note, the enduring box office draw of Sandra Bullock must be a testament to the awfulness of All About Steve, which topped out at $33 million despite her prominent presence.) It was also smart of Warner Bros. to deemphasize the sports angle -- a "football movie" would not have done this well.

More, and the top 10, after the jump.

2012 suffered a big 60% drop at New Moon's hands, and is now running significantly behind The Day After Tomorrow -- which, to be fair, had the benefit of a holiday opening weekend. Sony's also-rans animated entry Planet 51 put up a middling $12.6 million in its debut, on par with 9 from a few months ago. On the other hand, Precious showed no signs of slowing down upon expanding into semi-wide release this weekend; $100 million remains plausible, and if Lionsgate fulfills its award ambitions, possibly more.

1 - The Twilight Saga: New Moon (Summit) - $140.70 ($34,965) - $140.70
2 - The Blind Side (Warner Bros. ) - $34.51 ($11,096) - $34.51
3 - 2012 (Sony) - $26.50 ($7,776) - $108.22
4 - Planet 51 (Sony) - $12.60 ($4,152) - $12.60
5 - A Christmas Carol (Disney) - $12.23 ($3,418) - $79.79
6 - Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (Lionsgate) - $11.01 ($17,501) - $21.40
7 - The Man Who Stare at Goats (Overture) - $2.77 ($1,349) - $27.62
8 - Couples Retreat (Universal) - $1.95 ($1,140) - $105.00
9 - The Fourth Kind (Universal) - $1.73 ($1,050) - $23.34
10 - Law Abiding Citizen (Overture) - $1.62 ($1,217) - $70.03

Next week: Ninja Assassin and Old Dogs are the Thanksgiving openers; most likely, neither will prove capable of dethroning New Moon.