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Over 8,000 Rockwall movie fans see New Moon to help break box-office record

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By J.J. Smith. Over 8,000 people jammed into the Cinemark movie theatre in Rockwall this past weekend to see the supernatural heartthrob thriller The Twilight Series: New Moon, helping it shatter box-office attendance records nationwide.

Long lines began forming as early as 5 pm Thursday for the opening Midnight performance, starring Kristen Stewart as Bella Swan, Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen and Ashley Greene as Alice Cullen, according to Cinemark Theatres management.

New Moon is second in a series of movies based on the four best-selling novels by Stephenie Meyer. The first, Twilight, was released last year to huge numbers.

This sequel 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 total, from 3,514 theaters, set a record, topping the midnight shows for “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” which had $22.2 million in late-night ticket sales, and “The Dark Knight,” which had $18.5 million.

For the entire weekend, ending Sunday night, Bella, Edward, and Jacob opened to a staggering $142.8 million, the third highest grossing weekend in movie history – after The Dark Knight’s $158.7 million opening in July, 2008, and Spider-Man 3’s $151 million in May, 2007.

New Moon was all the more impressive considering it opened in 342 fewer theaters than The Dark Knight did last year.

The movie will continue to play at the Cinemark 12 in two theatres this week. For info, see Cinemark.com.

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