'New Moon' retains grip on box office top spot

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The Independent Culture

The "Twilight" vampire romance sequel "New Moon" remained firmly clamped down on the North American box office top spot for a second week, preliminary figures showed Sunday.

The second big-screen installment adapted from Stephenie Meyer's phenomenally successful books took in 42.5 million dollars over the weekend, according to figures from Exhibitor Relations.

That brought the movie's two-week earnings to a whopping 230.7 million dollars after it raked in an astounding 142.8 million dollars in its first three days of release.

Only Batman sequel "The Dark Knight" with 158.4 million dollars and "Spider-Man 3" with 151.1 million dollars have scored bigger openings.

The "New Moon" release weekend earnings were considered particularly impressive because the film was released in November, outside of the traditional summer blockbuster season.

The "Twilight" franchise follows the fortunes of high school teenager Bella Swan, played by Kristen Stewart, and her vampire lover Edward Cullen, played by British heart-throb Robert Pattinson.

Also showing staying power this week were "The Blind Side," which hung on to the number two spot for a second week and "2012," at number three for a second week.

"The Blind Side," a feel-good film based on the real-life journey from rags to riches of Baltimore Ravens American football star Michael Oher, earned 40.1 million dollars in box office receipts.

"2012," which makes ample use of special effects to illustrate the end of the world, brought in 18 million dollars in its third week in theaters.

In at number four was "Old Dogs," a Disney movie starring John Travolta and Robin Williams, which took in 16.8 million dollars in its opening weekend.

"Disney's A Christmas Carol" remained in fifth place for a second week, earning 16 million dollars in its fourth week in theaters, while "Ninja Assassin" took the number six spot, earning 13.1 million dollars.

Down three spots to number seven was "Planet 51," the animated tale of an astronaut forced to take refuge with a young alien on a faraway planet, which earned 10.2 million dollars.

The acclaimed but harrowing "Precious" took the number eight spot with 7.09 million dollars, while Wes Anderson's adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic "Fantastic Mr Fox" shot up from number 24 last week to earn the number nine spot with 7.02 million dollars.

Rounding out the top ten was satire "The Men Who Stare At Goats," starring George Clooney and Jeff Bridges as members of a military unit schooled in psychological warfare. The film took 1.5 million dollars.