Summit Entertainment estimated Friday that it earned $26.3 million after opening early in the morning.
That would topple the previous midnight record, held by "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince." It earned $22.2 million this year. "The Dark Knight" from 2008 is third with $18.5 million.
"New Moon" is the second installment of the popular "Twilight" series. It opened at midnight in 3,514 theaters with a per-theater average of $7,476.
Paul Dergarabedian is a box-office analyst for Hollywood.com. He says the midnight start "portends an opening weekend that could be one of the biggest of the year."