HOLLYWOOD -- Fan frenzy is already breaking records for "The Twilight Saga: New Moon."
Online ticket sellers MovieTickets and Fandango report that the follow-up to last year's hit from Summit Entertainment, which sold $191.5 million worth of tickets in the U.S. and Canada, is selling out screenings earlier than any other movie to date.
"New Moon" has sold out 50 showtimes of nearly 22,000 offered on Fandango and 13 showtimes of 2,912 offered on MovieTickets. Most of the sold-out shows are at or around midnight Nov. 20, when the movie debuts.
The two Web sites started selling "New Moon" tickets extraordinarily early -- Aug. 31 for Fandango and Sept. 10 for MovieTickets -- as the theater chains they work with began scheduling screenings in anticipation of a huge first weekend. The first "Twilight" grossed a stellar $36 million on its Friday opening, reflecting pent-up demand among fans of the best-selling books.
For most movies, online ticket sales start about 45 days before they debut.
Though "New Moon" holds the record for selling out screenings the earliest, 20th Century Fox's event film "Avatar" started offering tickets even earlier, on Aug. 21, more than four months before the film's Dec. 18 debut. Neither Fandango nor MovieTickets have yet sold out any "Avatar" shows, although they're currently offering only a tiny fraction of the nearly 25,000 available for "New Moon."
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