The new Twilight vampire movie took a record $26.3m (?15.9m) in midnight showings at North American box offices, studio Summit Entertainment has said.
That beats the previous North American record of $22.2m (?13.5m) for midnight openings, taken by Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in July.
Experts have predicted that New Moon will have one of the biggest opening weekends for a non-summer film.
The first movie in the series, starring Robert Pattinson, made $69.6m (?42.1m).
It is expected the sequel will take almost $100m (?60.6m) in the US and Canada over the course of the weekend.
Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire holds the current North American weekend record - outside of Hollywood's May to August summer season - with takings of $102.7m (?62.2m) in November 2005.
The biggest ever opening weekend was for Dark Knight - starring the late Heath Ledger - which took $158.4m (?96m) in July 2008.
The new Twilight film follows the romance between high school student Bella Swan, played by Kristen Stewart, and vampire Edward Cullen, played by Pattinson.
The movie adaptations are based on the series of books by American author Stephenie Meyer.
The books have sold 85 million copies and have been translated into more than 20 languages.