Twilight was only expected to take $50m in its opening weekend
Twilight, a fantasy romance in which a girl falls in love with a vampire, has topped the North American box office.
Directed by Catherine Hardwicke, it set a new record for the biggest opening weekend for a female- directed film, taking $70.6m (£46m).
The film is based on the first of a series of novels written by US author Stephenie Meyer.
James Bond film Quantum Of Solace, which had been number one the previous week, was in second place.
Disney's 3-D animation Bolt, starring the voices of John Travolta and Miley Cyrus, made its debut at number three, with box office receipts of $27m (£18m)
NORTH AMERICAN BOX OFFICE
1 Twilight - $70.6m
2 Quantum of Solace - $27.4m
3 Bolt - $27m
4 Madagascar 2: Escape 2 Africa - $16m
5 Role Models - $7.2m
Source: Media By Numbers
Twilight stars Harry Potter actor Robert Pattinson as the vampire Edward Cullen and Kristen Stewart as the bookish schoolgirl Bella Swan.
Its release was brought forward a month to plug the gap left by Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which has been pushed back to summer 2009.
Twilight easily broke the previous opening weekend record set by a female-directed film - Mimi Leder's Deep Impact, which took $41.1m (£27.5m) on its opening weekend in 1998.
Producers Summit Entertainment has already announced a follow-up to the film, based on the second of Meyer's books, New Moon.
Hardwicke, who previously co-wrote and directed indie hit Thirteen, is in talks to direct the second instalment.
"I want to be sure that it's going to be done right. I don't want to rush into it," she said.
"It's not like Friday the 13th or Halloween; you can't just do it super-fast and knock another one out. I want to understand their plans and all that."
Quantum Of Solace , the second Bond film starring Daniel Craig, has so far taken $109.5m (£73.2m) in the US, crossing the $100m barrier faster than any other film in the franchise, according to analysts Media By Numbers.