Summit Entertainment proved there is more to the ambitious company than the Twilight franchise with a strong $24.8m number one launch of its sci-fi adventure Knowing, which stars Nicolas Cage as an astrophysicist who tries to avert global catastrophe.

The debut comfortably beat off challenges from DreamWorks-Paramount’s gross-out comedy I Love You, Man and Julia Robert’s return as a leading lady in Universal’s crime caper Duplicity.

On Saturday Summit celebrated a sensational DVD launch for Twilight, reporting unit sales in excess of three million in the first day. This immediately entered the top five roster of first-day launches alongside Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World’s End, The Dark Knight, Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix, and Transformers.

Summit’s president of home entertainment Steve Nickerson said the company was ‘incredibly appreciative’ of fans who attended midnight launch events across North America, adding that it was ‘apparent that our fans remain passionate about the Twilight saga and want to own a piece of the Edward and Bella story they have come to love.’

Anticipation continues to build towards the Thanksgiving release of sequel New Moon, which promises to be one of the biggest results of 2009.

I Love You Man stars Paul Rudd and Jason Segel and opened in second place on $18m while Duplicity, Tony Gilroy’s follow-up to Michael Clayton that reunites Roberts with her Closerco-star Clive Owen, debuted in third place on $14.4m.

Buena Vista’s family adventure Race To Witch Mountain tumbled 46.7% and three places to number four in its second weekend on $13m for $44.7m, while Watchmenstands on $98.1m in fifth place after and should cross $100m by next weekend.

DreamWorks Animation’s 3D romp Monsters Vs Aliens voiced by Reese Witherspoon, Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd, Renee Zellweger and Hugh Laurie is expected to rule the roost next weekend when it launches through Paramount in more than 3,500 theatres. The other wide releases are Renny Harlin’s action title 12 Rounds starring John Cena for Fox and Lionsgate’s ghost tale The Haunting In Connecticutwith Virginia Madsen.

Estimated Top 10 North America Mar 20-22, 2009
Film (Dist)/Int’l dist/Est wkd gross/Est total to date

1 (-) Knowing (Summit) Summit Int’l $24.8m -
2 (-) I Love You, Man(DreamWorks-Paramount) PPI $18m -
3 (-) Duplicity (Universal) UPI $14.4m -
4 (1) Race To Witch Mountain (Buena Vista) WDSMPI $13m $44.7m
5 (2) Watchmen (Warner Bros) PPI $6.7m $98.1m
6 (3) The Last House On The Left (Rogue) UPI $5.9m $24m
7 (4) Taken (Fox) EuropaCorp $4.1m $133.1m
8 (6) Slumdog Millionaire(Fox Searchlight) Fox Int’l $2.7m $137.2m
9 (5) Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes To Jail (Lionsgate) Mandate Int’l $2.5m $87.2m
10 (9) Coraline (Focus Features) FFI $2.1m $72.9m