One of the most anticipated films of the Holiday movie season, Twilight, opens up this Friday, and the fanatics are already beginning to line up for the premiere on Tuesday.  A crowd of about 300 has gathered outside of Mann’s Village Theatre, hoping to catch a glimpse of the stars as they head into the premiere.  One of the signs outside even reads “Not moving until Twilight“.  Similar crowds braved the elements in downtown Toronto, San Fransisco and Chicago for meets and greets with the stars.  Chaos ensued when the event in San Francisco only had enough bracelets for 1000 (3000 showed up).

With the hype that this film is bringing comes wild uncertainty at the Box Office.  Will these large crowds translate into box office gold?  Predictions for the opening weekend range from $35-60 Million (Personally, I think it will do better than that, somewhere in the 70+ Million range).  The stars are starting to align for the movie well in advance, with MovieTickets.com reporting that 389 shows are already sold out as of 12 pm today, with 140 of those happening in the past weekend alone. (85% of the movie ticketing site’s sales have been for Twilight)  It’s already hit #20 on the list for the most pre-sales for a movie ever, and that number will only continue to grow.

The numbers are staggering in terms of what anticipation for this film has brought.  The official website has recorded over 11 million views since October, the trailer has been viewed over 12 million times on Myspace.  Even the stars of the film, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Steward, are ranking high on the Star Meter over at IMDB, higher than Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie respectively.  The servers at MTV.com crashed when the initial casting photos were released… that’s just incredible.

Entertainment Weekly is releasing an additional cover featuring the film, a rare occurrence, as the first cover was the best selling one for the magazine so far this year.

Suffice to say that Twilight has drawn a following that no one could have imagined.  The four novels by Stephanie Meyer have been flying off the bookshelves, and it looks to translate to the theaters as the crowds are lining up in droves.  Having worked in theaters for a long time, I can equate the type of sales this is generating to Harry Potter and Star Wars.  That’s an impressive feat for a film that is appealing to a younger, mainly female crowd.  If you braved the theaters for Sex and the City opening weekend, be prepared for that… on a much younger scale.  I don’t envy the parents of the girls who head to the theaters to find the shows to be all sold out.

Hundreds of thousands of people are giving in to the Twilight hype, will you join them?

Sources: Deadline Hollywood Daily; MovieTickets.com


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