Twi-verse shells out for new movie
More than 1,000.
And that's just in Boone.
That's how many "twi-hards" were at Boone's Regal Cinema 7 midnight Tuesday/Wednesday, trying to be among the first to sink their teeth into the new Twilight movie, Eclipse, based on the third installment of Stephanie Meyer's vampire angst series.
What is it about those vampires that has the tween populous at their beck and call?
"I don't know. I honestly don't know," Boone Regal manager Michelle Keller laughed.
She was one of many employees battling the "Team Edward" and "Team Jacob" attired minions. The cinema opened five auditoriums for the premiere.
"People just really like it, I guess," Keller said.
One of Twilight's midnight attendees was 11-year-old Sarah Seymour, in Boone Tuesday promoting her band, Sweetbriar Jam, slated to appear at the upcoming MusicFest 'n Sugar Grove (July 9 and 10 at the Old Cove Creek High School). Even successful musicians, after all, need to have a hobby. And Twilight, to many fans, has soared out of the book shelf and DVD player and become just that, sucking teens into a world of fandom that includes merchandise like T-shirts, stickers and figurines.
"I used to think that the movies were just annoying and stupid before I saw them," Seymour said, modeling her Eclipse T-shirt.
Since that first viewing, she's read the books, all four of them, and knows exactly what the deal is with being a twi-hard.
"Some people like action and romance ... and some people think Robert Pattinson (who plays the lead role of Edward Cullen in the film) is kind of cute," she said.
As for Seymour?
"I think Taylor Lautner (who plays the role of werewolf Jacob Black) is kind of better," she said.
For those of you keeping count, that puts Seymour on Team Jacob.
"Yes, I guess it does," she said.
Team Jacob and Team Edward aren't the only teams excited about this week's twi-premiere. The folks at Watauga County Library are on Team Reading, after all.
"Any time that a blockbuster, huge movie is made out of a book, kids want to come in and get the book, and once they've read that, they want to come in and read things that are like that," library youth services specialist Kristen Street said.
To her, the Twilight series is a bridge that puts kids exactly where she wants them: In front of a book. And it's working. Kids (and a few adults) are constantly asking about the series, and, thanks to the 22 copies (and one of each in Spanish and sound recording) in stock, they're rarely disappointed.
The folks at Black Bear Books saw the same thing when the first movie came out a few years ago.
"Most people have read them at this point ... people get real addicted, so they definitely didn't wait to read them," Black Bear's Erin Thompson. "They read them all the way through."
The new hot items on Black Bear's twi-radar? Meyer's new novella, inspired by "Eclipse," "The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner," ("It's basically novel three and a half, so we're selling that really well," she said) and "Twilight in History," a book co-written by local author Elizabeth Hardy on its historical context. Twi-heads are grabbing anything and everything in twi-nation, trying to absorb Meyer's entire world.
The twi-craze doesn't surprise Thompson. Nor does the latest trend, older women joining the teens in the twi-verse.
"I think, for women especially, they love that whole feeling of being adored, which essentially is what the books are about," she said. "Stephanie (Meyers) does a great job of bringing you back to that feeling of high school obsession."
The Twlight Saga: Eclipse, rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, and some sensuality, stars Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner, and is playing at Regal Cinema 7 in Boone.