To most in the entertainment industry, the fact that the Twilight movie released impressively over the past weekend (Nov. 21-Nov. 23) comes as no surprise. The hype surrounding the release of the first movie in the Twilight series, based on the hugely popular teenage vampire series from Stephanie Meyer, has been tremendous and ongoing. Despite some controversy, the final book in the Twilight saga, Breaking Dawn, had a remarkable commercial release in early August. There is no question that Stephanie Meyer and her teenage vampire genre has contributed to growth in this entertainment theme. Showtime began airing True Blood, starring Anna Paquin this season and Lost Boys 2: The Tribe “just happened” to release 20-some years after the original, following the popular Twilight series book finale.
The performance of the Twilight movie, which stars guarda serie Kristen Stewart as teen Bella Swan, and Robert Pattinson as her vampire lover Edward Cullen, is impressive on many levels. The $70.6 million weekend box office debut is in the realm of premiere superhero action movie releases. It is easily the largest weekend box office debut ever for a movie directed by a woman (Catherine Hardwicke), outdistancing Mimi Leder’s Deep Impact which netted $41.2 million ten years ago.
Twilight also had the 29th best weekend premiere ever, just behind 300, which earned $70.9 million during its first weekend. The movie is also easily the most successful movie release from fledgling studio Summit. The companies previous best was another teen action movie, Never Back Down, which earned $8.6 million at the box office in March. Never Back Down achieved more success as a DVD release thanks to growing interest in mixed martial arts movies (MMA). It also bested recent releases Hancock and Disney’s Wall-E.
One of the supporting roles in the Twilight movie is played by up and coming actor Cam Gigandet who also played a leading role in Never Back Down. Others starring in the Twilight movie include: Ashley Greene, Nikki Reed, Jason Rathbone, Kellan Lutz, Peter Facinelli, Taylor Lautner, and Michael Welch.