On Monday night, I covered the Los Angeles premiere of "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" at the Mann Village Theater near UCLA... and before arriving, I had a pretty good idea of what to expect: screaming fans, posters of a shirtless Taylor Lautner; homemade signs with Robert Pattinson's name in glitter; tight security; etc. But when my photojournalist Chris Audick and I arrived, we were still amazed. Thousands of dedicated "Twi-hards" flooded the streets of Westwood, and they would not stop screaming. Even hours before any of the cast members arrived, loud shrieks, reminiscent of those black and white films of Beatles performances, could be heard from pretty much anywhere.
I had heard reports from local media of adoring fans camping out DAYS before the actual premiere – not to get tickets for the movie, but instead to hopefully get a glimpse of "Bella," "Jacob," or even "Edward."
It turns out those reports were right.
"I love all of this," said Tria Simpson, who came all the way from Minneapolis, Minnesota and had camped out since Friday. "You just feel all the excitement... and the craziness in the air. I'm sucking it all up."
Simpson says she and her friends played "Twilight" trivia games to keep themselves busy while anticipating Monday's festivities.
Another woman from Paso Robles, California, says she made sure her kids were safely home from school last Friday, then hopped in the car for a four-hour drive to Los Angeles. She even got a front row position at the premiere, where she could show off a drawing her five-year-old daughter made of "Edward" and "Bella."
"I think it's a great love story, it's amazing, I think everybody wants it – I'm married and I try to incorporate it into my marriage," she said.
Witnessing all of this was exciting... but it was nothing new for me. After all, I did cover the "Twilight" premiere last fall. As it turns out, I wasn't alone.
Dawn Sirtack of Los Angeles, who was wearing a large button of a steely-eyed "Edward" on her chest, says she was also at last year's premiere, and could hardly control herself this time around.
"We've been out since about Thursday morning... and we've got the best seat in the house."
Check out iReport video of the pandemonium at the premiere.
“New Moon” is already more popular than its predecessor “Twilight” when it comes to advance ticket sales.
According to movie ticketing company Fandango, the vampire romance sequel currently ranks fourth in the company’s advance ticket sales list, surpassing “Twilight” at number 5.
“Ever since we started selling advance tickets to New Moon on August 31, the demand has been unstoppable, as the fan base just keeps growing every day,” said Fandango Chief Operating Officer Rick Butler. "'New Moon' is tracking to be Fandango’s number-one top advance ticket-seller of all time.”
The film, based on the bestselling vampire novels by Stephanie Meyer, hits theaters next Friday, November 20. Thousands of midnight screenings are already sold-out across the country.
According to a recent Fandango survey of more than 2,000 New Moon ticket-buyers, the first “Twilight” movie helped to fuel the fan frenzy over the book series and the movie saga with 55% of respondents saying that “Twilight” inspired them to read all of the books by Stephanie Meyer and 51% saying they plan to see “New Moon” more than once in the theater.
At this rate “New Moon” could potentially surpass the top three advance-selling movies of all time on the site, "Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith", "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" and "The Dark Knight."
Yes, it’s true, “Twi-hards” – I spent my Friday and Saturday surrounded by all things “New Moon.” This included conversations with Robert, Taylor and Kristen – in the flesh. But first things first: if my event a few weeks ago with the Kardashians was as chaotic as the President coming into town, then no doubt about it, the process of screening “New Moon” Friday night was like trying to get a tour of the White House.
For press screenings, it’s usually protocol to check our cell phones and any recording devices with security. However, not once have I encountered a metal detector before entering the theater. Yup, you read correctly, metal detectors. The steps I went through before entering the theater began with checking in, driver's license in hand, and receiving a yellow wristband, then waiting in a very long line as security checked our wrists. Then we had to hand over our cell phones, BlackBerries, cameras, etc. Next, a line to check any bags we carried. Last but not least, two lines in front of theater number seven’s door, as two men with hand-held metal detectors scanned to check what we might still be carrying. Then began my two hours and 10 minutes of “New Moon.” By the way, Team Jacob fans: Taylor Lautner has a very nice six-pack, and it is seen plenty throughout the movie! (More on that in a later blog.)
Saturday, I spent about five hours talking (and waiting to talk) with 17 cast members from the movie: Rob, Kristen, Taylor, Chris the director, five members of the Cullens, four from the Wolfpack, and four Volturi members. I’m sure plenty of you would have loved to trade places with me, but this process is not what I would call an ideal day. Yes, Taylor and Robert shook my hand – and despite what many of you might have done, I did wash my hands later. Saturday certainly did not disappoint in the chaos department for me either. The number of press outlets present was amazing – from multiple online outlets all the way to the Hungarian channel, and of course CNN. I could really see the star status of the “Twilight Saga.” I shouldn’t be complaining – Kristen Stewart was my first interview of the day, but for her, I was number 31. About four hours in, Rob Pattinson was my second to last interview; he still had an hour of press after me. Coffee in hand and looking drained, he smiled and said, “I’m starting to speak a little rubbish.”
While I wouldn’t trade my job for anything, Friday and Saturday was still work for me. How big a fan of the “Twilight Saga” are you? And what would you have traded to be in my shoes?
The producers of the “Twilight” movie franchise are suing a fan magazine for publishing unauthorized photos of the film’s stars in their fanzine aimed at teens.
Summit Entertainment, the producers of the films based on Stephanie Meyer’s best-selling teen vampire novels, claimed in a lawsuit filed in U.S. Federal Court on Friday that Beckett Media is using unauthorized publicity stills from the movie that feature images of the film’s stars Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart.
Summit alleges it has sent Beckett a cease-and-desist letter according to TMZ.com, but the company still released a second unauthorized magazine. Summit is seeking an unspecified amount in damages from Beckett, which specializes primarily in collectible gaming magazines.
The second installment in the Twilight series, "The Twilight Saga: New Moon," will hit the big screen on November 20.
Fans who are looking for authorized behind the scenes information can tune into the November 13 episode of "Oprah," where Meyer will give her one and only media interview to promote “New Moon.”
“You know I've been doing the hermit thing this last year, in so far as media is concerned, and I'm not changing that now, but I am making an exception," the reclusive Meyer wrote on her website. " I'm doing this for a good reason: I am so pleased and amazed and thrilled with what Chris Weitz has done with ‘New Moon’ that I want to talk about it, and to show my support for him."
"And since I'm only doing one interview, better make it big. Really big. So....I will be on The Oprah Winfrey Show on Friday, November 13th," the note on the Web site went on to say.
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