There are a lot of us who can’t wait for this week to be over. By Monday the question of whether or not Twilight will actually break out a magic spinning wheel to turn the obsessed shrieks of teen girls into gold will more or less be answered. Although I’m actually on the verge of becoming fascinated with the topic. So many elements have come to the foreground recently: midnight shows are selling out at an absurd pace; Summit has formally announced the acquisition of rights for books two through four; screenwriter (and Dexter staff writer) Melissa Rosenberg is tagged to adapt novels two and three; and, of greater import, director Catherine Hardwicke has said that this movie will have to make $150m to finally greenlight a sequel. Right now, having to wonder if you’ve got a job come Monday must suck.
All of which boils down to: Summit knows they’ve got something big, but they’re not really sure how big, Will wild, easily exaggerated and internet-based mother/daughter fandom actually translate into dollars? Can a recent addition to the vampire-lit canon, backed by an indie studio and featuring no big stars, do even a smidgen of The Dark Knight‘s business? Can Summit actually read $60m out of the current tracking ($40m seems more likely, and even that still feels like hope) and actually stake anything on it? (Fandango reports 500 midnight sellouts and 200 others, and MovieTickets reports 400 sellouts; I’m not certain whether any of their data overlaps.)
I also love that Robert Pattinson is becoming the Sarah Palin of the Twilight campaign. He’s a poster child, a rallying point and a lens through which a massive cadre of fans can focus their fantasies. And yet he seems on the outside of it, disinterested in, and perhaps even scornful of the core appeal. As The Playlist transcribed from an E! Online piece: “This woman is mad,” Pattinson says. “She’s completely mad and she’s in love with her own fictional creation.” But he’s happy to have his own songs in the film, and must be thrilled with it as a launching pad, for now.
Look at it this way: if the film is a hit, we’ll get a sequel with werewolves and lyanthrope transformation scenes, even though they’re not likely to be a patch on American Werewolf. And we’ll get the further adventures of a 108-year old guy perving on high school girls. That, I’ll admit, keeps me laughing every time I read a story about screaming teens and their enabler moms.
OK, fine, I have to see the film in less than 24 hours and I’m just trying to psyche myself up.