‘New Moon’ weekend promises big box office numbersPublished 10:33am Thursday, November 19, 2009
By JESSICA SIEFF
Niles Daily Star
The wait is over. The time has come.
This is the weekend that Twilighters the world over have been waiting for.
The second installment of the “Twilight Saga,” “New Moon,” will hit theaters across the country tonight – with midnight showings that have already sold out.
The halls at Wonderland theater were relatively quiet mid-afternoon Wednesday. The film’s popularity and a peek into how busy the weekend at local theaters everywhere were evident.
Sold out signs hung just below the promo poster for “New Moon,” the film’s stars peering out in character from behind the Plexiglas case. Manager Steve Sullivan said the theater had also already sold out Friday night showings at 6:50 and 9:25 p.m. Showing in the largest theater, that’s 288 seats for each showing.
Theater workers everywhere are preparing for what will undoubtedly be a big weekend in ticket sales.
The popularity of the “Twilight” series is what solidified the theater’s decision to run a midnight screening.
“If we believe there’s going to be a movie that’s going to have a built in audience,” such as the “Harry Potter” or “Star Wars” franchises, Sullivan said the theater most likely will open the doors for midnight shows.
“They’ll see it multiple times,” he said of moviegoers.
Fans have been in the theater buying up tickets in bulk to make sure they’ll be able to see Edward and Jacob vie for the clumsy but headstrong Bella.
“Twilight,” a series of four books by now infamous author Stephenie Meyer, has taken the world by storm and become a cultural phenomenon.
Since the first film, which introduced audiences to a new way to experience the story and brought characters like the tortured vampire Edward Cullen, the mortal Bella and loyal friend Jacob to life the second installment has been one of the most anticipated follow ups of the year.
Some entertainment reports indicate projections for opening weekend are an estimated $85 million.
Sullivan said he could see the film staying at his theater into December, whereas most new releases often see screenings anywhere between three to four weeks or a little over.
Employees at Wonderland have been prepped for “long hours” Sullivan said and picking up extra days to handle the busy flow this weekend.
One employee however won’t be working Thursday night – Phoebe Hill, a college student attending Bethel College in Mishawaka, will be attending a midnight screening with a group of friends.
The self professed fan and supporter of Team Edward said her friends “actually pre-ordered the tickets about a month ago.”
Plans are to stand in line at 10:30 p.m., she said and to pass the time there will be “Twilight” trivia.
“I’m actually not a big reader,” Hill said. But when she picked up the first book in the series, “Twilight,” after hearing so much about it, she went through all four and has read them all twice.
The storyline was a new take on the world of vampires and werewolves, Hill said, “and you know, as a girl you like the romance and it’s all cute.”
She was skeptical of the first movie upon first viewing – but, she said, “after watching it again, and again and again,” it’s safe to say she likes it.
As for “New Moon,” “I’m really excited to see it,” Hill said. “I think they spent a lot more time on it,” compared to the first film. She added that “most likely, probably” she’ll see it more than once.
Theater managers like Sullivan are counting on it. One mother bought 17 tickets in one visit for the film Thursday night, he said, and he added customers have been coming in to purchase tickets for weeks.