'Twihards' pack Berkshire theaters for premiere of final film in 'Twilight' saga
It was the "Dawn"-ing of the end of the "Twilight" film era.
Fans of the mega-million dollar movie franchise, spawned from the equally lucrative Stephenie Meyer book series, crowded Berkshire movie theaters to be among the first to sink their teeth into the series' finale, "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part 2" at advance 10 p.m. showings Thursday.
"It's been a very drawn-out process," said Michela Lavigne as she stood with a group of friends outside a closed, gated Regal Cinemas in Berkshire Mall Thursday morning.
Regal Cinemas hosted an all-day marathon of all four previous "Twilight" movies to lead up to the newest installment's 10 p.m. premiere. Lavigne and a group of friends were at the front of a small line of so-called "Twihards," waiting for the theater to open and get seated in the theater.
"I'm more into ‘Harry Potter' and ‘The Hunger Games,' but I figured since this is the last one I'd come," said Brittany Douglas, who was also in the front of the line with Lavigne.
There were more than 40 people at the showing of the first film, "Twilight," according to a Regal Cinemas manager, and one theater was already sold out for the 10 p.m. showing of "Breaking Dawn -- Part 2" with another theater quickly filling up. Some of the people in line said they arranged to have the days off from work or school to partake in the marathon.
"Twilight" was released in November 2008 and grossed $192 million at the box office, according to the website Box Office Mojo. The sequels, "New Moon," "Eclipse," and "Breaking Dawn -- Part 1" earned at least $280 million each at the U.S. box office.
A good chunk of that money made is during late-night premieres like the one on Thursday night, since the series' fanatical following -- young people, primarily female but some males -- rush to the theater, according to Beacon Cinema General Manager John Valente.
"They are very eager to see the film as soon as possible," he said. "It's really a pretty nice group. The people come to these shows to see the movie, and that's all they care about."
With its sparkling vampires and hunky werewolves, "Twilight" stars Kristen Stewart as Bella Swan and Robert Pattinson as her vampire lover, Edward Cullen. Taylor Lautner plays werewolf Jacob Black, the third point of the love triangle.
"I'm Team Jacob," said Mary Tullock, an eighth-grader at Herberg Middle School in Pittsfield. "He's cute, and he doesn't sparkle like Edward, which is a little weird."
She stood in the line at Beacon Cinema with classmates Molly Elser and Cian Troy. Though the movie didn't start until 10:05 p.m., the trio was already in line at Beacon Cinema just after 6 p.m.
They've been following the phenomenon since it was in book form.
"I like the vampire love story," Elser said.
Troy joked that the world really is going to end in December because the "Twilight" series has ended.
At the front of the line was ladies night, where a group of women were first in line to get seats when the theater finally opened. They said dinner and a "Twilight" midnight show has been a tradition since the second film, "New Moon."
"They've left some stuff out of the books that made me mad, but they've included stuff that I liked," said Mara Delsoldato, one of the women. "I just want it to end good."
By 9 p.m., a sea of people had already filled the lobby and queued up to grab concessions before the show.
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