LOS ANGELES - The Twilight story originally came to writer Stephenie Meyer in a dream. Bella, a human
teenager, moves to the Pacific Northwest, and there, amid the rain, the
ferns and the redwoods, she falls in with rival gangs of vampires and
werewolves. Chaos (and romance), of course, ensues.
But Meyer, an aspiring writer and mother of three, could never have dreamed of the
success she would experience thanks to her books. Fans have snatched up
100 million copies of the four novels (Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse and
Breaking Dawn), which have been translated into 39 different languages.
That success helped Meyer earn $40 million this year, ranking her 59th on
the Forbes Celebrity 100 list. Last year, thanks in part to her
non-Twilight book The Host, Meyer ranked 16th with $50 million. Her
newest book, a spinoff of the Twilight series titled The Short Second
Life of Bree Tanner, should bump her up the list again next year,
especially since the story?s released is timed to coincide with the
third Twilight film, Eclipse, which hits theaters June 30.
The films also created three insanely popular movie stars: Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner. Pattinson makes
his debut on the Forbes Celebrity 100 this year in 50th place with $17
million in earnings. Most of that is from the Twilight films where he
plays vampire Edward Cullen. But Pattinson also starred in the film
Remember Me, which was a modest success at the box office, and he?ll
appear in the film adaptation of Water for Elephants opposite Reese
Witherspoon in 2011.
Kristen Stewart, who plays Bella Swan, also debuts on the list this year. Because Stewart has fewer non-Twilight
projects than Pattinson (her only other recent work was in the tiny film
The Runaways where she starred as Joan Jett) she earned $12 million
between June 2009 and June 2010, ranking 66th on our list.
Both stars were paid relatively little for their initial work on the films
but they have become indispensable to the Twilight franchise. That means
they can both ask for pay raises for upcoming movies. The final book,
Breaking Dawn, will be split into two films, which will give Stewart and
Pattinson the opportunity to double their upfront pay for their final
Taylor Lautner didn?t make the list this year, but he?s sure to debut on our next list. Lautner, who plays werewolf Jacob
Black, made a big impression in New Moon, which hit theaters November
2009. He was such a hit that Hollywood studios immediately started
fighting each other to cast him in superhero franchises. GE's Universal
Pictures won out, offering the young actor a reported $7.5 million to
star in Stretch Armstrong, based on the Hasbro toy. The movie is slated
to hit theaters in March 2012.