Twilight Saga: Eclipse” has officially raked in $69 million with midnight premiere viewings and weekend sales. But the vampire series is more than just another summer hit; the series is a phenomenon impacting scores of fans from young teens to thirty-something moms.
Blast got a chance to talk to one of the “Twilight” experts on the subject of all things Team Vampire and Team Wolf. How does this latest film measure up to the books? And will it keep fans happy? Jen Yamato, formerly a Senior Editor for Rotten Tomatoes, and current film critic at Movies.Com, has followed the series from its beginnings. Yamato has written feature articles and essays on the subject and its fans. We spoke to her last week about her thoughts on the LA premiere, its fans, and the movie, “Twilight Saga: Eclipse.”
BLAST: You were at the premiere of “Twilight Saga: Eclipse” in LA, I heard people were lining up.
JEN YAMATO: It was insane. It was huge, and it was the biggest they’ve had yet for “Twilight.”
BLAST: How was the experience with fans? Did you interact with any of them?
JY: First of all, there were 500 people who camped out on Sunday…and that number only grew for the premiere on Thursday. I have so much respect for the fans dedicated to “Twilight.” I love they are so excited about it. I totally get it! I spoke with the fans who were at the head of the line, who camped out for four days. They were in such good spirits, and they were rewarded by their devotion with great spots along the red carpet, or rather the black carpet, which they had for the premiere. These fans were happy to be there. The great part is that every “Twilight” actor who walked the carpet took their time with the fans by taking pictures, hugging them, and signing autographs.
I think for fans it’s worth it. They even make signs, and (become) friends with one another. It’s a really fun atmosphere for them, and it’s kind of a once in a lifetime event for them.
BLAST: It’s amazing how devoted these fans are for the franchise and its books.
You’ve followed this from the beginning with the first film, so has the phenomenon has changed over the years? Because it seems as if it’s always been really big.
JY: You know what’s interesting to have followed this all along is that the franchise has grown with each film. I think a lot of it started with the first film because of its fans from the novels. (The success) came out of nowhere. I think Twilight was such a huge success because it parlays the fans from the novels and capitalized from that as a based and just grew and grew.
BLAST: How has it been with the actors too? When “Twilight” first came out and became such a huge success, it seems Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson were caught in headlights. It seems as if they’ve grown into their own. How has that been for you? You’ve been on the red carpet and done interviews.
JY: I think the phenomenon that came with the first film “Twilight” caught them off guard as much as it did with everybody else. So with the press on the first film, they were still getting used to it while being the center of the world’s attention. (They) are the center of this ardent fan love. Over the years, you can tell by how they’ve presented themselves in public and in interviews both Kristen and Robert have really matured in many ways. Especially in how comfortable they seem by all the attention from it. Kristen was (particularly) nervous and shy when we talked to her on “Twilight”, a little less so when “New Moon” came out, and now she’s completely confident. It’s really nice to see that with her. So there’s been a discernible maturity with all the stars of the film. I think they’re getting used to the game, I think they are now sort of owning it rather than getting carried away. Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson are very serious and protective of their private lives. So what you see now with them now is the confidence that wasn’t quite there from the beginning.
BLAST: When you were on the red carpet for “Twilight Saga: Eclipse”, what did you hear from them about the film?
JY: By the time this film rolls around, the love triangle is the high point. It interplays the three of them: Kristen (Bella), Robert (Edward), and Taylor (Jacob). They all talk about how it was fun for them. There’s an infamous scene known as “the Tent Scene” by fans that’s actually really funny. They shot it for days. They talk about how much fun it was to make that scene.
BLAST: Did the movie “Twilight Saga: Eclipse” live up to what you expect? At least between the books and the film? Until now they (Edward and Bella) haven’t really done too much.
JY: I can definitely say the “Tent Scene” will definitely satisfy fans! It will be one of the favorite scenes fans will definitely want to see over and over again. It’s got Bella literally caught between Edward and Jacob. Jacob is shirtless. And it’s actually one of the film’s funniest scene. They did actually a good job of pulling (the scene) off. And it is one of the enjoyable scenes of the films.
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