Brian Henry Martin at the movies

What Comes After Twilight?

Published Thursday, 15 November 2012
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As one cinema in Belfast screens all five Twilight films back to back, what does come after Twilight? Well, darkness of course.

So sadly gloom and doom will descend for teenage Twi-hards as the epic vampire saga finally bites the dust. But although Breaking Dawn Part 2 may be the end, it is surely only the beginning of girl power in the cinema.

It has been the legions of young female fans worldwide who have made Twilight a monster success, devouring the books and films. One only had to witness the release of the first instalment back in 2008 to appreciate that something extraordinary was happening. Maybe not on-screen, but certainly in the cinema. Here was a young female audience, out in force, a very important demographic, who up until this point had been largely forgotten by filmmakers.

Modern movies seem to be made by big boys aimed entirely at little boys. Ever since Star Wars, movie studios have been firmly fixated on the young male audience, overloading our screens with testosterone superheroes, macho sequels and video game spin-offs. But surely girls just wanna watch films too. So why does Hollywood forget the female audience when we need more heroines like Katniss Everdeen and Bella Swan?

Is it simply that boys like the cinema more than girls? Well, Twilight blew the cobwebs off that movie myth. The series has grossed more than $2 billion dollars with girls from all over the globe, going not once or twice but up to ten times to every film; Proving once and for all that there was mega-profit to be made beyond the teen boy audience.

The Twilight saga is an impassioned love triangle between a teenage human girl, a one hundred year old vampire and a shape shifting wolf boy. Audiences instantly fell in love with lead character Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and became obsessed with her on/off relationship with broody bloodsucker Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson). This was fuelled further by the actors on/off relationship off screen too.

And all this from a very unlikely source, an unpublished Mormon mother of three from Phoenix, Arizona. Stephanie Meyer had a dream. On the 2nd June 2003 she woke up with an idea that would transform her life and transfix a generation of readers and cinema goers. Inspired by Jane Austin, Maeve Binchy and Douglas Adams, Meyer concocted a bizarre brew of conservative family values with teenage sexual awakening. She injected the gothic horror story with a bewitching youthful romance that would sell more than one hundred million books.

This week, young Twi-hards from all around the world have gathered in Los Angeles for the first screening of Breaking Dawn Part 2. A teenage tent city has sprung up around the downtown cinema with fans camping out days in advance of the premiere. Girl power has taken over the streets of the movie capital of the world.

So, what comes after Twilight? The answer it appears, more cinema for girls.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 (Cert 12a) is on general release from Friday 16th November.

© UTV News
B. H. Martin
B. H. Martin

Brian Henry Martin is an accomplished documentary filmmaker and UTV's resident film critic, appearing regularly on UTV Live Tonight.

No matter what the film, there's a good chance Brian has seen it.


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