It’s official: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 is officially the top-grossing film of the year so far! The final installment in the vampire blockbuster series has taken the box office by storm, bringing in an incredible $75.3 million in its first weekend alone.
The figures were just released by the studio and the film’s distributor, 20th Century Fox, and they didn’t have Breaking Dawn – Part 2 in the top spot last year, when it was pre-released. The previous installment in the franchise, Twilight, also made back some of its production costs in its final weeks in theaters.
But what does this success mean for the future of the Twilight legacy? Let’s take a look.
A Family-Friendly Franchise
One of the significant appeals of the Twilight series is that it is a family-friendly franchise. The first film was hailed as a ‘monster movie for the masses’ when it was released in 2012, and it didn’t feature any blood-sucking vampires. This made it an attractive option for parents who might not want their kids to watch an R-rated movie.
The family-friendliness of the series was also a marketing ploy by the studio to appeal to millennial and Gen Z audiences, who are more likely to be into dramas and fantasy. This was evident from the start with the release of the first film in 2012, which featured a young and dynamic cast that was tailor-made for social media. And it certainly paid off: The film was a massive hit, earning $225.9 million worldwide on a $7 million budget.
What’s more is that the Twilight films were successful even overseas. The first film earned over $120 million in China alone, while the most recent installment, Breaking Dawn – Part 2, opened in first place in Russia with $11.6 million.
The success of the Twilight series shows there is an audience for successful family films. If you’re looking to expand your reach beyond the typical teen and millennial audiences, consider the family-friendly appeal of the films, which makes them an option for both parents and children.
Rocking The-Trend-Matching Look
Another significant aspect of the Twilight films is that they are set in the ‘90s and feature a retro look. The films drew from a ‘90s youth culture that was on the cusp of transitioning from being ‘the ’90s’ to being ‘the new ‘90s.’ This was evident from the outfits the female leads wore, which were the epitome of the ‘90s fashion moment.
The Twilight series also featured a lot of what was considered trendy at the time. Bella used to wear all-black attire and heavy eye makeup, which was a popular look in the late ‘90s. She also sported some seriously 90s hairstyles, which were quite the rage at the time.
The retro fashion choices might not seem like a good fit now, but at the time, they were definitely in.
This trend-matching appeal of the Twilight films is significant. It showed that even though the series is set in a fantasy world, the fashion choices, as well as the general atmosphere of the ‘90s, were something that still resonated with audiences. This makes it easier for the franchise to cross over into other media, such as games and merchandising.
A Backdrop For Cosplay
One of the more interesting aspects of the Twilight films is that they provided a backdrop for cosplaying. The general public became aware of cosplaying after a photo of Adam Lambert surfaced online in character as Edwart Szickiezky, Vlad’s human form. As you might imagine, this provoked quite a bit of debate around whether or not Adam Lambert was, in fact, a suitable choice for the role of a vampire’s human form.
The point is that the world of Twilight provided the perfect opportunity for people who love dressing up as their favorite characters. The films are a significant part of Halloween 2018, and it wouldn’t be a Halloween celebration without some form of costume!
The fandom for the Twilight films also helped fuel the growth of Halloween costumes and lingerie. There are entire websites and communities that specialize in the selling of outfits based on characters from the films. What’s more is that fans often times will wear these costumes and lingerie during Halloween festivals and celebrations, adding an extra layer of meaning to the costumes and lingerie.
It’s a win-win: The Twilight films provided a backdrop for people looking to express their fandom through fashion, while also helping to make some money off the costumes and lingerie sales.
More Than Meets The Eye
Another interesting facet of the Twilight films is that they can, in fact, be read as a trilogy. The first film is quite literally where the story starts, and it sets the stage for the rest of the franchise. It also introduces us to the immortal Quileutes, who play a significant role in the second film.
This suggests that perhaps, instead of simply being a one-time event akin to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the Twilight films could be considered a trilogy. The films may have started as a gimmick intended to cash in on the Harry Potter craze, but the finished product reveals a compelling and ambitious narrative, one that invites further exploration!
The films feature some of the most iconic sets and costumes of 2018, and while some may consider this a mere moneymaker, it’s a celebration of creativity, which should be applauded, not dismissed.
There is a lot to love about the Twilight films, and even more so now that the series is over. The franchise not only provided some amazing eye candy, but it also gave fans the classic, family-friendly fantasy film they were looking for, while at the same time catering to a new audience of ‘90s kids and millennials.