|Inside the Twihards fan camp|
They're a tough bunch, these Twilight fans. No wonder they're called Twihards. For the past week they've been camping out in their thousands at a specially prepared "fan camp" set up outside the L.A. Live entertainment centre in downtown Los Angeles in readiness for the world premiere of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn---Part Two, the fifth and final episode of the phenomenally successful film series.
Not only have they had to contend with wintry temperatures and high winds but they have also endured the jeers and taunts of basketball fans passing the camp on their way to watch the Lakers games at the nearby Staples Centre.
Executives at Summit Entertainment, which is releasing the film, are well aware of the publicity value and have done their best to make conditions as palatable as possible for their Twilight fan base: they have been planning the fan camp for three months, have hired security teams to protect the fans, put up a fence around the camp and even paid for a weather service to provide hourly forecasts.
Although the Twihards---like Summit---- are mourning the end of the series, which has racked up more than $2.5 billion in worldwide ticket sales, amassed 80 million fans on Facebook and 167 million views on its YouTube hub, not everyone is sorry to see the lucrative saga come to an end.
"I'm ready to move on," its star Kristen Stewart told me. "We've taken Twilight as far as it will go. We put everything we had into it and the story is complete." The actress, who has been promoting another movie, On The Road, in which she has a graphic nude scene, has already moved on from her co-star and longtime boyfriend Rob Pattinson and confessed to a brief romance with 41-year-old Rob Sanders who directed her in Snow White and the Huntsman. She and Pattinson appear to have reconciled although Hollywood sceptics believe their rekindled relationship is nothing more than a well-orchestrated publicity stunt to sell movie tickets.
Twihards, and Summit, too, will soon move on to other things: Catching Fire, the sequel to another young female, book-driven movie franchise, The Hunger Games, is currently being filmed and will be out next year, courtesy of Summit's parent company, Lionsgate, and is expected to surpass even the Twilight series in attracting both box office dollars and fan fervour.