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Twilight 4 all set to beat James Bond's Skyfall

Last updated on: November 16, 2012 14:09 IST
Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn 2The vampires and werewolves are all set to devour James Bond.

The latest and final instalment of the franchise The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2 is expected to draw millions of teenagers, especially women, when it releases overseas on November 16.

The film opens in over 4,000 theatres in North America and over 12,000 abroad.

It will release in India on November 23.

With the high expectations that fuelled long lines for the evening and midnight shows despite the wintry chill on Thursday evening, the new movie is expected to gross at least $150 million over the weekend in North America and an equal amount abroad.

It will surely displace from the top the most successful James Bond adventure, Skyfall, which has grossed a mighty $600 million worldwide and is expected to gross $1 billion, a first for a James Bond film.

The newest and final Twilight movie could also join the very select $1 billion club worldwide. Even if it falls short of that benchmark by $100 million or so, it will be one of the most profitable films of 2012.

With the projected $350 million weekly gross worldwide, the new Twilight will break even, recouping its $130 million cost (the highest for a film in the series) even before it enters its second week.

The highlight of the new saga is the spirited Bella (Kristen Stewart) as the butt-kicking vampire mamma who forges an alliance of vampires to save her daughter Renesmee from being destroyed by the agents of the Volturi clan (led by Aro, a very evil creature played to the hilt by Michael Sheen).  

With Bella leading the charge, everyone in the film, including her screen husband (Robert Pattinson), take a back seat.

A scene from The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn 2The romantic-vampire-adventure movies based on Stephenie Meyer's novels have been steadily increasing in popularity since the first Twilight was released five years ago.

While many critics find the films overblown, violent, and over-romantic, legions of fans have made them box-office diamond mines.

The franchise has yielded over $2.5 billion worldwide, half of it coming from American theatres.

The new film is getting mixed reviews, but for die-hard fans who can be counted in their millions, the reviews do not really matter.

'For those with no vested interest in this protracted and supernatural soap opera, but who do care about cinema,' wrote The Washington Post, 'The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 will be, unsurprisingly, a silly and somewhat cheesily made waste of time.'

The syndicated reviewer Roger Ebert did not care for the film but he was honest enough to admit his opinion did not matter.

'I suspect its audience, which takes these films very seriously indeed, will drink deeply of its blood,' Ebert wrote. 'The sensational closing sequence cannot be accused of leaving a single loophole, not even some we didn't know were there.'

Los Angeles Times film critic Betsy Sharkey wrote, 'Under [Bill Condon's] direction, the acting of that all-important threesome has gotten more polished. If you doubt that, the flashbacks will remind just how awkward the earlier outings were.

'There is also Edward and Jacob's massive sex appeal and their impossibly romantic notions about love, roughly drawn from the Victorian era.

'But Bella has always been the belle of this ball. In Breaking Dawn -- Part 2, Stewart is even more luminous in holding the screen, breathing vibrant new life into her undead beauty queen. She's gotten better working in the 'Twilight' zone, elevating each new chapter as it comes along. It almost makes you regret that this is the swan song.'

Though women, and particularly young women, have turned many romantic films into big hits over the years, there is nothing like the Twilight phenomenon for winning the loyalty and enthusiasm of millions of viewers.

'With a legion of teenage females fans propelling this romanticised vampires and werewolves big screen soap opera to record-breaking heights, the characters of Bella Swan, Edward Cullen and Jacob Black are at the heart of what for many young women has become their touchstone movie event,' wrote The Entertainment Weekly.

'Twilight almost single-handedly ushered in the era of the teen girl as the newly coveted movie audience; the box office clout wielded by this formerly ignored and undervalued demographic has made Hollywood wake up and take notice.'

While many who cannot make sense of the phenomenally popular Twilight movies may be relieved that the series is ending, die-hard fans will want to watch the previous four films as well.

In fact, over 1,000 movie houses across America are offering a four-film marathon at special admission prices ranging from $20 to $25.

Arthur J Pais in New York