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cultural vandal | by maryann johanson

‘Twilight’ finally gets scary

In a few hours, the box office estimates for the weekend will be released. They’re gonna be terrifying, because Twilight made $35.7 million on Friday.

On Friday alone. That’s an actual number, or close to it, not an estimate.

Okay, this includes the $7 million it pulled in at midnight Thursday showings, but since those midnight showings always start at 12:01am, they are technically early Friday morning showings. (FYI, that’s the second biggest opening day gross outside of summer for any movie, ever. The first was Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, which took in $40.4 million on its opening day in November 2005.)
The studios already know the actual numbers for Saturday by this time (noon Sunday), but those don’t generally get released, at least not that I could find.

If my guess of how the studios come up with those estimates of weekend takings from Friday’s actual numbers holds out (I figure it’s Friday’s actuals + 2X Friday’s actuals for Saturday + somewhere roundabout Friday’s actuals for Sunday), then this sucker could crack $100 million this weekend.

(As is going to be my new modus operandi, I’ll hold off on looking at the weekend box office until the actual numbers come in on Monday afternoon, rather than playing with the estimates that will come out later today.)

Of course, the problem is that Twilight doesn’t suck, in a vampiric way. It’s defanged, almost literally. It pains me to see so terrible a movie do so well. I’m delighted that there’s a movie that girls can be excited about the way that boys get to be almost every weekend at the box office, but couldn’t it be a good film that does that?

More scarier: The sequel, based on Stephanie Meyer’s novel New Moon [Amazon U.S.] [Amazon U.K.], has been greenlit. So we’re gonna go through this all over again in a year or two.

I was gonna gather together a bunch of snarking on Twilight from around the Net as a way to make myself feel better, but the geek haven IO9 has already done that, in a piece with the delicious title of “Twilight Makes for the Best Fanwank Ever.”

One excellent tidbit: IO9 quotes from an interview star Robert Pattinson did with Britain’s Empire magazine, in which he says this:

When you read the book, it’s like, “Edward Cullen was so beautiful I creamed myself.” I mean, every line is like that. He’s the most ridiculous person who’s so amazing at everything. I think a lot of actors tried to play that aspect. I just couldn’t do that. And the more I read the script, the more I hated this guy, so that’s how I played him, as a manic-depressive who hates himself. Plus, he’s a 108-year-old virgin so he’s obviously got some issues there.

Now that is the kind of handsome young movie star I could fall in love with. Forget mopey emo vampires. Smart, snarky, and unafraid to rag on his own movie? Perfect.

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