Debut: New Twilight film is nationwide cultural celebration

The movie, Twilight—Breaking Dawn, Part 1, debuts.
Like Super Bowl Sunday, the debut weekends of major film series like Harry Potter and now Twilight, come complete with decorating, cuisine and party ideas. These mega-best-seller series are truly cultural waves that touch communities coast to coast. More than a thousand Twilight fans began camping out in Los Angeles last week, awaiting a special screening in LA early this week. Across most of America, the focus is on “midnight showings” timed at 12:01 a.m. Friday. Some theaters are planning to show earlier Twlight movies on Thursday evening—offering special package tickets to a “Twilight marathon.” If you’re interested, check on Twilight plans at theaters in your part of the country.


This cultural tidal wave is rolling aross the entire U.S.—not just LA and New York City. The Salt Lake Tribune reported that a brief public appearance by five of the cast members drew more than 1,000 mostly female fans. The SLTribune wrote: “More than 1,000 fans, most of them women and girls, screamed in delight Friday night (Nov. 11) at The Rail Event Center in downtown Salt Lake City, as five of the movie series’ cast—four relatives of undead teen Edward Cullen, and one member of the ruling Volturi clan—blew kisses from the stage and took questions from nervous teens.”

Adult women as well as teens are fans, according to various news stories. Gannett newspapers reports that “what started as an obsession for young girls has become a full-blown grown-up phenomenon.” Another report estimates that Twilight’s “fan base” is at least 40 percent adult women.


Here is our Quick-Start Guide to Twilight and enjoying Breaking Dawn. This summary of the first three novels was written by Jane Wells, author of Glitter in the Sun, a Twilight Bible-study book. Our Quick-Start guide brings Twilight fans quickly up to speed and lets newcomers catch up to enjoy the movie with friends who already are Twilight fans. Jane Wells’ 200-page book goes much further.
Consider starting a Twilight Bible-study group in your congregation, using Jane Wells’ new Glitter in the Sun. Her new book points out many connections between these popular stories and the Christian faith.


The widespread popularity of the novels and movies has turned Twilight party planning into big business. One way to plan a party is to order the official Breaking Dawn Standard Party Pack by Hallmark (shown in the photo with this story). However, there are lots of reasonably priced do-it-yourself ideas from Twilight fans. Tara Riley of the That-Creative-Mom blog posted a Twilight party column with several Twilight-themed recipes, including Twilight Black and White Cookies and Bella’s Red Velvet Dream Cake. The Twilight Fansite offers a few tips, including party game ideas. Hostess with the Mostess (HWTM) has a very popular set of make-it-yourself party ideas, inlcuding some cool party graphics from HWTM.


A week before the movie debut, thousands of news stories already carried bits and pieces of news about cast members, local fan events and preparations for the movie debut. Among the major stories:

The New York Times reports on Bella’s wedding dress. Of course everyone who has been following Twilight knows there’s a wedding in the new movie, but fans will want to know all the details of Bella’s dress. Summit Entertainment, the company behind the movies, “is betting that, as with other wedding gowns that have made it to the big screen, thousands of fans will want a copy of the dress for their own big day. To that end, Summit has taken the unusual step of licensing the design to a mass-market bridal retailer.”

Boston Globe looks at the composer of the haunting music—including Bella’s Lullaby—a soundtrack that now is familiar a familiar serenade in millions of movie fans’ minds.

Chicago Tribune explores how the long-running movie series has changed the lives of the cast.

Originally published at, an online journal covering religion and cultural diversity.

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