As the box office opens on November 16, the sun sets on the Twilight series – or does it? The highly anticipated Breaking Dawn Part 2 is based on the second half of Stephenie Meyer’s fourth and final book in the paranormal romance juggernaut. Though the film will likely deliver the closure that viewers are hoping for, rumors have been circulating through the Twilight-sphere: more movies or a television series might be in the works – and it’s not just fans’ wishful thinking. According to a Los Angeles Times article from earlier this year, Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer is optimistic about the life of the series extending beyond Breaking Dawn Part 2. Speculating about the film’s projected box office figures, he said: “It’s hard for me to imagine a movie that does $700 million-plus doesn’t have ongoing value. It’s an amazing franchise…with absolutely no deterioration.” Asked whether the series could be reimagined for television, Feltheimer said, “I would certainly hope so.” If the series does continue, online buzz suggests that the focus of the story might shift from Edward and Bella to Renesmee and Jacob.
But there should be enough anticipation for the new release to keep fans placated before any official news of a Twilight spin-off. In Breaking Dawn Part 1, Bella (played by Kristin Stewart) suffered through an accelerated, life-threatening pregnancy, which resulted in the birth of a half-human, half-vampire daughter, Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy). The film also concluded with Edward (Robert Pattinson) turning Bella into a vampire to save her from dying – thereby granting Bella’s long-held desire to join him in eternal youth. In Breaking Dawn Part 2 Bella adapts to life as a vampire and a new mother; when the rival Volturi clan learns of Renesmee’s existence, Bella and Edward must rally to protect her.
The Twilight films thus far have been closely aligned with the content of the books, but the final third of Breaking Dawn Part 2 introduces new material developed by Stephenie Meyer and screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg. In an August interview with Entertainment Weekly, Pattinson described his own surprise when he read the new ending: “When I first read the script, I got to that part and was like, ‘What?’ And then I had to go back a page.” Stewart also commented to MTV News about the impact she anticipates the new material will have on viewers: “The end throws you for a loop, even if you’re expecting it,” she said.
The numbers paint a clear picture of the franchise’s enduring popularity, with Box Office Mojo reporting that Breaking Dawn Part 1 grossed over $280,000,000 domestically. The combined box office gross for the first four films is more than a billion dollars worldwide.
Meanwhile, the Twilight books in all formats have sold a combined 116 million copies globally. That number is soon to grow, with Little, Brown’s release of a movie tie-in edition of Breaking Dawn featuring an image of Edward, Bella, and Renesmee on the cover. Fans will also have the opportunity to relive the experience of the Twilight film franchise, with the October 9 release of The Twilight Saga: The Complete Film Archive by Robert Abele, a hardcover commemorative book containing mementos, stills, interviews, and behind-the-scenes looks at all of the Twilight films.
Advance tickets for both the new film and a Twilight marathon to play in movie theaters on November 15 have just gone on sale. Select theatres will also show a 10 p.m. screening of Breaking Dawn Part 2 following the marathon.
What with the new book releases, the Twilight saga marathon, the surprise conclusion to Breaking Dawn Part 2, and the potential for the franchise to continue on screen, maybe it’s not the end, but the opening of a new Twilight chapter.