We don’t discuss the Twilight franchise much around here. Mostly because it receives such abundant coverage elsewhere that there’s nothing new that we can really add. (I also have some reservations about some of the book series’ elements, but that would be the topic of a whole other post.)
This weekend, though, the second film adaptation of the popular tween novel series managed an impressive feat- It pulled an impressive $140.7 million dollars at the box office to become the third biggest weekend opening of all time despite getting even worse reviews than the first film did (29% on critic aggregate site RottenTomatoes versus the 49% the first film earned).
And when Twilight rears its head in the media, it invariably leads to sniping between critics of the series and its ardent fans and supporters. never was this more apparent than at last summer’s San Diego ComicCon when Twilight fans over ran one of the exhibit halls, making it near impossible for others to get into see the non-Twilight programming that was scheduled before the Twilight: New Moon panel. Disappointment and frustration quickly lead to hastily homemade t-shirts reading variations of “Twilight Ruined Comic Con” springing up on attendees for the rest of the weekend.
Filmmaker Kevin Smith addressed the whole hub bub later that weekend, in his own inimitable fashion during his own panel discussion. Smith, who has been open about his love of teen angsty John Hughes movies and the long running Canadian series Degrassi High, leaped to the defense of Twilight‘s fans, making an argument that only Kevin Smith could make, as seen in the clip below. Of course, it’s Kevin Smith, so the language gets a little coarse, so headphones on if you’re at work.
I think Smith misses one important thing about the whole Twilight/ anti-Twilight debates, though.
New kids on the fandom block have often been derided by more established fan groups, it’s part of the circle of fandom life. When Star Wars first exploded in to popularity, literary science-fiction fans derided the movie, most famously in Harlan Ellison’s critical essay “Luke Skywalker Is A Nerd and Darth Vader Sucks Runny Eggs” for the August 1977 issue of Los Angeles magazine and reprinted in his collection of film criticism Harlan Ellison’s Watching.In the early 1990s, Star Trek fans clamored that there was room for only one space-based science-fiction series and that Babylon 5 should pack its bags and go home.
Now, it’s Twilight‘s turns to take their knocks from other fans. But buck up members of Team Edward and Team Werewolf Guy. Someday soon, we’ll all be on the same side, mocking some other dopey group of fandom.