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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Twilight Saga Continues with the DVD Release of Eclipse

Millions of people anxiously watched the clock on December 4, awaiting the stroke of midnight. No, they weren’t practicing for New Years. Instead, they were gathering with fellow Twilighters and Twihards at local retail stores for the DVD release of the third installment of the Twilight Saga, Eclipse.

Originating as a paranormal romance novel for young adults, Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga has become a pop culture phenomenon, gaining popularity in multiple realms of entertainment—books, film, and music.

Twilight, the first novel in the saga, debuted on bookshelves in 2005, followed by New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn. The saga, based loosely on the literary classics Pride and Prejudice, Romeo and Juliet, Wuthering Heights,and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, has been on the New York Times Best Selling Children’s Series List for the past 172 weeks.1 In June, Meyer followed up the series with the release of her novella, The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, and in just one month, the book sold over one million copies.2

Due to the increased popularity of the series, the Twilight Saga has since been adapted into five films. The last book, Breaking Dawn, will be split into two films tentatively scheduled for release in theaters on November 18, 2011 and November 16, 2012. And as gross sales for the first three films have steadily increased with each release (Twilight, $192 million; New Moon, $296 million; Eclipse, $300 million), the final two films are expected to do even better.3 Released in November 2009, New Moon set a Guinness World Record for highest opening day sales by grossing $72.7 million.4

Twilight and New Moon have gained popularity among young adults, earning accolades at both the MTV Movie Awards and the Teen Choice Awards. Meanwhile, the most recent release, Eclipse, has been nominated for eight People’s Choice Awards including Favorite Movie, Favorite Drama Movie, and Favorite Movie Actor and Actress, among others.

Released on DVD and Blu-ray on December 4, Eclipse sold three million copies in just two days. Over the next four weeks, Steve Nickerson, president of Summit Entertainment, expects sales to increase dramatically for both original and special edition releases. Summit is committing three times as much on marketing in the post-street window compared to Twilight and New Moon, which both sold around four million units in their first two days in stores and over nine million units since.5

Chart-topping soundtracks accompany the successful movies. Debuting at number one on the Billboard 200, the Twilight Motion Picture Soundtrack sold 165,000 copies in its first week before reaching certified double platinum.6 Additionally, the New Moon Motion Picture Soundtrack was named certified platinum. Together, these CDs made history for being the first soundtrack and sequel to both reach the number one spot on the Billboard chart.7 The Twilight Saga – Eclipse Soundtrack debuted at number two on the chart. And accompanying the soundtracks are their respective scores—the Twilight Score, New Moon Motion Picture Score, and Twilight Saga – Eclipse the Score. A collection of music videos and live performances from these soundtracks is also available on DVD, Music from the Twilight Saga Soundtracks.

The overall booming popularity of Twilight has turned the city of Forks, Washington into a major tourist attraction. Every month, an average of 8,000 tourists flock to the tiny Seattle town to eat from Twilight-inspired menus at local restaurants and venture on local tours.8 Even those not able to make the trek can see the town and its splendor by watching the documentaries, Twilight in Forks and Destination Forks – Real World of Twilight.

However, despite the unparalleled popularity of the Twilight Saga, parents and educators often dispute the novels, labeling them unsuitable for young adults due to subtle religious and sexual notions. In 2009, the series ranked number five on the American Library Association’s Top Ten List of the Most Frequently Challenged Books.9 But that hasn’t stopped readers from catching Twilight fever. As of March 2010, the print series sold over 100 million copies worldwide.8 And Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse have grossed over $1.7 billion in theaters worldwide.3

Midwest Tape is Here to Re-Vamp Your Collection
Midwest Tape has created a collection of audiobooks, CDs, and DVDs from the Twilight Saga. To view our collection, click on the Twilight panel on the Midwest Tape homepage.

Has your library seen a large demand for Twilight materials? What other popular culture materials are in high demand at your library?


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