Box of­fice braces for big bite

With its mes­sage of love-bit­ten teenage des­per­a­tion, the se­quel is set for a huge open­ing week­end

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODENTERTAINMENT -

fans turned out for New Moon mid­night screen­ings last Fri­day.

Rory Tyson, na­tional sales man­ager for Nu Metro Films said 84 089 tick­ets were pre-booked for the film, the high­est pre-sales fig­ure ever recorded in South Africa.

“In­clud­ing the mid­night screen­ings, and the sneak pre­views this week, New Moon has al­ready taken R1.5 mil­lion ahead of its na­tional release yes­ter­day,” Tyson said.

Twi­light made $384 mil­lion (R2.8 bil­lion) at world­wide box offices with its tale of high school stu­dent Bella (Ste­wart) fall­ing in love with vam­pire Ed­ward Cullen (Robert Pat­tin­son). But in New Moon he breaks her heart and leaves for Italy.

Months pass as Bella sits de­spon­dent at her win­dow dur­ing the day and screams in her bed at night, find­ing so­lace with her friend Ja­cob Black, a were­wolf.

Later, when an un­ex­pected vis­i­tor tells Bella that Ed­ward is in dan­ger, she flies to Italy to save him.

When asked if Bella’s ac­tions set a bad ex­am­ple for the 13-year-old girls who will be a big part of its au­di­ence, Ste­wart said she thought the film’s mes­sage was a good one.

“Be ex­treme. Go for it. I think that’s the point. I know that this is a movie about im­mor­tal­ity and mor­tal­ity but, like, you live once.”

The Twi­light films are based on books by Stephe­nie Meyer. Many fans of the books are teenage girls, or younger, who iden­tify with Bella.

“She has a lot of re­ally in­nate fe­male qual­i­ties,” Ste­wart said. “For a char­ac­ter in lit­er­a­ture, I think it’s awe­some that so many girls can look up to her, be­cause she’s fickle and un­abashedly (so).”

In the books and films, Bella and Ed­ward de­bate whether he should turn her into a vam­pire.

While Ste­wart has her view on the film’s mes­sage, New Moon di­rec­tor Chris Weitz dif­fers.

“I’m go­ing to use this word: sex­u­al­ity. Which is okay to use be­cause re­ally the mes­sage of th­ese films is that it’s a very im­por­tant thing, and th­ese are ac­tu­ally quite tra­di­tional in their val­ues,” Weitz said.

“When Ed­ward is think­ing about whether to turn Bella into a vam­pire, he’s tak­ing this is­sue very se­ri­ously, the way that you might take sex se­ri­ously, or that you might ask teenagers to take it se­ri­ously,” he said. – Reuters

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