LOS ANGELES (AP) - Girl-meets-boy stories are not the usual stuff of Hollywood blockbusters, even when it's girl-meets-vampire.
Neither are stories created द्वारा women, with a predominantly female audience, shot on a bargain budget with a cast of relative unknowns and released द्वारा an independent distributor trying to establish a niche among Hollywood's half-dozen studio behemoths.
Yet Summit Entertainment has good reason to believe "Twilight" will have और box-office bite than your typical teen soap about an awkward high school babe and her cool new mystery beau.
"Twilight" has a few stunts and clever visuals, but it's far from the special-effects extravaganzas that dominate the movie business. It was shot for $37 million, a pittance compared with big studio फिल्में that can cost four या five times more.
What "Twilight" does offer is epic star-crossed romance, melodrama, peril, an attractive young cast and an action-packed finale. But mostly, it has arguably the most passionate प्रशंसक base of any literary adaptation since Harry Potter.
"It's like a little bizarre, little perfect-storm phenomenon," कहा "Twilight" director Catherine Hardwicke, who began working on the project less than two years पूर्व and has since seen the पुस्तकें grow from earnest cult status to rabid international प्रशंसक base. "I knew some people loved it, but I didn't know it would get this kind of crazy buzz."
"Twilight" tells the story of Bella हंस (Kristen Stewart), an introspective teen who moves from sunny Phoenix to cloudy Forks, Wash., to live with her divorced dad. At her new school, she is swept up in a सूपरनॅचुरल romance with aloof Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), part of a family of eternally young वैंपायर fighting their nature द्वारा refusing to feed off humans.
Danger looms: Bella and Edward must keep their passion in check so he won't succumb to the desire to drink her blood. Meantime, he and his family are forced into action to protect Bella against a savage band of roving vampires.
The chief creative forces behind "Twilight" are women: director Hardwicke, screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg ("Step Up," TV's "Dexter") and लेखक Stephenie Meyer, whose four पुस्तकें in the "Twilight" series have sold 18 million copies.
Schoolgirls were the first in the "Twilight" fold, drawn in द्वारा the all-consuming obsessiveness of Bella and Edward's forbidden love. "Twilight" reads like a confessional, a young girl's diary loaded with compulsive detail and teen angst.
"I was convinced before I ever met Stephenie that she was a mad person who completely believed she was Bella, and this was just her fantasy," कहा Pattinson, best known for playing Cedric Diggory in two of the "Harry Potter" films. "It's kind of like voyeurism. ... It seems like it's something like a fan-fiction thing, which was never intended to be read द्वारा anyone."
That was the exact intention of Meyer, who wrote "Twilight" late at night while her husband and children slept.
Inspired द्वारा a dream she had about a "normal girl and a beautiful vampire that was in प्यार with her and wanted to kill her," Meyer कहा she created the story for an audience of one.
"No one was going to read it except for me. That's probably why it comes across as so intimate," Meyer said. "It was a story I wrote for one person to be exactly what I wanted to read at that point in my life, the escape that I wanted. And I stepped into this character's shoes, who was very different from me, and I got to live someone else's life. For me, that's what लेखन is."
Things happened fast once she decided to प्रकाशित करे "Twilight." Even before the book came out, Hollywood came calling.
An early version of the script turned the intimate story into a standard action movie, with Bella transformed from solitary teen to an outgoing track तारा, स्टार who ends up "strapping on a gun and night vision goggles to go vampire hunting," Meyer said.
Summit Entertainment, a production outfit that had just expanded to film distribution, took over the project after it was shelved द्वारा एमटीवी Films. Hardwicke, who made the acclaimed teen drama "thirteen," came aboard to direct, and the gun-toting Bella was scrapped in favor of a faithful adaptation of Meyer's novel.
Since then, the project has taken a seemingly चार्म्ड course. Sales of the पुस्तकें surged. The audience broadened from girls to include older women. And another teenager, Harry Potter, graciously moved out of Bella's way.
In late summer, Warner Bros. decided to bump "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" from Nov. 21 to अगला July. Summit then moved "Twilight" from its Dec. 12 release to Nov. 21, grabbing a prime तारीख, दिनांक just before Thanksgiving, one of the busiest weekends of the साल at movie theaters.
"Twilight" will have to contend with the डिज़्नी family flick "Bolt," an animated canine adventure opening the same दिन and featuring the voices of John Travolta and teen idol Miley Cyrus.
No one in Hollywood expects "Twilight" to put up numbers anywhere near a "Harry Potter," whose five installments have averaged $90 million over opening weekend.
Yet in a single weekend, "Twilight" could wind up matching या exceeding the total $48.8 million total domestic grosses of Summit's first five releases over their entire runs. Since debuting a साल पूर्व with the fright flick "P2," Summit's receipts have ranged from $1 million for the Christina Ricci fairy tale "Penelope" to $24.8 million for the martial-arts thriller "Never Back Down."
"The Hollywood prognosticators, we're really trying to tune it out," कहा Erik Feig, president of production for Summit. "What is great is we go into this being very, very happy with the film, so whatever it does, we're going to be thrilled with it. Whatever that number is, we do believe people who are going to see the movie are going to like it."
Girls and women are expected to dominate the audience, making "Twilight" a rare female-driven franchise. Females accounted for 89 percent of advance "Twilight" sales at MovieTickets.com, कहा Joel Cohen, the company's executive vice president.
Sales for "Twilight" have been brisk, with MovieTickets.com and competitor Fandango.com reporting hundreds of shows already sold out और than a week in advance. Both companies reported that "Twilight" initially was outselling "Quantum of Solace," even though the new James Bond flick opened a week earlier.
A survey of ticket buyers on Fandango.com found that nearly half of the people interested in seeing "Twilight" were over 25.
"It's early teens to up above 50-year-olds," कहा Rick Butler, Fandango's chief operating officer. "Some of the daughters have encouraged the mothers to see it. Mothers have heard about it and read the novels themselves and want to take their daughters."
Summit has three potential sequels to make if "Twilight" does well enough, so the studio has sought to expand the audience further to pack in young males.
"I feel like girls, the ones who are प्रशंसकों of the book, are going to go see it several times," कहा Stewart, who starred in the horror tale "The Messengers" and appeared in Sean Penn's "Into the Wild." "But it's funny how the trailers now, they're obviously trying to target boys and make it, like, और full of action."
A solid male audience seems possible, considering "Twilight" features a studly male with superpowers, a pack of ravenous bloodsuckers and fetching young women, both human and vampire.
"I don't see it as only girl-oriented, because I think guys really like vampires, too, and they like hot girls," Hardwicke said. "When we've shown it to our little family and फ्रेंड्स screenings, the boys liked it as much as the girls. Just because the early adopters, the first ones that read it, were girls, I don't think it needs to stay there.
"If you're a guy and आप want to pick up chicks, आप should go see `Twilight."'