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Fans Line Up for 'Twilight'

21 Mar, 2009 By: Chris Tribbey

Sandra Garibay, 28, left, and Susanna Garibay, 26

Anyone can be a movie fan. But proving you’re a Twilighter requires true dedication.

Sandra Garibay, 28, earned serious Twilighter status March 20, waiting in line at Hot Topic for more than 18 hours for the DVD of Summit Home Entertainment's Twilight.

Even after showing up at the Hollywood & Highland Center before 6 a.m., Garibay still found four other people in front of her for the midnight release.

“Wow! What an experience,” the Granada Hills, Calif. resident said after buying her DVD. Her and sister Susanna, 26, were rewarded for their time: Twilight star Ashley Greene (Alice Cullen) showed up at the event, signed their DVDs, and took pictures with them.

And Edward Woo, an analyst with Wedbush Morgan Securities, said he wouldn’t be surprised if Twilight competes with home video giants The Dark Knight and Iron Man.

If this midnight release event was any indication, that idea isn’t so far-fetched: hundreds of girls and young women — the repeat viewers that earned Twilight more than $190 million at the domestic box office — spent most of their Friday waiting for their chance to again watch the film over and over again.

“Like, a hundred times,” said 11-year-old Hailey May, from Corona, Calif. Her normal bedtime is 9:30 p.m., her family said, but she wouldn’t be refused her chance to grab one of the first copies of Twilight.

For Robert Martin, 38, it was about putting smiles on his kids’ faces. On vacation in Los Angeles from Nashville, Tenn., the father of three stood in the middle of the very long line, with one barely awake 8-year-old daughter in his arms. “It’s a special treat for [the kids]. My daughter told me about the midnight release, and made me promise to come,” he said.

His daughter Madison, 13, explained why so many young girls were up past their bedtime: “[Twilight’s] made for teenage girls,” she said. “It’s got all these cute guys.

“You don’t [understand]. It’s a girl thing.”

Leslie Hayes, 27, of Bellefontaine, Calif., decided not to wait in line for the midnight release, instead ordering the DVD online. She said the series of four "Twilight" books are what got her excited about the film.

“If you read the books, you’d understand,” said Margo Ortiz, 21, of Lakewood, Calif. “The [first] book was so good, and the movie gave a good visual of it.”

Summit already has the second installment of Twilight, New Moon, lined up for a Nov. 11 release. It’s been rumored that music icon Madonna has landed a role in the sequel.

With less than 30 seconds left before midnight, the Hollywood crowd started a countdown, chanting “Twilight! Twilight! Twilight!” when time was up. When the Hot Topic doors still hadn’t opened right at midnight, the collective groan was almost as loud as the cheers.

Moments later, when the doors did open, security began letting the fans in, a handful at a time.

“Man, you don’t see this type of [excitement] for a new movie [theatrically],” said one guard working the event, who asked to remain anonymous. He estimated that while more than 600 people had lined up for DVDs, a hundred more were milling around, just to be part of the experience. Representatives from the Hollywood & Highland Center refused to comment about the event. Hot Topic representatives were not available at press time.

Steve Nickerson, president of Summit Home Entertainment, noted earlier in the week that Hot Topic had been a “great partner” in promoting the midnight DVD release.

While Hot Topic was tight with keeping to the midnight release, at least one retailer in the Los Angeles area broke street date: a 7-11 employee, standing next to the last remaining copy of Twilight in his store at 1 a.m. March 21, said they had sold about a half dozen copies earlier in the evening.

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