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Fans Celebrate, Mourn Final Midnight ‘Twilight’ Release

2 Mar, 2013 By: Chris Tribbey

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — There are escalating levels of fanaticism when it comes to “Twilight.”

There’s committed: 27-year-old Tanya Cruz and her daughter waited four hours at a Target here March 1 to be first to get the Blu-ray Disc of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2.

There’s obsessed: Cousins Amy (19) and Pamela (21) Vargas have “Twilight” shrines at home, and managed to get off work early to line up right behind Cruz.

And then there’s 36-year-old Loretta Sigala out of Burbank, Calif.

“Ten days after I had my C-section I was at the [2008 theatrical] red carpet for Twilight,” she said with evident pride. Sigala — wearing a faded “Twilight” shirt and chatting up others in line about the series — said she’ll miss the “Twilight” DVD release parties. For the home entertainment industry they’ve set the standard for midnight street date events. For people like Sigala they’ve become a unique way to connect with fellow fans.

“[This release] is bittersweet, the last one. I petitioned [series author] Stephenie Meyer to write more,” she said. And she wasn’t joking.

Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment wouldn’t mind if Meyer kept going: The five films have pulled in more than $3.3 billion at the worldwide box office, and Lionsgate says the franchise is No. 1 in disc sales since 2009, with more than 50 million DVD and Blu-ray copies sold.

Alongside Breaking Dawn — Part 2, Lionsgate released The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 Extended Edition. With Best Buy offering a Blu-ray collection of all five, Target offering an exclusive three-DVD special edition of Part 2, and Walmart offering Parts 1 and 2 in one case on DVD or Blu-ray, this release promises to be the biggest yet for Lionsgate and Summit.

“The Twilight Saga has changed the way studios and audiences look at the blockbuster, even altering how Hollywood rolls out its films,” Ron Schwartz, Lionsgate EVP and GM of home entertainment, said in January. “Making the home entertainment release as much of an event as the theatrical release gives our passionate fans an opportunity to celebrate this much-beloved film all over again.”

Retailers across the country kept their doors open late for this midnight release. Many hosted big parties, while four Walmarts nationwide had talent from the film on hand to greet the faithful. This Target store north of Los Angeles didn’t have a single banner or actor in sight … and still more than two-dozen fans waited out their Friday night in the electronics section, while employees closed down the rest of the store.

“I wouldn’t do this for anything else,” Pamela Vargas said. “I don’t know what else I’ll do after this. The books and movies were so good, it’s sad it’s the last one.”

Then Vargas looked at her cousin and said: “Watch, they’ll try to remake these. And I’d come back too.”

Lionsgate and Summit wouldn’t mind that either.

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