The hot ticket in Hollywood Monday night was the Twilight Saga: New Moon premiere in Westwood. While diehard fans camped out all weekend for the chance to win tickets to the event, Hollywood dads scored tickets to win points with their daughters. One father after another scratched his head over the movie, but their teenagers were all smiles. The Mann Village in Westwood was packed with young girls. Director Todd Field flew in from Maine with his daughter and a pal; also spotted with their kinder were Larry David, Jim Stern and Kevin Smith, who said, "Now I know how clueless my parents felt when they took me to see The Empire Strikes Back."
Did I get close to Kristen Stewart, Rob Pattinson or Taylor Lautner? Nope. If I had been willing to push through the scrum at the Hammer Museum after party, maybe. But I wasn't. Other cast members, from Anna Kendrick and Dakota Fanning to hunky Kellan Lutz, roamed the party freely, posing for photos with fans. (On the jump, in my impressionistic flip cam video, you can see Stewart and Pattinson from a distance or watch USA Today's red carpet report and various Pattinson, Lautner and Stewart interviews.) I talked to Summit exec Rob Friedman, who typically, while the movie is expected to way exceed last year's $69-million opening this weekend, is still not counting on anything. That's what makes worrywarts like him successful. In these precarious times, Hollywood folks are grateful when a company like Summit scores a franchise like Twilight: it means maybe they can get a deal. (UPDATE: As of 2 p.m. ET Tuesday, MovieTickets.com reports over 2,150 sellouts for the film, with over 200 sellouts in LA and NY alone; New Moon accounts for 90 % of all MovieTickets.com ticket sales.)
New Moon will be critic-proof. It will be a huge hit all over the world. And Summit probably did the smart thing, hiring Chris Weitz to push this movie through as quickly as possible, with more male-appeal action and snarling CG werewolves. No one will argue with the box office results. But reviews will not be great. And Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke should thank her stars that she stood her ground. Will it matter that Melissa Rosenberg's script really did need work, or that this movie lacks the ring of emotional authenticity the first one had? Nope. The teenagers will flock to it in droves, driven by Stewart/Pattinson/Lautner mania.
USA Today does the New Moon Red Carpet:
Pattinson shows his charm on The Paul O'Grady Show:
Taylor Lautner does the Jay Leno Show:
Where he shows a new clip from the movie:
And Stewart does The Tonight Show:
And last and definitely least, here's my hideous flip cam video:
[Premiere photos courtesy AP, via HitFix.]