Twilight Saga: New Moon is a Franchise, People

by Anne Thompson
November 23, 2009 7:40 AM
52 Comments
  • |

Thompson on Hollywood
A lot of people are scratching their heads over the whole Twilight phenomenon. When I made a fuss about it before Comic-Con in 2008, many fan boys didn't have a clue. By July 2009 there was a raging Twilight backlash at the male-dominated Con. Even last week, I was amused by all the clueless Dads at the Twilight: New Moon premiere who'd rather be shot than admit to reading one of the books. Why were they there? To check it out.

Rubber-necking is a key explanation for why the second movie did twice as well as the first, opening to $142.8 million, the third-biggest opening ever. Curiosity post-Twilight film and DVD, plus extraordinary marketing on the part of Summit, pushed New Moon into must-see, event-movie, check-it-out status--even though Chris Weitz's film is arguably worse than its predecessor.

Thompson on HollywoodTwilight earned a Tomatometer of 49% and Metascore of 56. New Moon got 30% and 45. Which is, of course, irrelevant.

Twilight is like Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter. It's about the franchise, the world, the characters that Stephenie Meyer created. It's about Bella and Edward and Jacob and every fan's membership to that society, the group that shares their knowledge and love and expertise in all things Twilight. The stars Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, at this stage, are nothing outside the franchise. Because Stewart's a strong actress, she has a shot at crossing over her Twilight fame to such films as The Runaways, in which she plays 70s rocker Joan Jett.

Pattinson will have to prove himself in a good movie. Remember Me, judging from the trailer, looks unlikely to deliver. Bel Ami, opposite Uma Thurman and Kristin Scott Thomas? Hard to say. All Pattinson can do is chase the films he feels comfortable starring in. That one I want to see.

Here's Ad Age's interview with PopStar's Matthew Rettenmund:

Rettenmund: Right now, with Twilight, it's the franchise that is big. The stars' need to make that popularity rub off on them so that they can carry it on into new and different roles. Franchises can't change as easily as actors, so franchises usually wind up being discounted goods eventually. Though a literary series such as "Twilight" has a great chance, like "Harry Potter," of standing the test of time.

The Twilight Saga is also a femme-driven phenom that cannot be denied. Which is why I'm skeptical of Summit's moves to expand the franchise by pulling in men. If David Slade's Eclipse is just another routine thriller without the romantic pulse that drives the Twilight fans, they won't be happy.


[Black-and-white Rob Pattinson/Kristen Stewart photo courtesy EW.com]

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52 Comments

  • Pwrgirl | November 25, 2009 11:55 AMReply

    BTW, I just saw the trailer 3 days ago, and have not read the script. The trailer alone delivers, IMO. A lot of drama going on in those clips. I don't think most people are expected to know or have read scripts of all films coming out. That's ridiculous. I do know from loud-mouths that there is some kind of twist at the end. And after seeing the trailer, it bugs me that I know even that now.

  • Koto | November 25, 2009 9:18 AMReply

    Be nice,people^^.
    People say,"You are what you say".

    Btw,would Pattinson please with these commnets?
    I don’t think so.

  • Nad | November 25, 2009 9:00 AMReply

    Rob was the first person to say to the devoted fans and to the very author of the book and to everyone that Edward is not that sexy dreamy vamp and that charactor has more depth.

    Not many actors or actresses in hollywood have such a courage to tell fan the truth. You know what I mean.

  • sari | November 25, 2009 8:36 AMReply

    Really Anne, basing your judgement on one trailer. Shame on you. I thought you had some depth. I'm disappointed in you. The script was one of the top ones on last year's black list. Its since been tweaked by Jenny Lumet. Its not a comedy as anyone with half a brain cell could see from the trailer. What a slipshod article. Id also question your devotion to Stewart. She's a one note actor. The same twitchy stuttering hesitant performance in all her films.

  • Ravi | November 25, 2009 8:21 AMReply

    What are we talking about here? Remember me story line or Robs acting? I am confused.

    I know that there are people who blindly love rob as an actor as well as blindly hate him. But when I see the comments I dont see blindly love rob fans.

    I liked Little Ashes and I thought Robs acting was good.
    My point is if a story line of a movie is not apealing doent mean the acting is bad.
    By the way I am not gay.

    I dont think he cares too much about big movie being a big movie star. He does what he loves to do as an actor. Only the media try to make fuss about him and his career.

  • Paola | November 25, 2009 7:58 AMReply

    I agree that Robert Pattinson has yet to prove himself outside the Twilight saga, he had an attempt with movies filmed prior to it but released after the first film of the saga; they were not great films but they showed some potential of his craft in there. I can say he really has an ability to construct his roles and perform them as separate from his persona as he can; something that Stewart has yet to do, because you call her a good actress but I see in every role she does, that she plays different versions of her self. Maybe The Runaways will be the film to finally prove her, but there is no material out there to tell yet. As for Remember Me, the trailer looks great and it is obvious Pattinson did a hard work on it.
    I´m amazed at how critics are jumping to deliver opinions from just bits of film in two minutes cut trailer. If this is the way reviews are done, then no wonder the critics can never understand why the public chooses to watch other things they bash.
    I don´t know if Pattinson will be able to live to the hype he has been imposed to live after the massively of this crappy Saga (I doubt any actor could); but I can say I´m eager to watch his other projects and I´m more interested in any of them than the current franchise. I will make my opinion on his choices and his work after each project is released; as it should be.

  • Nad | November 25, 2009 7:50 AMReply

    How do you know "Remember me" is not a good movie. It is not come out yet. Can people judge a movie based on a Triler?

    Most people forget that Rob started acting when he was 16 or 17 and has only done few films. Twilight was his 1st American movie. He needs time to grow up. We should be patient and fair.

    How can we expect for her to be fair when she had already made her conclusion.

    Finally Rob was right on this hype thing. "more hype more people try do drag you down".

  • Nad | November 25, 2009 7:36 AMReply

    I know why she wrote this article.

    She thought that every one was talking about Rob and Kristen and they have been very popular and nobody give s**t about me so lets write something. So that people would talk about me too for a while.

  • vonch | November 25, 2009 7:06 AMReply

    by the way people stop bashing anne she's just telling her opinion!!!!theirs nothing wrong about it we have to accept the fact that an actor sometimes have their lowest point...so maybe remember is not rob's best movie...let's face the reality that people who said it got good reveiw is those who are avid fan and people keep saying some of them is not fan of rob but every single people have different point of veiw so respect anne point of veiw...
    remember me is same typical story which they put a little twist(if what's that you)....so we have to wait for rob's upcoming film he'll be great for sure but not this one...

  • vonch | November 25, 2009 6:54 AMReply

    i love ro but as an actor he has a to learn a lot,his just startin so give him a break....but i hope he should make wise career move in picking a role because i'm not digging his movei remember me it's kinda lame story not good material...but i'm looking forward for his role in unbound captives and bel ami....so i don't think remember me is a good one sorry to say!!!

  • Koto | November 25, 2009 6:47 AMReply

    >THATS what happens when you mess with those crazy twats, STAY WAY from Twilight mess Anne. They arent worth. You were fair and just posted an opnion and they react like insane people.

    Agreed. I never saw the the fans like this before. Anne just states her opinions and she has some valid points.

    I read many unfair and nasty comments about Pattinson on the Net. Mostly from male moviegoers,I guess.These are not worth to post in here,but I think some comments are fair and have valid points.

    "I feel kind of sorry for Pattinson, it can't be easy being the object of freaky stalker fangirl affection as much as he is."

    ">I don't want to comment on his looks (you shouldn't joke with lesbians), but he comes across as a very decent and nice person in interviews.

    He does, and thats why I am starting to feel bad, because I know the backlash will come. As soon as his next film doesnt open well, or he doesnt get great reviews or whatever happens in the future, people will want to crush him. And as I said the poor guy cant help.

    I will try to be nicer in the future, he is just a lucky kid enjoying a lucky break, there is nothing wrong with that. Is just that the fan base turns me off sooooo badly"


    Pattinson seems like nice guy.So I wish his best.But Anne is right.He will have to prove himself in a good movie.And after all,he was nobody before last year. No matter how "hot" he is right now,he is still up-and-coming actor,sort of.(And honestly I'm also not impressed with RM trailer that much) Sorry for my English.

  • Ann | November 25, 2009 1:55 AMReply

    Anne, thank you for responding. I had assumed you were supportive of his efforts and am glad to read confirmation. I believe Remember Me is more of a drama than a comedy, although they may 'sell' it otherwise, but can't be sure till seeing it in full on the screen. Bel Ami will certainly help with acting experience as Donnellan is a very proven theatre director, known as an 'actors' director,' but this is also his first film, so I'm not sure how that will play out. Sorry that some don't understand the term 'lothario' but I also look forward to Robert's characterization of same. Aside from the obvious charisma, I think he does have the talent to sustain a career beyond the T Saga, whether as actor, musician, or both.

  • Sarah | November 25, 2009 12:15 AMReply

    the Remember Me trailer looks like a messy romantic comedy with Pattinson as a sad-sack hero.
    - Anne Thompson

    LOL, ok, you are TOTALLY wrong on that but whatever. I can't wait to see what you'll say after this movie is out.

  • betsy | November 24, 2009 10:39 AMReply

    Her opinion wasnt fair at all. And how anyone could call that trailer a comedy beats me. I had to laugh at this line:
    "The Twilight Saga is also a femme-driven phenom"

    Couldnt she just say woman/women

    Pretentious

  • annie | November 24, 2009 10:26 AMReply

    THATS what happens when you mess with those crazy twats, STAY WAY from Twilight mess Anne. They arent worth. You were fair and just posted an opnion and they react like insane people.

  • Pwrgirl | November 24, 2009 9:12 AMReply

    Liz, I don't think people's responses here are insane, either. I think they are just dismayed because they didn't see anything in that trailer to make one come to the conclusion that it will be "unlikely to deliver".

    I love Anne's articles as well. But I found this remark a little skewed.

  • shelly | November 24, 2009 9:04 AMReply

    Silly article. Not worth getting worked up over.

  • Liz | November 24, 2009 9:03 AMReply

    The hostility of the fans response towards her, is pathetic.

    She responded honestly to a trailer. Like NORMAL people do. If after seeing a trailer and my honest-to-gut reaction is that movie looks like trash, i'll stick with that opinion. For now. I'm sure during one of your rare, saner moments, you guys do that too.

    If you want to engage in a debate explaining why you think she is mistaken in her opinion - fine, go ahead. She invites debate and discussion. I've been visiting Anne's blog for years and she is always fair in her criticism's and appraisals. Even when it becomes the hip new trend to rag on someone, Anne never stoops. You guys have been incredibly unfair to her.

  • carolyn | November 24, 2009 8:49 AMReply

    The points arent pathetic at all.

    She's jumped to conclusions with little evidence.

  • sarah | November 24, 2009 8:47 AMReply

    Remember Me isnt a comedy - its a drama with a shocking conclusion. I loved the script. It made the black list as one of the best scripts last year. If you'd done any research you'd know that.

  • Anne Thompson | November 24, 2009 8:46 AMReply

    BY the way there is no available trailer for The Runaways. I looked.

  • Liz | November 24, 2009 8:46 AMReply

    And fangirls wonder why they get such a bad rep. The comments on this post are are beyond pathetic. You're all over Anne when she's spouting sunshine and butterflies about Pattinson, yet at the slighest hint of negativity you guys get all rabid. Pathetic.

  • helen | November 24, 2009 8:41 AMReply

    Pattinson is picking roles that challenge him and not that he feels comfortable with. I hardly think a comanche indian is one he's familiar with. Remember that he was picked for that role before Twilight blew up big.

  • jo | November 24, 2009 8:34 AMReply

    I doubt Thompson has read the literary classic Bel Ami. Journalists in the Uk would have.But is she really a journalist. I somehow doubt it. The funny thing is fans of Pattinson have read the book. They care that much.

  • jen | November 24, 2009 8:32 AMReply

    There's a twist Liz a twist a big fat twist.

  • tania | November 24, 2009 8:31 AMReply

    Pattinson is beloved by many and this is just red rag to a bull for effect. Is this to try and get your blog hits now that you no longer have a key job.

  • Liz | November 24, 2009 8:29 AMReply

    My word! Seriously, leave Anne alone. She's actually one of the better blogs/ critics out there and is more than entitled to express her reservatons about what she saw from a trailer.

    I read the script for Memoirs/ Remember me and while i wouldnt describe it as a rom-com at all, its easy for someone else who knows nothing about the project to guess that from the trailer. What are you fangirls going to do, go round the web attacking film journalists/ critics for not looking up the scripts of films that have yet to be released? Grow up. That's not how the business works.

    And for the love of god, will people please STOP mentioning that there is some damned twist. Its flipping annoying for people who dont know anything about the project and would like to keep it that way.

  • coco | November 24, 2009 8:26 AMReply

    Remember Me is not a romantic comedy...its actually the opposite.
    Bel-Ami is french classic literature and Rob plays the part of Georges Duroy and not "Lothario." LOL
    Bel Ami again is not an easy piece of literature. Its about corruption what people do to get money and power. You should look it up, great read.

  • alison | November 24, 2009 8:25 AMReply

    I love Emma's comment. So true. Thompson has cut her own throat with her article.

  • Kerry | November 24, 2009 8:23 AMReply

    Is Miss stammering twitchy Kristen Stewart a trained actor. No she isnt but you dont have a go at her. Fishy.

  • Emma | November 24, 2009 8:23 AMReply

    I couldn't give two shits about Twilight and all the money it makes (justified or not). But I do care about Robert Pattinson's career now and after the franchise. I know you've said some very nice things about him previously, it was a little annoying to see you dismiss his movie so quickly, I guess most of us saw you on our side. I think that's what's getting people upset. Anyway, I don't expect you to mislead us either. If you don't like something feel free to be as truthful as you always seem to be. But now it's going to be hard to take your review serious when you've already written your headline without seeing the movie. I hope you understand where we are coming from. Thank you regardless for responding.

  • rebecca | November 24, 2009 8:22 AMReply

    He HAS picked well but you arent bright enough to see it. I'm shocked in you to be honest. Infact a lot of fans on Rob's IMDB page and fansites are bemused by your comments. They are his harshest critics as well as his biggest supporters and have read the script, seen the trailer and know quite a bit about Remember Me and cant wait to see the film. If you expected him to do an oscar worthy film in the 8 week break he had between NM and Eclispe then you are deluded. He is picking a variety of roles and working with the best people. What more can you ask of him. Nothing. If people like you are kicking him then I feel sorry for him. He'll never get a break.And yes the follow up message from you is too little to late.

  • Pwrgirl | November 24, 2009 8:17 AMReply

    What's this "trained actor" thing? Was Tom Cruise a trained actor? Brad Pitt? Nope. They learned it on the job as well. I thought he was very funny in HOW TO BE. Haven't seen LITTLE ASHES because it wasn't widely released, nor released on DVD or cable yet. I've heard people on both sides of the fence about that film, though. Some love what he did with Salvador Dali. It seems like reviewers couldn't get past the mustache.

  • Val | November 24, 2009 8:17 AMReply

    "Remember Me" is NOT a romantic comedy at all. It's completely the opposite, if you read the script you'd know. I thank you for your response and hope that you are true on word and give him a fair judgement.

  • sasha | November 24, 2009 8:15 AMReply

    Anne I'm disappointed in you. No point writing any more. I agree with a lot of the comments posted above.When do you retire?

  • ruth | November 24, 2009 8:11 AMReply

    Anne you have Remember Me so wrong. A lot of his fans have read the script so we can talk with some knowledge. Its NOT a comedy. Bless you for being so misguided.

  • Lorna | November 24, 2009 8:07 AMReply

    Weasel words Anne but they dont paste over the cracks of your original lazy article.
    [PS: Pattinson was excellent in How to Be. You were positive about Rob in it last year.Fickle very fickle.]

  • judith | November 24, 2009 8:04 AMReply

    1. You say positive things about a film that you havent seen. Talk about biased in favour of Stewart. Pathetic. If that doesnt make people see right through you I dont know what will.
    2. Pattinson is playing it perfectly and picking an ordinary guy role and if he didnt you'd be criticising the hell out of him.
    3. If you;d done any research rather than beign a lazy so and so you'd know the film had got great feedback at the test screenings

    There's such a lack of objectivity from you I can well see why you lost your job.

  • Anne Thompson | November 24, 2009 8:04 AMReply

    As many of you know, I am not immune to the charms of Rob Pattinson. And I respect him for handling his fame with considerable grace. He's a young actor with great looks and charisma who was imho perfectly cast as Cullen, but he is not a trained actor; the Vanity fair article captures him perfectly. One of his strengths I think is that he recognizes his own imperfections.

    I've seen Little Ashes and How to Be; neither one is very good, not his fault. Of the two movies coming up, the Remember Me trailer looks like a messy romantic comedy with Pattinson as a sad-sack hero. Of course, I will wait to see the movie before passing final judgment. On paper, Bel Ami looks more promising; it's a British period piece in which he plays a romantic Lothario. I could see him doing well in that role. He's young. I am rooting for him to pick well, do well, and as I said, prove himself outside the Twilight franchise, which he has not yet done.

  • Emily | November 24, 2009 7:55 AMReply

    I think you see the passionate fanbase Pattinson has. Its bad jouralism to dismiss a film on one quick trailer. Shoddy work Anne. Shoody work. In any event the trailer looks good to me. Much better than the usual Hollywood cack. If anything its the stuttering stammering twitching Mss Stewart with her zero charisma and screen presence that switches me off but at least Ill give her the benefit of the doubt...and try more of her work even if she does setmy teeth on edge.

  • alisbrian | November 24, 2009 7:51 AMReply

    1. Remember me had great feedback from the test screening.Including NON fans.
    2. The script is excellent
    3. It has a good twist
    4. The trailer looks awesome and more importantly a lot of fans love it.
    5. The cast including Chris Cooper and Lena Olin are top notch and pick their roles carefully.
    6. The director is very highly regarded.

    Ms Thomson seems quick to make a decision, her perogative but I have to agree her article seems very lazy. When a hack is sacked from a job Im sure it takes years to recover from the embarrassment - if ever. I hate cute and paste jobs.

    Bel Ami is based on the masterpiece novel by Guy de Maupassant in which Pattinson will play the role of Georges Duroy (which any actor would give his right arm to play). He's going to be working with one of the most respected directors in the world Declan Donnellan. His Cheek by Jowl company are legendary world wide. It being executive produced by Simon Fuller who never fails at anything. Go ask Simon Cowell who had to pay him millions. Its an amazing role for Pattinson. A role Depp would have jumped at when he was young.

    He is also going to be playing a white Comanche Indian in Unbound Captives alongside Hugh Jackman. This is a huge budget film. A film on a grand scale and has the Terrence Mallick's team working on it. In Bel Ami he'll be working with the amazing Kristen Scott Thomas and with Rachel Weitz in Unbound Captives. It all sounds pretty good to me. If anything he hasnt signed up to mind numbing dross. He's been careful to pick very different characters to test himself and work with the very best in the business. His wonderful musical ability hasnt even been tapped into yet. I think you underestimate him at your peril. There is a quiet steely determination there to succeed.The self deprecating quotes are a smokescreen to an ambitious young man. Yes he has a lot to learn but I dont get why some people dont give good looking actors a chance to prove themselves. I'm far more interested in following an actor who is a work in progress.

    Its very lazy journalism to write someone off so quickly.

  • Ann | November 24, 2009 7:51 AMReply

    I am assuming it was you who did an interview with Robert Pattinson last year which I really enjoyed. It was insightful and intelligent. It seemed then you thought he did reasonably well in Twilight and How To Be and had potential as an actor. Was that not the case? I, too, would be interested to know why the Remember Me trailer did not impress, and when you say "That one I want to see" do you mean Bel Ami, or some future project he might chose? Hope you will elaborate. Thanks.

  • Belinda | November 24, 2009 7:46 AMReply

    It's very frustrating to think that other "journalist" like yourself are going to judge Robert unfairly and dismiss him before even seeing the finished product because of the franchise association or his rapid growing popularity. I like to think that critics are being fair, but reading your article just now really hit me that it's just not going to be the case with him. You've made up your mind, therefore no matter how "Remember Me" turns out like, you've already panned it. It's sad because there is a core fan base behind him that care about him upcoming projects more so than anything Twilight related. Fans that see how much passion and thought he puts into every role. It's incredibly disheartening to know that critics like you aren't going to give him a fair judgement.

  • Carolyn | November 24, 2009 7:38 AMReply

    The script is excellent with a shocking end and the cast involved are top notch. The trailer drew me in without giving too much away. I dont know what yoru problem is but jumping on a bandwagon springs to mind. Your articles read as if the light has gone out of you. Jaded. Tired.

  • Pwrgirl | November 24, 2009 7:37 AMReply

    Everywhere I see comments about NM, I see people saying that they can't wait to see Remember Me because it looks so good. I think Rob is acting his ass off in that trailer, and...wow. Just confused. What signifies success? If he gets good reviews, and if it makes money. Right? I could understand if the trailer got everyone saying that it looks like sh!t. But seriously, that hasn't been the case.

  • Jen | November 24, 2009 7:36 AMReply

    I agree very lazy journalism. Time to retire Anne.

  • Alyssa Bree | November 24, 2009 7:35 AMReply

    Aw Anne, I love and respect you. What's this about "Remember Me" not delivering? Are you going based on what you saw in the trailer, have you read the script? Are you doubting Rob's potential? Please elaborate. I read the script and from what I saw I was highly impressed. Others who aren't even fans of Rob told me they wanted to see it based on the trailer. So I ask that you please elaborate on what you meant. Do you mean box office success by any chance? It's a little scary to think that critics, the media, studio execs etc are going to be hard on him if he doesn't deliver Twilight box office numbers. This is his first movie after the saga and it isn't a big budget studio movie. I hope the critics don't hold that kind of pressure over him. I think he'll do just fine, people underestimate him. That's fine only because it's that much greater when he proves everyone wrong.

  • holly | November 24, 2009 7:35 AMReply

    Anne I think being sacked has soured you. Remember Me looks like a good film and I know the script is excellent. This article looks like lazy journalism to me.

  • Pam | November 24, 2009 5:20 AMReply

    I have to disagree with Mr. Rettenmund about the potential staying power of Twilight. LOTR and HP are both fully realized worlds that had a huge impact on the culture beyond just selling books and movie tickets. They have actually contributed to the cultural lexicon. I just can't see Twilight having that same kind of impact. Sure, it's a phenomenon now, but ... so was the Macarena once upon a time.

  • estiocapra | November 24, 2009 2:10 AMReply

    Speaking of fickle journalist with biased, skwed views...
    There is no trailer for The Runaway, nothing to prove that it's going to be Kristen's breakaway from twilight, but you sound like you've already made up your mind when it comes to Rob...
    I think it's sad, when journalist havent seen the final product but they already set their minds on what their opinion is going to be.
    No wonder nodoby takes seriously journalists and journalism anymore. No one does it professionaly anymore.
    Its sad.

  • coco | November 24, 2009 12:29 AMReply

    Anne, from that trailer, what makes you think that he wont be able to deliver?
    I respect your opinion and I would like you to develope your little phrase posted there. Thank you.

  • chris | November 23, 2009 11:57 AMReply

    Pshh, Rob Pattinson is brilliant and I think he definitely has a career outside Twilight. People who don't find him appealing need to understand that just because you can't see it doesn't mean millions of others can't. One or ten opinions don't count. The Remember Me trailer looked fantastic with good acting by Pattinson, jsyk. Anyway, Remember Me is an indie film but hopefully it does well at the box office so it can silence people like you. It doesn't really seem like blockbuster type movie though so I don't know. We'll see. Only time will tell. He cares about the work so I see him succeeding in the end. If he doesn't, he's also a brilliant singer. The Twilight soundtrack with 2 of his songs on it won best soundrack at the AMA's last night. He's a brilliant and talented human being and if I were his parents I'd be so proud of him right now.

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