Even before The Twilight Saga: New Moon opened in the US, one prominent media columnist boldly predicted the vampire romance saga is doomed, listing six flimsy reasons like: the latest instalment is boring, Taylor Lautner's Jacob Black is a low-wattage male lead compared with the rarely-seen Rob Pattinson, and Michael Sheen's presence makes it just like any other formulaic flick.
And the vast majority of the world's critics seemed to agree: of the 158 reviews logged by Rotten Tomatoes, just 46, or 29%, gave the movie the thumbs up.
All of which looks pretty silly in light of New Moon's stratospheric box-office figures over the weekend: an estimated $US140.7 million in the US and $258.8 million worldwide, including an astounding $16 million in Australia.
Even so, some columnists continue to slam the blockbuster and steadfastly refuse to acknowledge or respect the tastes of millions of Twilighters. “New Moon now holds the distinction of being the most sluggishly-made, most agonizing-to-sit-through epic grosser of all time,” thundered Hollywood Elsewhere's Jeff Wells today. “Has there ever been a worse film that has made box-office history?”
It was The Wrap's Dominic Patten who climbed onto his high horse last week and declared, “In the long term, the Twilight saga has a stake through its heart.”
Among the reasons he cited for his gloomy assessment was Summit's decision to replace Catherine Hardwicke with Chris Weitz, who directed American Pie and The Golden Compass. I thought the latter film was a glossy-looking bore and I don't think Weitz brought as much energy and emotion to New Moon as did Hardwicke with the first film—but the B.O. results vindicate Summit's decision, at least financially.
Patten also quotes the old saw about almost all blockbuster franchises being subject to the law of diminishing expectations, opining, “With two more Twilight books, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn, still slated, Summit may be thinking it's got a Harry Potter on its hands. We're thinking Planet of the Apes.”
Entirely facetiously, he claimed Miley Cyrus' put-down- “I don't like it…don't even talk about it,” as proof the movie had “lost the heartland.” As if!
Patten's views provoked a deluge of angry comments from Twilighters like Kris, who wrote, “As a fan of Twilight, and not a teenager at that, I'll say this. The fans, we don't care if you don't like it or get it. We're just fine with your opinion because we are aware that you don't get it. The very things that the critics bemoan about the books and movies are the very same things that we like, nay love. The angst, the passion, the melodrama etc. are all things that attracted us in the first place.”
And this rebuke from Raymond: “This is a dumb article. Doesn't make any sense, it's doomed, but at the beginning you basically concede it will make tons of cash. Doomed in what aspect? If the films resemble the books at least 50% of the time, fans will flock to it, it's not about overweight white male nerds, it's about fans of the books.”
Not everyone rushed to condemn. “I used to enjoy the series. But then I looked slightly below the surface and saw exactly how DISTURBING it is,” said one blogger. “'A guy watches a girl sleep without her knowing, and it's okay because he's beautiful!' 'Paedophilia is A-OK, as long as he LOVES her!', and 'If your love leaves you, you might as well lie down and die.'"
That's a bit tough!
Read our review of TheTwilight Saga: New Moon here