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'Twihards' sell out shows as 'Breaking Dawn' makes debut

November 16th, 2011 10:16 pm by Kevin Castle

Forget Princess Kate and Prince William. The only royal couple on the minds of romantics this week are Bella and Edward as “Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1” makes its much anticipated debut.

The Stephenie Meyer-penned saga that sold millions of books is entering the final chapters in its movie franchise, which Tri-Cities 7 Cinemas assistant manager Duane Nichols says rivals the Harry Potter movies with fan support.

“We had some ladies come here when (‘Twilight: Eclipse’) opened, and they showed up six hours before showtime because they wanted to be the first in line. These were not teenagers. These were middle-aged fans,” said Nichols.

“They are loyal,” Nichols added. “I think only Harry Potter fans are about as devout. But this has the romantic factor too, plus two guys, Edward and Jacob, that the ladies seem to like. So that draws them in, too. I think it’s great to get excited about movies again.”

The Blountville cinema is giving fans what they requested: a chance to see the “Twilight” movies from the beginning leading up to the world premiere at midnight Thursday into Friday.

“A big number of customers asked about a ‘Twilight’ marathon, showing the first three movies in order, then show the new one,” Nichols said. “So many people asked, we finally asked our owner, and he gave the green light, and we got permission (from Summit Entertainment) to have the non-stop ‘Twilight’ fest.

“We have sold over 70 tickets for the marathon, and we only have a few tickets left for the midnight show. We had one lady reserve our party room back in May so that her daughter could have her birthday party around this premiere.”

Acclaimed director Bill Condon helms this “Twilight” feature, which sees the twisted love life of Bella Swan culminate with a marriage to vampire hunk Edward Cullen.

Besides a much anticipated honeymoon, Condon tells Entertainment Weekly that the most challenging scene to shoot was the birth of Bella and Edward’s half-vampire child.

Nichols says the theater only plans to have “Breaking Dawn” in one 200-seat auditorium, and that nearly every showing on Friday and Saturday are sure to be sell-outs. spokesman Harry Medved told the Times-News that 93 percent of all purchase traffic on Fandango’s site is nothing but “Breaking Dawn.”

Fandango sells tickets to 16,000 theaters across the United States.

“Last week, we were at 82 percent. That was two weeks out from the premiere. That number will climb closer to the weekend,” said Medved.

Local movie house Marquee Cinemas of Kingsport has no tickets available for its midnight showings Thursday, according to stats on, and has numerous sell-outs for Friday and Saturday.

The Carmike Cinema 14 in Johnson City has 18 showings of the movie completely sold out, while Tinseltown in Bristol has four, according to Medved.

This release will have to whet the appetites of Twihards, as they are called, until Nov. 16, 2012 — the tentative release day for “Breaking Dawn Part 2,” which will complete the series.

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