Twilight Phenomenon Strikes Puerto Rico

Photo by Jeff Riedel - The Twilight Cast <http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3282/2905654708_93bd952230.jpg&gt;

By

Francisco L. Aguilar

Twilight saga made it number six as one of the most read books with a total of 43 million copies. Regardless of whether it was the movie Twilight or New Moon there is an apparent rise of interest among some young adults and adults in Puerto Rico towards reading.

As the sun disappears in the horizon and day turns into night in Puerto Rico it has become a custom to spend some leisure time in the movie cinemas as a form of entertainment. According to the statistics published by Tendencies PR approximately $127,670,019 was spent in cinemas in 2006 while books and other reading material only summed up to $42,160,021. Yet due to the recent recession crisis these numbers have diminished by this year but this doesn’t stop the well driven Twilight fans to watch the new Twilight’s saga release New Moon.

For over three weeks after its release in Puerto Rico, New Moon produced long lines of Twilight movie fans, curious viewers and the like. Lines which extended themselves out of the main cinema lobby ticket booths , flanking along the wall of the cinema building, twisting and bending past a corner, and just turning out of sight seemed to melt themselves into a kaleidoscope of colorful centipedes which emitted a murmuring buzz to anyone who seemed to pass by.

Jacob’s Portrait drawn by Twilight fan artist Eldalis M. Aguilar

It is these people with their determination to be the first to see the new release of the film which contribute in its opening weekend allowing New Moon to acquire $142,839,137 according to the published results of the Box Office Mojo website. This is $73,201,397 more than the recorded opening weekend of Twilight.

Unlike Twilight, for some of the fans, New Moon did not live up to their expectations.There is the down side of making a novel into a movie, where most of the scenes cannot be filmed and set up on the big screen, as Carlos José Melero, a 22 year old college Psychology major in Universidad de Puerto Rico (UPRM), found out. Where he waited on a long line for one hour, and this was only outside of the cinema, before being allowed on an exclusive line inside the cinema waiting area.  When asked for his first impression of the movie Carlos responds “In truth in my opinion the movie does not make the book any justice. When they make the next movie Eclipse I will be sure to wait two weeks before coming to see it, because I will not make another line like this ever again.”

Some critics like Riley MacDonel of Helium web site agree “There is never going to be a film adaptation of a novel that one hundred percent covers everything that the novel had to offer, it’s just not possible… even the most diehard of the Twilight fans out there would probably twinge if they saw a runtime of nine hours and thirty-four minutes.”

Regardless of whether it was Twilight or New Moon there is an apparent rise of interest among some young adults and adults in Puerto Rico towards reading. Zoraida Ortíz, a Teacher Librarian in Jose Gautier Benitez Intermediate School, finds that many young students approach her seeking to find the Twilight series in the library. It appears that they are not satisfied with watching the movie there seems to be more that they want to know about these characters.

“I believe that movie viewers are similar to young children with picture books, they become highly interested with certain illustrations in their books and insist on having the story read to them. Some of these students who are anxiously seeking these novels are seeking to fill in the blanks which these movies do not provide,” said Ms. Ortíz.

Eldalis M. Aguilar holding in her arms Stephenie Mayer’s Twilight saga book Eclipse

According to James Chapman’s article of the “10 Most Read Books In The World” published in Squidoo website, Stephenie Mayer’s Twilight saga made it number six as one of the most read books with a total of 43 million copies. While in USA Today published its “top 100 books of 2008” from which Stephanie Mayer’s Twilight saga occupies the top four positions on the list with Twilight, first, New Moon, second, Breaking Dawn, third, and Eclipse, fourth.

Lisa Rufle in her article “The Twilight Phenomenon” published on Suite101 mainly states that Stephanie Meyer has written a series where young love is shown in a pure and old fashion romantic way. The novels do not contain any sexual content which would take away from the purity of the sheer act of falling in love. Yet, it has insinuations that guide lightly the mind of young teenagers to one of the most natural experiences of man and woman.

There are those who feel that they would not mind standing in long lines at the cinema if eventually these movies will motivate their children to read. They accompany them and even find themselves drawn into the whole novel saga craze, yet they do this willingly for the sake of promoting literacy. “I see nothing wrong with the movies or the novel contents as long as this motivates them to read,” says Ms. Ortíz.

With today’s advanced technology and special effects amazing things can be reproduced on a big screen, yet when everything is said and done the possibilities with a book are even greater. The ultimate control and creative effects lie deep within the reader himself. The characters and scenes mold themselves to their own preference. The reader has the ticket and free license to envision a world of their own.

Eldalis M. Aguilar reading her favorite book of the Twilight saga- New Moon

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1 Comment

  1. kikyo said,

    September 27, 2010 at 12:00 pm09

    i relly love your art


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