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December 6, 2016

‘New Moon’ premiere stirs frenzy

By 10:30 on Thursday night, the main lobby of Cinemark in Hadley was packed with fans of the “Twilight” series, all eager to see the premiere of “New Moon.”

Two Twilight fans dying to see the new movie, Brittany and Hanna, were waiting in line for their seat and had been there since 9 p.m. that evening.

Like so many others, Brittany was introduced to author Stephenie Meyer’s series by last year’s film release, “Twilight.” Meanwhile, Hanna, in true “Twilight” fan form, has loved the series since reading the books.

The fans first in line claimed that a real fan would have been with the series from the start, and certainly would have attended the premiere last year, too. These die-hard fans have a pretty critical idea of what a Twilight fan is, partly due to their personal experience.

Sarah from Belchertown was eager to share her love of the series with those around her at the premiere. A repeat premiere-showing attendee, Sarah knew how Thursday night’s event would go down.

Her 3:30 p.m. arrival at Cinemark guaranteed her position as first in line. Joined at 4 p.m. by a fellow “Twilight” premiere attendee, who was also named Sarah, the two were prepared for the long wait ahead until 11:30 p.m., when Cinemark began the process of seating people in the theaters.

The massive crowd was divided into four rows in the beginning (by the end of the lines, it was just a chaotic mess). Movie-goers lined up according to their ticket times – 12:01, 12:05, 12:10, or 12:15.

When Cinemark employees started seating people for the 12:15 showing before the 12:05 and 12:10 showing, the anxiously awaiting crowd began to get a little stressed. Groans and angry shouts erupted from people who had been waiting for over 3 hours. Unfortunately, the two lines waited for almost 15 more minutes until they were admitted into the theaters.

Cinemark was prepared for the massive amount of people, though. Four employees were consistently going back and forth within the theater, making final preparations for the showings. The concession stand had an additional four employees working quickly to serve lines consistently made of 20-plus people. For those who had previously ordered their tickets online and needed to pick them up, a worker was in the crowd directing them to the box office, where more employees distributed tickets.

Unfortunately, any “Twilight” fans who forgot to order their tickets ahead of time were turned away, since all four showings had sold out days before the premiere.

Cinemark had set up posts connected by caution tape to separate the crowd into four lines within Cinemark’s designated area.  In the mall outside, where hundreds of fans were milling around unsure of what to do, Cinemark had set up tape markers on the ground in an attempt to continue the lines. As more people packed into the small area though, the markers disappeared under the packed feet of fans as they squeezed into the small space.

In this mob outside were five University of Massachusetts sophomores waiting for the 12:15 showing. Anita, Matt, Kelsey, Zoe and Emily were hoping that “New Moon” would prove to be a better film than “Twilight.” Seniors Kristina, Mari and Kelly were also disappointed by the first movie, claiming, “I liked it, but the books were better.” Kelsey agreed, and wanted more action and drama, “like a real movie.”

The general consensus of the crowd was, as this group put it, that “they could have done better” with the first film. Expectations were high as many fans waited for almost three hours to see “New Moon.” All hoped the movie would be worth the wait, although some admitted they would see the movie regardless of how good or bad it was.

Allison, a junior at UMass, said that she was most looking forward to seeing what influence the new director, Chris Weitz (“The Golden Compass,” “About a Boy”), would have on the film. Weitz was one of the hot topics among fans who were eager to see Catherine Hardwicke replaced.

Lynn, Sheila and Sarah, teachers in the Belchertown school system, were highly disappointed with the previous movie, and hoped that New Moon would be better. Lynn criticized the director of Twilight as being “too wrapped up in herself,” and found that when comparing the movie to the book, the film was lacking.

But it is the Volturi, the ancient vampire elite, according to Allison, that “makes it or breaks it for the next movies.” Indeed, the Volturi were on the minds of almost all fans waiting for the premiere, including Sarah and Taylor, freshmen students at UMass who arrived at 4 p.m. Fans were expecting a spectacular performance from these characters, who hold a considerable role in the rest of the series. Michael Sheen (“Frost/Nixon,” “Underworld”) was an exciting addition to the cast as one of the Volturi characters that many fans were dying to see.

Although almost everyone, especially siblings Amanda and Karl, indicated an interest in seeing better special effects – let’s face it, the first movie’s effects were downright dreadful – the main factor that fans of almost every age and gender were looking forward to was the stunning appearance of Taylor Lautner’s abs. Seniors Kelsey, Alissa and Erin simultaneously squealed “Taylor Lautner shirtless!” when asked what they most anticipated from the new film. Tiffany, another fan, said that although she’s a follower of Team Edward, she couldn’t deny she was a fan of Jacob’s body for “New Moon.”

Thursday night’s premiere of “New Moon,” which nationally gained a profit of over $72 million, was certainly the place to be for devoted fans of the series. With the atmosphere full of excitement and love, the premiere was worth the wait and lack of sleep.

Nora Drapalski can be reached at ndrapals@student.umass.edu.

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