Movie release sparks surge of Twilight fan visits

Local merchants, motel and restaurant owners saw a return to the hey days of Twilight mania over the weekend.

The surge in visitors was likely driven by the smash box office release of the fourth Summit Entertainment Twilight Saga film “Breaking Dawn Part. 1.”

Nationwide, the new Twilight movie took in $139.5 million in ticket sales. That was just several million dollars shy of the “New Moon” Twilight film, which took in $142 its first weekend in the fall of 2009.
Hollywood pundits are predicting an even higher gross for the release of “Breaking Dawn Part 2”  in 2012.
Sully’s Drive-In manager Bruce Guckenberg told the Forks Forum the restaurant began seeing groups of fans arriving in numbers on Friday.

At the Forks Chamber of Commerce, the center of Twilight information distribution in Forks, the Forks Chamber’s Director of Tourism, Marketing and Promotions Lissy Andros said on Saturday 246 fans were recorded arriving in the Chamber’s guest book.

Those numbers are considered conservative as past surveys during peak summer days have sometimes shown that 30 percent or so more visitors actually came to town for a visit.

Andros said that there hadn’t been over 150 visitors sign in on a single day since the Chamber’s Bella’s Birthday/Stephenie Meyer event held in mid-September.

Andros made it back to Forks just in time for the  big Breaking Dawn Part 1 release weekend.
While on vacation, which she timed to hold a Twilight promotion at her home town of Tyler, Texas, the Chamber staffer attended a special night-before showing of the three earlier-released Twilight films. In advance she mailed Forks promotional materials to hand out at the event.

“I had a few minutes to talk to movie goers” prior to the showing of the films, she said, and then walked up and down the lines of Twilight fans waiting to see the movies, handing out Forks-related items as gifts and talking up the town.

Andros said the Twilight phenom seemed to be as popular as ever among Texas fans.

At the 14-screen movie theater holding the Twilight screenings eight showings sold out, she said.
Forks continues to be the imaginary town written about by author Stephenie Meyer, she said, with one fan asking her, “Forks is a real place?”

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