"Twilight" fans camp out for days ahead of premiere

Tue Jun 22, 2010 7:49pm EDT
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By Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Under a glaring California sun, "Twilight" fans took shelter in camping tents on Tuesday, as they awaited their date with Robert Pattinson and other stars from the latest film in the vampire romance series.

Some 550 devotees of "The Twilight Saga," many of whom have camped out since Sunday night in downtown Los Angeles, are being rewarded for their patience with guaranteed spots on the red carpet for the Thursday movie premiere of "Eclipse."

"It's just worth seeing all the stars. They bring the characters that we love so much to life, so we want to see them in person and cheer them on," said Yolanda Rodriguez, 36, an unemployed graphic designer who came from San Francisco for the event.

The fans, virtually all female, are living on the concrete plaza of an entertainment complex, surrounded by blankets, tents, umbrellas and cardboard cut-outs of the film's stars.

The "Twilight" books by author Stephenie Meyer have been a publishing sensation and spawned a Hollywood movie franchise.

"The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" opening June 30 and starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner, will likely be one of 2010's biggest blockbusters. The first two films made over $1.1 billion combined at box offices worldwide.

Jen Yamato, film critic and "Twilight" expert with Movies.com, compared fan fervor to the emotions caused by The Beatles in the 1960s.

"It's really akin to Beatlemania back in the day, in terms of how ardently 'Twilight' fans really love the property, and camping out outside of the premiere is just one way to celebrate that love," Yamato told Reuters.   Continued...

<p>Screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg (2nd L) accompanies actors Charlie Bewley (L), Cameron Bright and Jamie Campbell Bower (R) on the red carpet before a preview of clips from "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" at the Rome film festival October 22, 2009. REUTERS/Chris Helgren</p>