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Love at first bite: Fans plan to stay up late for “New Moon” madness
Jessica Huebert
Antelope Staff
Photo by Jessica Huebert
Nicolle Sautter, a sophomore elementary education major from Wood River, and Kaitlin Doty, a organization communication major from Omaha, show off their favorite books from the popular "Twilight" series by Stephenie Meyer. Behind them is a poster of their favorite character from the books, vampire Edward Cullen.

Vampires or werewolves? Team Edward or Team Jacob? Where will you be on Nov. 20 at midnight?
                                                                                                                           
These questions might sound silly, but most women on the UNK campus, and across the country, probably have an immediate answer for all of them— thanks to the craze surrounding the wildly popular “Twilight” books.

In short, the four-book saga by Stephenie Meyer follows the story of Bella Swan as she moves to the small town of Forks, Wash., and falls in love with the handsome Edward Cullen— who just happens to be a vampire. Bella later becomes best friends with Jacob Black, who just happens to be a werewolf.

These three main characters, along with their families and friends, are faced with battles of mythical creatures, near death experiences and the ongoing struggle for Bella and Edward to be together against all odds. The series is packed with action, but in the end, it’s a love story.  
                                                                                                                                         
As of November 2009, the series has sold over 85 million copies worldwide. All four books have consecutively set records as the biggest selling novels of 2008 on the USA Today Best-Selling Books list.

The saga has also ignited a worldwide vampire obsession, not to mention a multi-million dollar industry of merchandise including clothing, accessories, posters, dolls and everything in between.                                           
                                                                              
The first book, “Twilight,” came out in 2005, and later hit the big screen on Nov. 20, 2008. Now the second book, “New Moon,” is set to open in theaters this Nov. 20. Most theaters across the country have planned a midnight showing for fans who just can’t wait.       
                                                                           
“We’re showing ‘New Moon’ on all eight screens at 12:05 a.m. and have pre-sold around 650 tickets so far,” said Mark Lusche, the general manager of Kearney’s Cinema 8. “That number means that over two-thirds of the seats in our entire theater are already filled a week before the movie even opens. Anyone who wants to be here for the first showing definitely might want to purchase their tickets early.”                           
                                                                                                    
It’s not just the story that makes the “Twilight” movies so appealing. Up-and-coming Hollywood stars such as Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner have launched the saga’s popularity farther than anyone could have imagined.       
                                                                                                           
For all the die-hard fans, known as “Twi-hards,” the Cinema 8 is also showing the first “Twilight” film at 9 p.m. prior to the New Moon open.
                                                                                               
“It’s going to be a crazy night,” Lusche said. “We’re preparing for it already. We’ll be fully staffed and ready for the madness!” 
                                                                                             
One fan who is a part of those 650 seats that are already taken is Kaitlin Doty, an organizational communications major from Omaha. “I’m obsessed. I’ve read all of the books twice,” she said. “Pretty much my entire sorority has their tickets already, and we can’t wait!”                
                                                                                                                       
Sophomore elementary education major Nicolle Sautter from Wood River also anticipates the opening night of “New Moon.” “I had never really paid much attention to the whole Twilight thing until around the time the first movie came out. Then I decided to read them and see what they were all about; after that I was hooked.”       
                                                                                                         
Most female readers claim to crush on one of the male lead characters, either the brooding vampire Edward, or the muscular werewolf Jacob. When both Doty and Sautter were asked which leading man they prefer, both immediately replied, “Team Edward!”

With the third book, “Eclipse,” already set to come out in theaters next summer on June 30, 2010, it doesn’t look like the “Twilight” craze will be going away anytime soon. For fans everywhere, it’s been love at first bite.

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