The statistics speak for themselves – Twilight has replaced Harry Potter as the world’s favourite film franchise.
This week, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse put every single Harry Potter film to date in the shade with a staggering midnight box office take of £20 million.
By comparison, it makes Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince’s midnight take of £14.7 million look like a pile of (still very profitable) dust. The golden snitch, one might say, has slipped out of Harry’s hand.
It would be ludicrous to suggest that the Harry Potter franchise has somehow failed, given it’s still making insane amounts of money and will continue to do so with DVD sales, plus the two part finale (the trailer for which is actually looking action packed and fantastic) this summer and next.
But anyone who’s been on board the Hogwarts Express since 2001 would have to agree – vampire fever has slowed Hurricane Potter down to a gentle breeze. That, and the fact that the last film, the Half Blood Prince was frankly, as dull as Bella Swann’s constant inner turmoil.
It’s easy to see why female fans have switched allegiances. When it comes to pure sex appeal, it’s Team Twilight all the way.
No disrespect to the Potter trio, but they’re not exactly bursting with sexual energy. Vampires are the A List movie stars of the fantasy world, and no amount of battling with evil wizards to save the world is going to replace Robert Pattinson’s Edward Cullen with Daniel Radcliffe’s scrawny Potter in the heart of any teenage girl in the country.
It’s almost prophetic that Pattinson also played Potter’s nemesis, Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire – life imitating art after the fact.
Plus, the Twilight saga taps into a well-trodden lust for bloodsuckers that began back when Bram Stoker invented the sexy vampire, to be resurrected every decade with a new hero at the helm. Who could resist the plight of the big bad vampire who just wants to be good?
And yet….. as desperately dull as the Half Blood Prince was, I’m still Team Potter. It’s true that the Twilight Saga is steamier, more edgy and, with its amazingly good soundtrack (featuring Florence and the Machine, Cee-Lo and The Bravery to name a few) simply a more complete package.
But the characters are flat in comparison to JK Rowling’s vivid magical troops, and more crucially, I can’t think of a worse example to set to young girls than stumbling, insecure, needy emotional leach than Bella Swann.
An albatross to respectable authors of teenage romance novels everywhere, Stephenie Meyer should be ashamed of herself, creating a role model for young women devoid of any personality outside of her love for a man who treats her like an infant.
Vampires may be sexier than wizards, but I’ll take the company of brave, resourceful, clever Hermione Granger over the vacuous puppet that Edward Cullen loves any day of the week.