"New Moon" Hits Theatres: Fans Are Delighted

A new character- the Invisible Man - joins the "Twilight" family in "New Moon". Not far into the picture, the undead Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) fades out of the action for a bit, and is replaced by wolf boy Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner). Edward eventually returns, but he never really comes back. Last year's sensitive hunk, with his pasty face and glum, mopey demeanor, is no match for this year's actual hunk; and Jacob — much more vibrant, and madly muscular — romps off with the picture.

It's a very silly picture, of course: Given the series' source material — Stephenie Meyer's blathery teen novels — what else could it be? But thanks to Lautner and newly-recruited director Chris Weitz, "New Moon" is a notable improvement over "Twilight." There's not quite so much moony young-adult yearning (although Lord knows there's enough of it); and there's a little more action; and with cheery Anna Kendrick and Ashley Greene back on board, and Michael Sheen (really!) camping it up as some sort of lord of the vampires, the movie approaches the outskirts of liveliness. It never gets there — no surprise — and if the picture were at least 15 minutes shorter maybe that wouldn't matter so much. In any case, one assumes that fans won't care, MTV.com reports.

Meanwhile, November 20 has been a long time coming for devotees of the "Twilight" saga, and at a movie theater in Times Square, fans from around the world congregated long before midnight to witness Chris Weitz's adaptation of "New Moon," the second book in Stephenie Meyer's series. While there were those who were disappointed ("It did not live up to expectations at all," griped Melissa Paipan from Manhattan), the general consensus was that it was, as Jordana de la Cruz from Rhode Island gushed, "the best movie in the entire universe and more."

"We bought our tickets ... literally, the day they came out," Lauren from Brooklyn told MTV News. Many who attended the midnight screening said they purchased tickets as early as September. Many had also prepared for the occasion by re-reading passages from the novel, watching the movie's trailers online, and re-watching the first movie.

"We got here at 5 o'clock, as soon as we got out of class," said Samantha Martone, a student from New Jersey who wanted to insure that she and her friend would get good seats. As the time drew nearer, Stephanie Thomas from New Jersey (who drove from Rutgers University with a friend) described the scene as "kind of madness." Some fans even came in costume or dressed up in their best store-bought or homemade "Twilight" T-shirts.

"There was a guy who looked just like Edward, it was crazy," Ashley Harrison from Australia said, MTV.com reports.

It was also reported, Michelle Medina, a 20-year-old student at Cal State Fullerton, bought her tickets for the 12:01 a.m. screening today weeks in advance. Months, actually.

"Hello. It's 'New Moon!' " said Medina, while tugging on her black shirt emblazoned with Edward Cullen's image. "It's my favorite book from the series. I totally relate to the way Bella felt when Edward left. It's heartbreaking. If I could have bought the tickets last year, I would have."

That seemed to be the prevailing sentiment as "Twilight" mania invaded movie theaters. The Summit Entertainment film sold out hundreds of midnight screenings nationwide weeks before its Friday opening. Fandango sold out more than 1,000 Thursday midnight shows. More than a week before its release, the film sold more than four times as many tickets as the original "Twilight" at MovieTickets.com at the same point in the sales cycle.

And the moviegoers weren't simply intent on seeing the film; they wanted to live it, The Los Angeles Times reports.

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