Well it's official. Okay, not official official, but pretty damn likely. A big screen adaptation of "Breaking Dawn" is on, and it's being split into two movies. Or it might be. Why don't I just tell you what's going on?
No one ever really doubted that "Breaking Dawn" would get made, and fairly soon. "Twilight" license holders Summit Entertainment know they've got something big, and so they've been hitting us fast and hard. A year after the first movie, we've got two more hitting just six months apart. And now, if Variety's sources are correct, "Breaking Dawn" is percolating for a two-movie release, with scripts to be written by series scribe Melissa Rosenberg.
This news jives with what Exhibitor Relations box office analyst Jeff Bock told me yesterday, when I spoke with him about "New Moon"'s weekend two performance. "[Summit] expanded the brand with this film," he said. And their blitzkrieg release schedule will only serve to keep the momentum sailing high.
"That's going to be hard to compete with for anybody," Bock said of closely spaced releases (and associated home video launches). He predicts an overall "New Moon" gross of around $300 million when all is said and done, positioning Stephenie Meyer's series as "one of the best franchises in Hollywood."
"It looks like ['Eclipse'] is going to do the same amount of business," Bock continued, crediting Summit's aggressive schedule for much of the success. "They're going to get the DVD out in May, possibly in June. We're not going to go any months without seeing 'Twilight' paraphrenalia out there now... it's going to be a 24 hour circus of 'Twlight.'"
Here's the kicker. Variety is reporting today from "sources" that a split will probably happen, pending Meyer's approval. This echoes precisely what Bock predicted in our chat yesterday, before the trade rag's story burbled to the surface.
"They might pull the 'Harry Potter,'" he said, referring to the two-part split of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," the final book in that series. "And don't be surprised if they do."
Bock had more to say however, about what we might expect in terms of a release schedule for the final "Twlight" chapter. "[Summit] would be hard-pressed not to put ['Breaking Dawn'] out next December, because there's just too much money to be made right now. Then it gets really interesting, do they do spin-offs. It'll be interesting to see what kind of rights Summit has, because I am sure they're chomping at the bit to extend this franchise as far as they can."
Now that it's official -- or imminently so, at the very least -- what do you think we can expect from a "Breaking Dawn" movie? How will such an adaptation work? Where will the split between the two movies lie, if Summit does indeed pursue that course? What are some of the possible spin-offs you'd like to see?