But even though “The Twilight Saga” isn’t the highest grossing film series, TheWrap argues that it is the most financially successful. How can “Twilight” be more successful than “Harry Potter,” “Pirates of the Caribbean” or “The Lord of the Rings,” you might ask? Because they’re so dirt cheap to make.
“Twilight” only cost $37 million to make, back when Summit thought they were backing a small indie film adaptation. The film went on to gross more than $392.5 million worldwide, which meant Summit was willing to give filmmaker Chris Weitz a slightly larger budget to film “New Moon.”
But still, “New Moon,” with all its CGI and gorgeous aerial shots, only cost $50 million to make, and grossed over $709.7 million worldwide. And even though “Eclipse” cost $68 million to make, it earned that back in its opening day, and has grossed more than $275 million in six days.
Compared to that, TheWrap reports that the first film in each of the “LotR,” “Pirates” and “Harry Potter” films cost around $100 million to make ($93 million, $140 million and $125 million respectively), with costs increasing on each of the films to an impressive $300 million for “At World’s End,” which barely made that money back in domestic release, and “Half-Blood Prince,” which cost $250 million to make and earned back just under a billion worldwide.
And even though the two “Breaking Dawn” films are going to cost about $100 million a piece, at the rate the “Twilight” films are making money, they’re still going to make probably seven or eight times as much as they cost to produce. Experts doubt that “Eclipse” will likely beat out “New Moon” by much in the box office, but even so, Summit will have made more than $600 million in box office profits.
TheWrap also references the way “Twilight” has almost single-handedly saved clothing store Hot Topic as well as revived the soundtrack industry. They even mention MTV’s old “Twilight Tuesdays,” which were used to promote “Twilight” back in 2008 by releasing fresh content every Tuesday leading up until the film’s release.
So haters can keep on hating, but “The Twilight Saga” will likely go down in history as the smartest move a film production company ever took, and many other ones will try to emulate its success for years to come.
Are you surprised to find that “The Twilight Saga” is one of the most successful franchises in Hollywood?