American adults have a big choice to make at the voting polls on November 4. But American tweens also have a big a decision to make at the movie theater on November 21: will they support their reigning queen Miley Cyrus, who voices a character in Disney's new animated film Bolt, or will they help turn Twilight from a literary cult phenomenon into a certified box-office smash?
If you don't believe the tween crowd needs to be taken seriously at the box office, I'd like to kindly direct you to this weekend's numbers. High School Musical 3: Senior Year made some crazy money, most likely causing Disney executives to kick themselves for not trotting the franchise out on the big screen sooner.
In the wake of HSM 3's success, it would seem safe to assume Disney will have the weekend of November 21 in the bag with Bolt. After all, Miley's star rose on the Disney Channel right alongside those singing students. But I'm banking on Bella and Edward to bring home the big bucks on opening weekend.
Here are four reasons why:
1. You don't actually see Miley in Bolt
Unlike in her last, record-breaking big screen outing in her Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds concert film, Miley doesn't actually appear on screen in Bolt. She just lends her voice to an animated character. The casual Miley fan may be unaware of her role in it. And tweens are getting to that age where it may not be that cool to be seen at a movie about a talking cartoon dog.
2. The Robert Pattinson Effect
We all know the story by now. Legions of Twilight fans were initially outraged by the casting of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire co-star Robert Pattinson as undead heartthrob Edward Cullen -- until they got a look at the guy in character. Now that his face is being plastered all over your TV (and your local Hot Topic store), my guess is there will be girls eager to check him out who never even cracked open one of Stephenie Meyer's novels.
3. Boys will be dragged to Twilight
With its blend of action, romance, teen angst and the supernatural, Twilight will be seen as the perfect date movie for the PG-13 crowd. Boys will be looking to score points by taking their young lady friends to see it. And other girls will be dragging many poor boys along to see if they can learn a thing or two about chivalry from Edward Cullen. (I suspect many of these same boys will also be roped into painting their faces white to be Edward for Halloween, while their girlfriends can just throw on rain boots and a hoodie and call themselves Bella).
4. People are probably waiting on line for tickets to Twilight already
Miley may be popular, but she just doesn't inspire this kind of fervor.
If you or someone you love is a tween, vote in the poll below. Or perhaps you're still peeved Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince won't be flying into theaters that weekend as originally planned? And most importantly, for those of you on Team Jacob, will you be boycotting Twilight and waiting for a film version of Eclipse due to his relatively small part? Let me know in the comments section.