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Summit plans to re-release 'Twilight' in theaters

The first in the teen vampire film series will be shown the night before the sequel, 'New Moon,' opens Nov. 20.

October 30, 2009|Claudia Eller

Seeking to capitalize on the teen vampire movie craze it launched last year, Summit Entertainment will re-release its original "Twilight" movie Nov. 19, hours before the midnight debut of its highly anticipated sequel, "The Twilight Saga: New Moon."

Summit is in talks with U.S. theater operators about how many screens they will make available, for a single night, to show the picture. The studio said some theaters would sell tickets for "Twilight" at a reduced price. A person familiar with the plan said other theaters might charge full price.

Nonetheless, "Twilight" is expected to play in many of the same venues that will show "New Moon," opening Nov. 20.

Released last year, "Twilight," the first film based on Stephenie Meyer's bestselling teen book series, became a runaway hit in theaters and on DVD. The modern-day vampire tale, directed by Catherine Hardwicke and starring Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson as chaste lovers, generated $383.5 million in worldwide ticket sales and has been this year's No. 1 DVD, selling about 8 million units in the U.S. and Canada alone.

Summit said it was undertaking the unusual re-release of "Twilight" to satisfy demands by fans who wanted to see the movie again on the big screen. But potential double ticket sales from both "Twilight" and "New Moon" would also be a financial benefit to Summit, which bankrolled and distributes the movies, as well as theater owners.

Industry analysts believe that the anticipation surrounding "Twilight's" re-release, coupled with the debut of "New Moon," could provide a bump in "Twilight" DVD sales.

"I would expect 'Twilight' to come back into the top 10 bestselling DVDs," said Bruce Nash, president of box-office research firm Nash Information Services, who estimates an additional 500,000 units could be sold domestically.

This would be the second time Summit has re-released "Twilight" in theaters. In July, the movie had a one-night-only theatrical run during the annual Comic-Con Convention in San Diego the day before the studio unveiled exclusive footage of "New Moon."

The third movie in the series, "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse," directed by David Slade, is scheduled to be released in June 2010.

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claudia.eller@latimes.com

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