“Breaking Dawn” not following the formula for fantasy/action success

By Kim Palacios

Whether hiring yet a fourth director (Bill Condon) to lead “Breaking Dawn” was a good decision is the question that journalists everywhere are asking. Despite excitement that any announcement has been made after months of silence from Summit Entertainment, sentiment about the choice has been lukewarm.

This may have little to do with Condon, whose talent is undeniable, and more to do with ire for Summit’s choice of yet a different director to adapt the fourth book to the screen. The approach to directing the Twilight Saga films is a far cry from other fantasy/action series such as “Lord of The Rings”, in which Peter Jackson stood at the helm for all three. Even the “Harry Potter” series, after a total of six films, has only seen four directors. The director of the most recent two films, David Yates, is confirmed to direct the next two; by the time the film series ends, he will have directed half.

It is also worth noting that both “Lord of the Rings” and “Harry Potter” series films pulled in more at the box office and won more prestigious awards than “Twilight”. IMDB Pro reports worldwide theater sales for “Twilight” at $351M and $688M for “New Moon”. The “Lord of the Rings” and “Harry Potter” franchises did enormously better, with each film in each franchise averaging between $800M and $900M per film.

Optimists are hopeful that Oscar Award-winner Condon is just what the “Twilight” franchise needs to bring an extra degree of recognition to the films. The first six films of the “Harry Potter” series were nominated for a total of seven Academy Awards. The “Lord of the Rings” films? An astonishing thirty, with an unbelievable seventeen wins.

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