News

Why 'Twilight' saga will end with a whimper

The "Twilight Saga" might not make it to sunup.

With an aging fan base, sexier and naughtier vampires and werewolves clawing it up on TV and a full year to go before the franchise ends, the four-film version of Stephenie Meyer's pre-teen fave will have a hard time crossing the finish line at the level of, say, the "Harry Potter" or "Star Wars" franchises.

Sure, "Breaking Dawn Part 1," which hits theaters Nov. 18, is the movie "Twilight" devotees have been waiting for: Edward and Bella finally get married and finally, you know, like, do it.

Even those of us above the age of 13 are curious to see if real-life couple Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart have chemistry in the big-screen boudoir, especially after director Bill Condon revealed their sex scenes had to be edited due to Pattinson's excessive "thrusting."

Last week, fans lined up as Pattinson, Stewart and Taylor Lautner stuck their hands and feet in cement in front of Grauman's Chinese Theater.

And tracking for the next "Twilight" film is good, with "Breaking Dawn" the bestselling movie ticket at Fandango as of late last week, according to the site's Harry Medved.

But nothing R. Patz and K. Stew do in theaters will surpass what the randy vampires on "True Blood" do weekly on the small screen. And as HBO's "Blood" has stolen some of "Twilight's" sex thunder with the older crowd, the CW's "Vampire Diaries" has given the teen set (oh, okay, and some more mature viewers, too) a chance to get their fill of soapy vamp drama on a weekly basis.

Plus, the demographic that created that frenzy has grown up. Except for the Twihards, the initial pre-teen-girl fan base — we all know this is a largely female phenomenon — has moved on to other things. It's hard to see them still wearing those Team Edward or Team Jacob tees.

  • Slideshow Photos

    'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    The hot vampire series is taking cinemas by storm, and its stars' off-screen romance only helps matters.

  • 'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    Family affair

    In "Breaking Dawn Part 2," young Mackenzie Foy plays the half-human half-vampire child of Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson). Jacob (Taylor Lautner) also plays an important role in Renesmee's life.

    Summit Entertainment / Summit Entertainment
  • 'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    Next generation

    Mackenzie Foy, 11, plays Renesmee Cullen, whose name is a hybrid of her two grandmothers, Renee and Esme.

    Summit Entertainment / Summit Entertainment
  • 'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    Super couple

    While Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson's relationship progressed to marriage and a child onscreen, the actors' offscreen romance had a few bumps in the road.

    Summit Entertainment / Summit Entertainment
  • 'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    Cullen clan

    Plenty of vampires, including Edward's adoptive father Carlisle (Peter Facinelli), take sides in the war between the Volturi and the Cullens in "Breaking Dawn Part 2."

    Summit Entertainment / Summit Entertainment
  • 'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    Love gives a lift

    Pattinson as vampire Edward Cullen gives Bella Swan a lift in "Breaking Dawn, Part 1."

    Summit Entertainment / Summit Entertainment
  • 'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    Ready for a fight

    Taylor Lautner, as Jacob, gives a menacing glance as a blood-splattered Edward and his parents stand behind him in "Breaking Dawn Part 1."

    Summit Entertainment / Summit Entertainment
  • 'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    Like picking up a toothpick

    Kellan Lutz and Nikki Reed move some trees in "Breaking Dawn, Part 1." We assume they're making a clearing for Edward and Bella's wedding. Good thing vampires have that super-strength!

    Summit Entertainment / Summit Entertainment
  • 'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    What lies ahead

    Smile while you can, Edward and Bella. Things are about to get crazy.

  • 'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    Team Jacob

    In between his "Twilight" duties, Taylor Lautner found time to shoot the action movie "Abduction."

  • 'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    If the shoe fits

    Ashley Greene as Alice convinces Bella to try on some possible wedding shoes in "Breaking Dawn Part 1."

  • 'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    Awaiting the bride

    Ashley Greene, Jackson Rathbone, Elizabeth Reaser and Peter Facinelli await the "Breaking Dawn" wedding.

  • Image:

    'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    Wedding night at last

    Reportedly the wedding-night scene involves Edward biting through the pillows, with feathers flying. The sex scene itself, however, had to stay PG-13.

    Summit Entertainment / Summit Entertainment
  • Image:

    'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    Hot honeymoon

    Edward and Bella's honeymoon was shot in Brazil, which stands in for Edward's adoptive mother's own private island.

    Summit Entertainment / Summit Entertainment
  • Image:

    'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    Baby on the way

    Bella and Edward didn't believe she could become pregnant with a half-vampire baby. Boy, were they wrong. Their daughter Renesmee enters the world in "Breaking Dawn Part 1," but the battle over her existence will mostly take place in the second film, due out in 2012.

  • Image:

    'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    I'm getting married in the morning

    Ashley Greene (Alice Cullen) and Nikki Reed (Rosalie Hale) help Bella get ready to walk down the aisle in "Breaking Dawn."

    Summit Entertainment / Summit Entertainment
  • Image:

    'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    Greeting the guests

    Elizabeth Reaser, as Edward's adoptive mother, Esme, greets Denali coven guests Irina (Maggie Grace), Kate (Casey LaBow) and Tanya (MyAnna Buring) as they arrive for Edward and Bella's wedding in "Breaking Dawn."

    Summit Entertainment / Summit Entertainment
  • Image:

    'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    Vegetarian vamps

    Mia Maestro and Christian Camargo play Carmen and Eleazar, vegetarian vampires from Alaska's Denali coven who come south to attend Bella and Edward's wedding.

    Summit Entertainment / Summit Entertainment
  • Image:

    'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    Not going to RSVP, then?

    Jacob (Taylor Lautner) is furious when he receives the invitation to Bella and Edward's wedding.

    Summit Entertainment / Summit Entertainment
  • Image: Premiere Of Summit Entertainment's "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" - Arrivals

    'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    Facing up to a star

    A fan gets up close and personal with an image of "Twilight" star Robert Pattinson during the 2010 Los Angeles Film Festival at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on June 24, 2010, in Los Angeles.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: Premiere Of Summit Entertainment's "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" - Arrivals

    'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    The terrific threesome

    Taylor Lautner, Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson arrive at the premiere of the third movie in the series, "Eclipse," during the 2010 Los Angeles Film Festival at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on June 24, 2010, in Los Angeles.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image:

    'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    A childhood pal grows up -- and fills out

    While vampire Edward Cullen is Bella's true love, Taylor Lautner, as Jacob Black, who can phase into a giant wolf, is the true monster star of the third film, thanks in no small part to Lautner's abs and tendency to take his shirt off often.

    Summit Entertainment / Summit Entertainment
  • Image:

    'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    Another vampire couple

    Alice Cullen (Ashley Greene) and Jasper Hale (Jackson Rathbone) are two of the vampires who are part of the Cullen coven. In "Eclipse," Jasper tells how he became a vampire, when, as a Confederate major in the Civil War, he was bitten by the bewitching Maria.

    Summit Entertainment / Summit Entertainment
  • Image:

    'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    Shirts? We don't need no stinkin' shirts!

    The "Twilight" wolfpack is allergic to chest coverings.

    Summit Entertainment / Summit Entertainment
  • Image:

    'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    Murdered by her fiance

    Rosalie Hale (Nikki Reed), shown here with partner Emmett Cullen (Kellan Lutz), is another of the Cullen coven with a tortured past. Her fiance was a drunk who orchestrated her gang rape and then left her for dead. As a vampire, she sought revenge and killed her rapists one by one.

    Summit Entertainment / Summit Entertainment
  • Image:

    'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    You only hurt the one you love

    Emily Young (Tinsel Korey) is permanently scarred from a wolf attack by her boyfriend, Sam Uley (Chaske Spencer). He lost control and didn't mean to hurt her, and forever feels guilty for her injuries.

    Summit Entertainment. / Summit Entertainment.
  • Image:

    'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    A force to be reckoned with

    Vampire Riley (played by Xavier Samuel, center) leads a group of newly undead planning to kill Bella and anyone who gets in their way -- including the Cullens and the werewolves.

  • Image: THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE

    'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    Bella in the middle

    In "Eclipse," Bella once again finds herself forced to choose between two men she loves dearly -- vampire Edward and her childhood pal, Jacob, who has secrets of his own.

    Summit Entertainment / Summit Entertainment
  • 'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    The Cullen clan

    Is it an ad for denim? No, just a meeting of the Cullen clan, vampires who have bonded together as a family and managed to hide in plain sight of the mortal world. Shown in a scene from "Eclipse," from left, are Ashley Greene as Alice, Nikki Reed as Rosalie, Elizabeth Reaser as Esme, Jackson Rathbone as Jasper and Peter Facinelli as family patriarch Carlisle.

    Summit Entertainment / Summit Entertainment
  • Image: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

    'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    Just friends?

    Jacob grabs a rare moment alone with Bella in "Eclipse," the third film in the saga. There's one more book, "Breaking Dawn," which will be split into two films.

    Summit Entertainment / Summit Entertainment
  • Image: Scene from holiday movie "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" undated publicity photograph

    'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    Cute couple

    In the second film, "New Moon," Bella and Edward are inseparable until a major threat rips them apart.

    Summit Entertainment / Summit Entertainment
  • 'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    Frail Bella

    In "New Moon," the sequel to "Twilight," Bella starts off deliriously happy and in love with the vampire Edward Cullen, but falls apart and becomes a shell of herself after he leaves her. When she realizes that she hears Edward's voice and sees visions of him whenever her life is in danger, Bella engages in high-risk activities as a way to hang on to her memories of him.

  • 'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    Three's company

    Edward watches on as Bella chats with her friend Jacob Black in "New Moon." Jake, who harbors a not-so-secret crush on Bella, brings her back to life after she is crushed from the breakup with Edward.

    Summit Entertainment / Summit Entertainment
  • 'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    A crushing blow

    After Edward breaks up with her, Bella lies in the forest in shock overnight until her police chief dad, Charlie (played by Billy Burke), scours the woods for her with his squad. When they find her, she is unresponsive and remains in a deep depression for months.

  • 'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    Boy no more

    In "New Moon," Jake transforms from a lanky teen to a beefy hunk, thanks to his new werewolf status. To prepare for the physical change the role required, Taylor Lautner started hitting the gym and eating 3,200 calories a day to gain muscle so that his physique would better resemble Jacob's.

    Summit Entertainment / Summit Entertainment
  • 'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    If you love them, let them go

    Though it nearly kills him, Edward breaks up with his beloved Bella in "New Moon" in an attempt to keep her safe from the constant dangers of the vampire world.

    Summit Entertainment / Summit Entertainment
  • 'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    Give me death

    When Edward hears that Bella has died, he goes to Italy to see the Volturi, a powerful coven of vampires that governs the laws of their world. He asks that the Volturi will grant him his wish: to destroy him, as he has no desire to live in a world without Bella. Here, the Volturi tracker Demetri stands over him.

    Summit Entertainment / Summit Entertainment
  • Image: Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner Meet Young Fans

    'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    Team Edward!

    A female fan kisses a poster showing the face of actor Robert Pattinson before the presentation of his new film, "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" at an HVB youth event at the Olympic Hall in Munich, Germany, on Nov. 14.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • 'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    Playing heroine

    When Bella discovers that Edward plans to have the Volturi destroy him after coming to believe that she has died, she races to Italy to save him.

    Summit Entertainment / Summit Entertainment
  • 'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    Finding love in the 'Twilight'

    Though Edward finds Bella's scent intoxicating and dangerously irresistable, he can't help but be drawn to her in "Twilight."

    Summit Entertainment / Summit Entertainment
  • 'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    Hunk with a hidden life

    English actor Pattison moved from modeling to the role of Cedric Diggory in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" before taking on the role that would make him famous, that of hunky vampire Edward Cullen in "The Twilight Saga."

    Summit Entertainment, EPA / Summit Entertainment, EPA
  • Actors arrive for the 'RocknRolla' film premiere in Los Angeles, California.

    'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    Muscling up but staying sweet

    Kellan Lutz plays Emmett Cullen in the "Twilight" movies. He's considered Edward's brother in the film and books, but in reality, the young vampires aren't related -- they were brought together by an older vampire and present themselves as a family to the outer world. Lutz bulked up for the films, but insists it hasn't interfered with his addiction to gummy bears, gummy worms, chocolate and other sweet treats.

    EPA / EPA
  • 'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    Leading the vampire clan

    Peter Facinelli (husband of "90210's" Jennie Garth) and Elizabeth Reaser play the Cullen parents, Carlisle and Esme, in the "Twilight" movies. Carlisle, a doctor, managed to gather his small band together as a family and convince them to kill only animals to slake their bloodlust. They occasionally clash with other vamps who aren't quite as compassionate where humans are concerned.

    Summit Entertainment, Getty Images / Summit Entertainment, Getty Images
  • 'Watchmen' film premiere in Los Angeles, California.

    'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    So my daughter's in love with a vampire ...

    Billy Burke plays Bella's father, Charlie, and serves as the chief of police in their small rainy town of Forks, Wash. The Cullen vampire clan resides in the damp town because it's low on the bright sunshine that would reveal their non-human identities. Vampires in the "Twilight" universe sparkle brightly in direct sunlight.

    EPA / EPA
  • 'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    Hanging with the wolf pack

    Bella's pal Jacob (far right) has a secret of his own, and it involves a wolfy transformation often associated with the full moon. His dad, Billy Black (Gil Birmingham, in wheelchair) is good friends with Bella's father, Charlie (Burke, in blue shirt). When Bella's relationship with Edward puts her father in danger, Billy and his community protect Charlie.

    Summit Entertainment / Summit Entertainment
  • 'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    Bella, Bella

    Beautiful Bella Swan leaves her mother in sunny Arizona and moves to the Pacific Northwest, where she stumbles upon Edward Cullen and his vampire clan. Instead of being horrified, she confesses her love for Edward, and wants him to change her into a vampire as well, something he tries to resist doing.

    Summit Entertainment, Getty Images / Summit Entertainment, Getty Images
  • Premiere Of Summit Entertainment's "Twilight" - Arrivals

    'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    This sister's trouble

    Nikki Reed plays Cullen sister Rosalie, a gorgeous vampire who resents her status and takes some of her anger out on Bella. She doesn't want her brother's human girlfriend to join her clan, leading to trouble in the second book of the series, "New Moon."

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • 'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    Look out for Laurent

    Edi Gathegi, seen here with Peter Facinelli in a scene from "Twilight," plays Laurent, a vampire from a group of nomad vampires that does battle with the Cullen clan.

    Summit Entertainment, Getty Images / Summit Entertainment, Getty Images
  • Premiere Of Summit Entertainment's "Twilight" - Arrivals

    'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    It's tough to be a bloodsucker

    Jackson Rathbone plays Cullen brother Jasper. The newest vampire in their clan, he must constantly struggle to fight off his urges to kill humans, Bella included. His fascinating backstory includes a history as a Confederate soldier in the Civil War and years spent training newborn vamps to learn to control themselves. He has the power to feel and manipulate the emotions of others.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • 'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    On the prowl

    Vampire James, played by Cam Gigandet, is considered a "tracker," and once he discovers Bella's human scent, plans to pursue her until her death. In "Twilight," he convinces her that her mother is in danger and thus forces her to sneak away from Edward and meet him in the Arizona ballet studio where she studied as a child.

    Summit Entertainment, Getty Images / Summit Entertainment, Getty Images
  • 'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    The hunt continues

    Fiery-haired Victoria makes up the third and final member of Laurent and James' coven. Her mate dominates the action in the first book, "Twilight," but by the third book, "Eclipse," Victoria takes center stage to try and wreak bloody revenge on Bella and the Cullens. Rachelle Lafevre, center, plays Victoria in the first two films, but when she needed time off for a movie, she was fired and replaced by actor Ron Howard's daughter, Bryce Dallas Howard, right.

    AP / AP
  • 'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    Team Jacob or Team Edward?

    While Jacob Black is a Native American in the books and the films, actor Taylor Lautner himself is not. He was nearly replaced for the second film when moviemakers thought he couldn't convincingly pull off the bulk required for the role, but an impressive workout routine changed that.

    Summit Entertainment, Getty Images / Summit Entertainment, Getty Images
  • 40th NAACP Image Awards - Red Carpet

    'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    Life with the vampire royals

    Young actress Dakota Fanning plays Jane in the "Twilight" sequel "New Moon." Jane is a member of the Volturi guard, working with the royal family of vampires who reside in Italy. Jane has an especially cruel power that allows her to create the illusion of pain and thus torture others.

    Getty Images for NAACP / Getty Images for NAACP
  • 'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    of

    Waiting for 'Twilight'

    "Twilight" fans are among some of the most devoted around, with numerous Web sites, fan clubs and conventions gathering groupies to discuss and debate both the books and the films. Here fans reach for free T-shirts at the Los Angeles premiere of the first movie, in November 2008. Stores such as Hot Topic offer plenty of "Twilight" merchandise, including "TEAM EDWARD" and "TEAM JACOB" shirts, allowing fans to declare their allegiance to one of Bella's suitors.

    AP / AP

In fact, it's hard to see anyone still wearing those tees.

On the other hand, it wasn't uncommon to hear not just kids but twentysomethings, thirtysomethings — and older — of both sexes wax on about the "Potter" books and movies.

Publisher Hachette Book Group estimated that 1.3 million "Breaking Dawn" books were sold in the first 24 hours of its release in August 2008, a franchise record.

But even that lofty figure can't compete with the 8.3 million copies of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" that were moved on its first day of release back in July 2007.

Then there are the "Twilight" stars themselves.

There's no question that those same fans will be lining up to see "Breaking Dawn Part 1."

But there's also little question their heat outside the narrow fan base has cooled.

An attempt to launch Lautner as an action hero in September's "Abduction" hasn't exactly taken the global box office by storm, with the $35 million movie grossing $76.4 million worldwide. It is probably a break-even proposition at best, once global prints and advertising costs are factored in.

Pattinson's April drama "Water for Elephants" grossed just over $117 million on a budget of $38 million and was a modest success. But the Fox movie featured two Oscar winners, Reese Witherspoon and Christoph Waltz, as Pattinson's co-stars.

His earlier non-"Twilight" projects included youth drama "Remember Me" — also a modest performer, grossing $56 million on $16 million — and the lightly regarded "Little Ashes," in which he played Salvador Dali.

Stewart's between-"Twilight" projects — indie films "The Runaways" and "Welcome to the Rileys" — also failed to draw any real buzz or box-office bucks.

And it was cute, sorta, at first, when Pattinson and Stewart tried to be coy about whether or not their on-camera affair had gone off-screen. But as it became more and more obvious that it had, and they still refused to confirm it, it, and they, became kind of annoying.

  • Slideshow Photos

    November movies

    Bella and Edward wed in "Breaking Dawn, Part 1"; penguins dance in "Happy Feet Two"; and Adam Sandler plays himself and his twin sister in "Jack and Jill."

  • November movies

    of

    'A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas'

    John Cho and Kal Penn return as the two goofy friends in the third "Harold and Kumar" film. In "A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas," Harold is married and the pals are estranged. When Kumar burns down Harold's father-in-law's Christmas tree, the two set off on more adventures, with Neil Patrick Harris showing up once again. (Nov. 4)

    Warner Bros. / Warner Bros.
  • November movies

    of

    'Tower Heist'

    Can "Tower Heist" be the star-studded success that "Ocean's Eleven" was? Eddie Murphy, Ben Stiller, Matthew Broderick, Michael Pena and Casey Affleck are among the big names teaming up to find out. Ripped off in a Ponzi scheme, the group sets off to steal back their money from the man (Alan Alda) who ran the scheme (Nov. 4)

    Universal Pictures / Universal Pictures
  • November movies

    of

    'Immortals'

    Greek mythology is always ripe for a new movie. "Immortals" stars Henry Cavill, Freida Pinto, and Mickey Rourke in a 3-D adventure about a war between the ancient gods. (Opens Nov. 11)

    Universal Pictures / Universal Pictures
  • November movies

    of

    'Jack and Jill'

    Adam Sandler plays both title characters in "Jack and Jill," portraying both a male ad executive and his needy twin sister. When they get together for Thanksgiving, his life is turned upside down. Katie Holmes plays Sandler's wife. (Nov. 11)

    Columbia Pictures / Columbia Pictures
  • November movies

    of

    'The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1'

    "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1" begins to tackle the final book in the vampire romance series. Bella and Edward finally marry, but her unexpected pregnancy with their half-vampire, half-human daughter threatens her life. (Nov. 18)

    Summit Entertainment / Summit Entertainment
  • November movies

    of

    'Happy Feet Two'

    The goofy penguins return in "Happy Feet Two." In this 3-D adventure, Mumble's son Erik, who doesn't like dancing, meets a puffin who thinks he is a penguin who can fly. We're sure it makes more sense in 3-D. (Nov. 18)

    Warner Bros. / Warner Bros.
  • November movies

    of

    'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy'

    "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" is an adaptation of the bestselling John le Carre novel. Gary Oldman plays le Carre's legendary spy George Smiley, with Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Ciaran Hinds and John Hurt backing him up. The film already led the British box office for three consecutive weeks. (Nov. 18)

    Focus Features / Focus Features
  • November movies

    of

    'Carnage'

    How can a children's fight turn into such a huge ordeal? Roman Polanski directs "Carnage," in which two sets of parents find out. Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly and Christoph Waltz star as the parents, and Paris stars as Brooklyn due to Polanski's inability to travel legally to the U.S. (Nov. 18)

    Sony Pictures Classics / Sony Pictures Classics
  • November movies

    of

    'Hugo'

    Martin Scorsese directs "Hugo," a 3-D adventure about an orphan boy (Asa Butterfield) living hidden in a Paris train station. His adventures begin when he meets eccentric Isabelle (Chloe Grace Moretz) and a broken automaton. (Nov. 25)

    Paramount Pictures / Paramount Pictures
  • November movies

    of

    'The Muppets'

    Jim Henson's beloved furry friends return in "The Muppets," in which Kermit, Fozzie and the gang must save the Muppet Theater from an oilman who wants to tear it down and drill. Their human friends, Jason Segel and Amy Adams, help them on the way, as does a new Muppet named Walter. (Nov. 25)

    Disney Enterprises / Disney Enterprises
  • November movies

    of

    'The Descendants'

    George Clooney, a landowner in Hawaii, tries to reconnect with his daughters after his wife falls into a coma in "The Descendants." While she's unable to communicate, he learns a devastating secret about their marriage. (Nov. 18)

    Fox Searchlight Pictures / Fox Searchlight Pictures
  • November movies

    of

    'Arthur Christmas'

    James McAvoy provides the voice for "Arthur Christmas," the son of Santa and Mrs. Claus, in this 3-D animated adventure. When a present is missed, Arthur must leap into action and take an old sled to make the delivery before Christmas morning. (Nov. 25)

    Sony Pictures Animation / Sony Pictures Animation

Ditto the romantic saga of the Taylors — Lautner and Swift — which was irksome pretty much from the beginning.

But even if "Breaking Dawn Part 1" lives up to Summit Entertainment's earning projections ($611 million, according to a studio report issued earlier this year, down from the $698.5 million grossed by "Twilight: Eclipse"), what about that last movie, which is still a year away?

After the Edward/Bella wedding and Bella's pregnancy, the level of drama in the storyline takes a nosedive (even by overwrought teen novel standards).

If you've read the books and know how the whole thing turns out, well, you know the rest of the lackluster plot may have viewers wishing they had an "Abduction" DVD handy.

TOP