Hard to believe, but there was a time before "The Twilight Saga." Five long years ago, Stephenie Meyer's books were best-sellers, but most people didn't know about her sparkly romantic vampires. "Kellan Lutz" and "Jackson Rathbone" were not household names. And Kristen Stewart was still best known for playing Jodie Foster's asthmatic little girl in "Panic Room."
All that changed five years ago this week, on November 21, 2008, with the debut of "Twilight." The vampire romance made instant A-listers out of Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner. It went on to earn about $400 million worldwide and spawn four similarly huge sequels (total worldwide gross: $3.3 billion). It put independent studio Summit on the map (where it was eventually gobbled up by Lionsgate) and launched a vogue that continues to this day for fantasy movies that appeal to teenage girls (notably, the "Hunger Games" franchise).
With its large supporting cast of vampires, »
- Gary Susman
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