The upcoming release of the first installment of Breaking Dawn has spread to my corner of South America. It's not just the posters and the promotional merchandise. The kids in my high school ESL classes are actively planning to get their latest Edward & Bella fix.
Whether they will get to do it in a theater is a different kind of story. Ecuador is not known for its strict copyright laws and knock-off DVD stores are a major part of the film industry here, such as it is. Cuenca, a city of approximately 500,000 people, boasts more than 150 illegal DVD shops. They operate as regular stores, closing up only when the government decides to get serious about their image. A few days later they reopen and life moves on.
As a result, most of the Ecuadorian Twilight fans will be taking in the movie on the small screen. At least the first time. Based on their ability to quote lines from the movies, Twilight films get watched over and over and over. The first purchase may be a ripped off DVD of a US film premier of Breaking Dawn, but a later viewing will likely happen in theaters, boosting Twilight's global box office numbers. In the end, a fan is a fan, and we all buy too much Twilight stuff to be respectable.
The life-size Edward's in my local film store, for example, had to be bought from somewhere. Twilight banners, promoting New Moon, Eclipse and the original are everywhere. The original Twilight is not aging so well, I'll confess. The sleeker, upgraded vampires are a better bet. And here in Ecuador, the countdown to getting to see them take the screen for Breaking Dawn is officially down to the final days!