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Twilight’s last gleaming: A final fix for fans

It didn’t seem to have the makings of a worldwide phenomenon. A Mormon stay-at-home mother of three wrote a book about vampires in her spare time, which was eventually picked out of a slush pile and made its way to Little, Brown and Company for publication.

Four books and four movies later, with a fifth film about to be released, the “Twilight” series has earned a significant place in pop culture history. The books became best-sellers, turning legions of young girls (and some boys) into fanatical fans called Twi-Hards. The movies have turned a cast of relatively unknown actors into stars and household names. The series has spawned numerous fan sites, fan fiction, and fan conventions, as well as parody movies and Internet memes.

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And now it’s all coming to an end. The final movie, “Breaking Dawn — Part 2,” hits theaters Friday. The new film begins where the previous one left off, with teenager Bella finally being turned into a vampire after the gruesome birth of her child with her supernatural love, Edward.

There’s excitement mixed with sadness over the saga reaching its inevitable conclusion onscreen, because it appears that there’s still at least one surprise left. According to series author Stephenie Meyer, and stars Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner, “Breaking Dawn — Part 2” will have a twist — an ending that differs from the book.

Judging by advance sales, fans are eager to see just how the epic concludes. Tickets went on sale as early as Oct. 1 and raked in $1.17 million on that day alone.

See the graphic for everything you’d ever want to know about Twilight.

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