Dec 4 2012 12:00pm

The Complex Mathematical Formula Behind Twilight’s Success

Lucy Knisley

Lucy Knisley cracks the complex mathematical formula behind Twilight’s success - in comic form!

Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Part 2 (of ∞) continues to rampage as the number one movie in America, and while the success of the movies and books comes as no surprise, no one has addressed the most important question surrounding that success: Why?

Luckily, Lucy Knisley (illustrator and author of the forthcoming First Second graphic novel Relish: My Life in the Kitchen, and the webcomic Stop Paying Attention) recently cracked the complex mathematical formula behind the franchise’s mammoth success. She undertook months of painstaking research to achieve this hard-won goal, but she's feeling much better now.

Check it out in comic form below and walk away enlightened.


Larry B
1. Larry B
Still don't get it.
Larry B
2. John John
Twilight has been so popular because it has broad appeal. It appeals to girls and women of all ages. Young girls were able to read Twilight and fantasize about meeting a boy just like Edward, while older women could read it and be reminded of teenage romances they had years ago. Add in the fact that it is written in a manner easily read, you have a book that can be absorbed in no time. I think Twilight is a crock of shit, but I've certainly talked to enough fans out there to get an idea as to what the appeal is for them.
Cain Latrani
3. CainS.Latrani
...and while the success of the movies and books comes as no surprise...

I'm still surprised. Nothing explains it a way I can understand.

How is this popular, much less successful?
Larry B
4. Kelli
I'm in my 40s. I read Twilight after it got popular & thought, "Yeah, it's okay." Then I talked to a 15-yr-old girl who LOVED it, and I got it. Hearing about all the things she loved about it really helped me connect with the part of me that would have enjoyed it (but probably not gone ape over it) as a teenage girl. I've since read the other three books and enjoyed them.

There are a lot of things I could point to that are part of the books' appeal, but I'll just mention one I wouldn't have come up with on my own. I asked above teenage girl if it made sense to her that Bella, who was not attractive in her old school, is suddenly so appealing to all the guys in Forks. She said, Yes. Forks is a tiny town and those kids would have been in school together since kindergarten. Suddenly a new girl shows up and she's a teenager. Nobody knew her as a dorky second grader. So now ALL the guys are interested in her ... that's how it works.

The books are full of things like that that I just skipped over when I read the first book. But to a lot of girls, they're really meaningful.

The one thing that puzzles me is the books are very slow-moving. I would have thought beefing up the suspense would have boosted their appeal, but they don't seem to need that.
Larry B
7. rfresa
Having been a fantasy fan since childhood, I read the Harry Potter and Twilight books and enjoyed them, but didn't get why people went so crazy over them. To me they aren't any more exciting than the Wizard of Earthsea or Wrinkle in Time books I read as a kid.
Larry B
8. Jana Giacomi
I love her creative mathimatical equason! Very funny and made me smile. Twilight was a huge factor in my then 11 almost 12 year old daughter to have a common ground interest. She introduced me to it and we have had many Twilight Adventures over the last 5 years. It has been amazing the bond that we have. Her High School friends are envious and constantly tell her what a cool Mom she has. We have done Press Conferences. Conventions, Premieres and many a midnight shows together.
We continue to follow Twilight as well as many other Young Adult fictions. These interest are a huge factor in our open and loving relationship that many 16 year old girls and their Moms do not have. Thank you Twilight Saga!

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