‘Red Riding Hood’ — The Next ‘Twilight’?

Amanda Seyfried as Valerie in Red Riding Hood.
Source: Warner Brothers
Amanda Seyfried as Valerie in Red Riding Hood.

This weekend Warner Brothers will watch the box office receipts and the Twitterverse carefully — hoping to see signs that it's sitting on the next billion dollar teen movie franchise.

Today "Red Riding Hood"opens in over 3,000 theaters — the latest product from the director of "Twilight," Catherine Hardwicke. The company spent a reported $42 million on the film, which has all the same ingredients of a Twilight-style blockbuster.

Not only is the movie have a deeply familiar brand, but it's based on a bestseller. "Red Riding Hood" debuted at number one on the New York Times children's bestseller list in January. The film novelization serves as a prequel to the film, getting teen readers prepped for the film. An e-book version includes video interviews with Hardwicke, discussions about the set and props, and maps of the world where the movie is set.

While "Red Riding Hood" is against the backdrop of the fairy tale, this is no kids' story. This is a high-drama love triangle with plenty of action, romance, and jeopardy, just like the Twilight franchise.

And the studio has enlisted some celeb favorites of the teen set to tweet about the movie. Ad.ly, an agency which deploys marketing campaigns via celebrities on twitter, tells me that today it's making a big push for the film, with the likes of Lauren Conrad, Khloe Kardashian and Audrina Patridge tweeting about the film.

The reviews have been abysmal — it has just an 8 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 29/100 on Metacritic. But the film doesn't need to be a creative masterpiece to be a commercial success. 'The Twilight Saga: New Moon" scored just 27 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and it grossed $710 million worldwide.

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