Twilight Fans Start Mini Riot in San Francisco

Last week, I received a phone call from my local Summit Entertainment publicity rep, informing me that the stars of Twilight were going on the road for an autograph tour to publicize the release of the film adaptation next week. I posted about the appearances here. Before I got off the phone I warned my local rep, “You understand this is going to get out of control right?”

You see, Twilight star Robert Pattinson was going to appear at a small Hot Topic store in the Stonestown Galleria, a mall just miles south of downtown San Francisco (but still technically in the city limits). I explained to my nice local publicist about my experience at Comic Con, dealing with the hordes of Twilight fangirls and the ::shudder:: Twilight moms ::shudder::. She told me that they expected 300-500 people to show up, and I was shocked. That can’t be. It must be more, right?

I have seen the Twilight phenomenon first hand. My first posting about the movie spawned over 1,500 comments in under 24 hours, causing major damage to our web servers. But some have speculated that the Twilight fanbase is not as big as you might think. It’s the whole “mob mentality” rule of the internet, where a large vocal group can have an expansive presence, and in affect, seem much larger than they actually are. Take Snakes on a Plane for instance. The reasoning is that the Twilight books have sold far far far less than the Harry Potter novels. But the early advance ticket numbers are much bigger than expected.

And that appearance tonight in San Francisco? It’s been canceled. Over 3,000 Twilight fans, mostly teenage girls, showed up at the Stonestown Galleria early this morning. That is more than 10 times the amount of people that police officials were expecting. Apparently a few of the teenage fans were trampled, and one girl reportedly broke her nose. The event was cancelled for safety reasons. Some fans had traveled with their families from Los Angeles, Hawaii and Arizona. Watch a video report from the mall on TMZ.

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