Never mind what the clock says -- it's "Twilight" time. And now that the sequel "New Moon" has landed at local theaters, it's the Twilighters' time to howl.
From Summerlin to Green Valley, from Primm to North Las Vegas, thousands of "Twilight" diehards thronged multiplexes late Thursday for the second chapter in Stephenie Meyer's best-selling series.
Many midnight shows sold out weeks ago, helping "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" rocket past "Star Wars: Episode Three -- Revenge of the Sith" to rack up the biggest advance sale in box office history.
More than 3,500 "New Moon" fans thronged Rave Motion Pictures' Town Square 18 Thursday for Friday's midnight and 12:30 a.m. performances.
But Ana Franco, 26, and Jordan Ballard, 22, led the pack, arriving at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Thursday, respectively.
"Part of it's bragging rights," Ballard said of her early arrival.
"A big part," added Franco, who bought her "New Moon" tickets online "about four months ago" -- as soon as they went on sale.
Farther back in line, two sibling duos -- 26-year-old Brianna Johnson and her 16-year-old sister, Trissa Combs, 30-year-old Amee Ivie and Ivie's brother Abraham Ivie, 20 -- sat on folding canvas chairs, wrapped in blankets, waiting for theater officials to let audiences inside. (Which they did, about 8:45 p.m.)
Standing guard over their quartet: a life-sized cardboard cutout of actor Robert Pattinson as "Twilight" heartthrob vampire, Edward Cullen.
Midnight-show audiences are "a lot more energetic," Johnson said, citing the presence of moviegoers "who like the same thing you do."
The downside: the challenge of having to stay awake the next day.
Combs has school today -- and will be in class.
"That was the deal I made with my parents," she admitted. (She also admitted to taking a nap Thursday afternoon.)
Franco took both Thursday and Friday off from work, saying she was "too excited" to work -- or sleep.
Waiting "Twilight" fans mugged for TV news crews -- and their own cell phone cameras. They showed off T-shirts, blankets and tote bags proclaiming their devotion to "Team Edward" or "Team Jacob" -- representing the two tormented rivals, one vampire and one werewolf, vying for all-too-human heroine Bella Swan.
The "Twilight" saga's angst-ridden characters might be young, but their appeal spans generations and genders, attracting parents and children, husbands and wives -- and romantics of all ages.
"My kids think I'm ridiculous -- they're in their 20s," admitted 53-year-old Sharon Pointer, attending a "New Moon" promotional screening Wednesday night at Town Square.
And Raeleen Martinez, 35, screamed in delight when she won a last-minute ticket to the preview. "I've got it bad," she said of her "Twilight" fever, rating her eagerness "on a scale of one to 10, about a 30."
While many moviegoers sported "Twilight"-inspired T-shirts, cast members of the online "Hillywood Show" -- led by the Hindi sisters, 19-year-old Hillary and 23-year-old Hannah -- came dressed to thrill as "New Moon" characters. (They already had the costumes, having parodied "Twilight" on their Internet site.)
"A lot of Twilighters are going to be very happy," Hannah said after seeing "New Moon" Wednesday night at Town Square. She and fellow "Hillywood" cast members are: They're already in production on a "New Moon" spoof.
Contact reporter Carol Cling at email@example.com or 702-383-0272.