In 2005, the romantic fantasy novel "Twilight" was quietly released to positive reviews. Inspired by a dream author Stephenie Meyer had had two years before, it wasn't long before a loyal band of followers assembled. The concluding novel of the main series of stories was released in early August of 2008, but it was three months later that the franchise would reach a whole new level of exposure. It was then that the first major motion picture adaptation opened in theaters.

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Like the novel previously, the movie received solid reviews. Decidedly different from the source material was the immediate attention the film received. Unlike the indie-type movie it was thought to be, the film grossed more than 10 times its budget.

It's a unique take on a classic genre

Among the series' twist was a new take on vampire-focused love stories. As Screen Rant indicates, it's easy for the uninitiated to become confused about elements when taken out of context. Rather than the vampires being killed by the sun, their skin has a strange reaction to it (hence the jokes about sparkling). The Native American tribe members that shape-shift into wolves have extremely high body temperatures. This is the real reason why the men tend to go shirtless when they can. But, really, the imprinting stuff is too complicated to get into right now.

The series has also been a bit of a champion for traditional family values, and, in another move away from stereotypical vampire lore, the characters do not flee from religious symbols.

In fact, the central family of vampires is deeply religious, with a Christian cross prominently displayed in their home.

It became a trend-setter

"Twilight" was the launching point for major adaptations of the young adult genre. This might seem trivial, but YA would emerge as one of the most important aspects of early 21st Century cinema. Without it, other juggernaut franchises like "The Hunger Games" would have never reached the heights that they did. Other pieces of vampire fiction like "The Vampire Diaries" likely wouldn't have gained recognition.

Many also might not realize that "The Twilight Saga" was the basis for the "Fifty Shades of Grey" franchise. The polarizing series may never have come to pass had it not been for Meyer's dream.

The franchise remains a money-maker

Stephenie Meyer's stories still rake in the big bucks. This is perhaps most obvious in the real-life city that served as the primary setting for the novels and movies -- Forks, Washington. As The Oregonian has documented, "Twilight"-driven tourism is still a massive revenue source for the city. The movies have also become a mainstay on cable channels such as FX, Freeform, and MTV.

Perhaps most importantly, the books are still drawing in new readers. The deep passion for the stories hasn't gone away and is likely here to stay.