Fandom Wars: Are Harry Potter Fans Better Than Twilight Fans?
Be adults and watch a bunch of teenagers beat each other up.
If you haven’t read it before, I strongly urge you to clicky clicky right here in order to read the Fandom Wars disclaimer. I gave it its own page so it’s easy to skip in the future if you’ve previously read it. The one disclaimer I will always put up for these articles is this: this is just for fun. There’s no objective way to tell which fanbase is better, nor would I ever think about seriously saying one group is superior.
Have you ever spent way too many hours on forums arguing about movies that you really like? Do you create a rivalry with people who like something that you don’t? Have you ever picked a side even though there was no reason to actually pick a side? Same. Welcome to the first ever edition of Fandom Wars, a series that will pit two rival fanbases against each other and try to discover who the best fandom is. What we need is more fuel to the fire, let’s watch everything burn.
J.K. Rowling has been in the news off and on for the last few months and there was a new Twilight book released this year, so I figured it’s a good time to pit the fans of these franchises against each other in a fight to the death. I am only including the movies, not the books. Like I always will, I use IMDB, Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes as the main sources. I will break this up into pages and show the graphs from each page, then say what I take from it, eventually forming a narrative. Don’t worry, I’m going to try to make it as exciting as I can–and in some cases silly–because I know data is dry.
So without further adieu: in the blue corner we have the fans of Harry Potter, who are all wizards and uh… well I’ve never actually seen Harry Potter. In the pink corner we have the fans of Twilight, who are extremely glittery and like vampire baseball. I’ve actually seen Twilight and New Moon, so you can judge me as you see fit.
Page 1 – Vote Or Die
The Harry Potter fans vastly outnumber the Twilight fans. Something happened on Rotten Tomatoes with Goblet of Fire because the amount of votes drastically shot up… it also made my precious graph look weird. There’s a bit of an unfair comparison as well, which I will constantly come back to, where the Harry Potter franchise has two spin-offs (depending on what story you want to tell, this could be important) and Twilight doesn’t. Even when you adjust for the average amount of votes per movie Harry Potter still comes out on top.
More votes does not guarantee victory because Twilight fans could be the counterculture, the underdog, the Rocky Balboa. I can’t believe I used my beloved Rocky to make a point there. But the question is, are they those things (no, not Rocky)?
No. The Twilight fans voted less as time went on, even though Breaking Dawn Part 2 did a little bit of business in that regard. Harry Potter suffered some from the same ailment but it’s not as bad and they basically cancel out any progress Twilight may have made. You have to get out there and vote, kids! Show support for the thing you love! Don’t abandon ship unless it’s the Titanic (topical, I know).
Page 2 – Hate It Or Love It, The Underdog’s On Top?
That song in the headline was great. Anyway, now we’re onto the average and median ratings for each franchise. Average ratings don’t always tell the full story so sometimes the median is good to include as well, but in this case there’s not that much difference. Am I smart yet?
Harry Potter fans consistently rate the movies of higher quality, which shocks nobody, including Twilight fans I imagine. Like total votes, this does not guarantee a win for Harry Potter. Remember, this is an examination of the fanbases, not the movies themselves. You could have crappy movies that nobody sees but if the fanbase is consistent–or awesome–they can overcome that. You could even make the argument that real fanbases either love or hate their respective franchises, with no room for pathetic middle ground; the middle is for people who lack passion! I’ll explore this more a little later but for now, give me high (or low) ratings or give me death!
The question is, do the Twilight fans overcome the burden of having average or bad movies? Unfortunately, no. Harry Potter got this one across the board too. The fans of Harry Potter rate their series higher, which as stated earlier is not necessarily a victory, but in this case it is because I have nothing else to give the Twilight fanbase.
The real problem is that the average rating for Twilight is fairly middling so it doesn’t count. I want blind faith or blind negativity if your movies are bad. With that said, Twilight could have rebounded here by going against the critics. Depending on how you look at it, critics are either like the fans or they are the worst evil ever committed to the industry and we hate them. Occasionally we will make both of those arguments, when it fits the story I’m trying to force. I mean tell.
For this page I have taken the approach that critics are Hitler. Why? Because the average rating for Twilight fans and critics is similar… there’s almost no difference. There’s a slight–but insubstantial–difference between critics and Harry Potter fans. So even though it’s a sad showing, Harry Potter fans do go against the critics a little bit. Fight the power.
Page 3 – WORSHIP THE DEVIL! \m/
Assuming you didn’t get either irritated or bored by this so far, you may recall that I mentioned how I don’t have time for mediocre scores. 5/10 and 6/10 doesn’t do it for me, not when it comes to fandom warfare. The barracks must be filled with soldiers who are willing to die for the cause, or burn down the barracks in some cases… not with people who are the equivalent of I Know What You Did Last Summer.
The first point I must make is that I rounded the numbers. The second point I must make is that this is the first time that the Twilight fandom comes to duke it out, although it’s unclear whether it’s with the Harry Potter fans or themselves.
If you take into consideration that they agree with the critics then they don’t have that war to fight. So they go inward, against one another. It’s hard to know if this is respectable or not but coming from someone with a low self-esteem I get it. Ultimately it comes down to the reasons why they choose to battle it out amongst themselves, and I can’t really know that. Is it because the movies are terrible? Is it because they want different things? What is it?
On the other hand, the Harry Potter fans put up a united front and they’re like ants. There’s so many of them and the Earth Defense Force isn’t there to save the day. The problem is that the movies are legitimately good so it’s simple to only vote highly. This hurts their case because it makes it easier and less embarrassing to be a fan.
So if you’re operating under the assumption that we should work in the extremes–only factor in ratings that are 1, 2, 9 and 10–then Twilight is just more interesting and showcases a true fandom better. Statistically, it’s usually the extremes that do all the damage. However, the real clincher is when you look at the graph title “Percentage of Votes That Are 10, 9, 2 and 1 for Twilight.” What does it look like to you? That’s right: it’s the devil horns. The Twilight fans are trying to conjure Satan himself to do battle, which could go all sorts of ways with none of them being good.
Frankly, the blandness and willingness to conform that the Harry Potter fans show on this page is boring. I know that the Twilight fans also have more 5 and 6 ratings, which almost made me discount them this round, but there’s a significant part of me that appreciates that chaos that they are sowing. I can’t get past them and their devil worshipping. The Twilight fans are trying to bring the flames, quite literally it seems.
Page 4 – C.R.E.A.M.
I talked about average ratings earlier so that’s a null point, so I have to focus on box office. Harry Potter makes more money but also has more fans; they also voted with their wallets by not supporting spin-offs that aren’t up to the same standard as the original series. If you chose not to include the spin-offs because Twilight doesn’t have any then it could be a different story. I’ve included the spin-offs, however. On the other hand, Twilight fans spent a bunch of money during a recession. That should be some kind of statement because what’s more loyal than spending money you don’t have? I do it all the time.
I honestly don’t know, this one is a toss-up for me. They can both be losers. Or winners, depending on your perspective.
Page 5 – Rage Against The Machine
Now we move onto Rotten Tomatoes. None of this is terribly interesting as a whole because it tells a similar story to before. I would just repeat the same talking points and I’m long-winded enough as it is.
In order to find anything meaningful you have to stay on the path as Twilight fans being the anti-establishment heroes. Twilight fans still have that rebel attitude of screw the critics, and if you consider fans and critics as separate entities then this accounts for something.
The only act of defiance that the Harry Potter fans really have here is their opinion on Goblet of Fire, just because they don’t like it as much as critics. It’s minor and it’s more like a child sneaking out of his bedroom at night, only to tell his parents that he did it the next day. Go big or go home, think for yourself and question authority, and all that jazz. It counts but it’s miniscule.
Page 6 – This Is The End
It’s important to note that the tomatometer does not represent a film score/rating. It is merely the percentage of critics that give a passing grade. The audience score is very similar; it’s the amount of people who rate the movie 3.5 (out of 5) or higher.
Half of the Harry Potter fans still recommend seeing Crimes of Grindelwald, so they hung on even if they accepted that it’s not very good–whereas the critics jumped ship. That’s respectable. However, Twilight fans always recommend seeing their movies, despite the fact that a majority of the time the critics do not give them a passing grade. Again, do I put emphasis on the Twilight fanbase sticking it to the man?
The Twilight franchise has shorter movies so it’s less of a time commitment. Because of this they probably have more time for underage drinking. Or playing with Barbies, or whatever it is that little girls do. I’m kidding, I know adults who also love Twilight and if they are reading this, they are very cool. There are fewer movies to invest in and they don’t stay as long as Harry Potter.
Both franchises have their highest highs in the shorter half of the spectrum, along with their lowest low. Harry Potter fans seem more invested regardless of length because while there is a large drop for both of them, Twilight never really recovers. Harry Potter, even at its longest, has a totally respectable average rating of 7.92 out of 10.
This is tough. Twilight always goes against the critics and possessing that level of loyalty should be worth a lot. Harry Potter fans did show a little bit of rebellion when it came to Crimes of Grindelwald but for the most part they are in bed with the enemy. On the flipside, they also seem more likely to watch longer movies and enjoy them. They can handle marriage with Harry Potter, whereas the Twilight fandom likes summer flings.
If critics aren’t the antagonist of this story I would give it to Harry Potter. Whatever perspective you choose to take regarding the relationship between fans and critics determines the winner of this round. If critics are just fans, Harry Potter steamrolls Twilight. If the reverse is true, Twilight steamrolls Harry Potter in terms of audience score vs tomatometer, but doesn’t necessarily win the duration wars.
I have to give it to Harry Potter. Twilight has some slight advantages but they’re insignificant. Harry Potter fandom just wins more this round because even where Twilight “wins” it’s arguable. I’m aware by picking Harry Potter I’m going against a narrative thread that has remained relatively consistent throughout this, but I’m an independent woman, and there’s just not enough here for Twilight to edge out Harry Potter.
So Who Wins?
I award winners at the end of each round, but that’s mostly to make things simplistic. What matters in the end is the full story that is told, not the individual
memories moments we made along the way.
You’ll never hear this anywhere else but the Twilight fandom represents the punk attitude. They persisted on doing their own thing even when their enemies disagreed with them. So to them I say, “up tha punx!”
But punk is dead*, get over it. Harry Potter fans remained consistent in their own right. Sure, it’s easier to like better movies but it still matters that they like them. And they showed enough attitude to make it that they aren’t people who just follow the crowd all the time. The youthful spirit of Twilight is commendable and should never die, but the Harry Potter fans and their reception to their beloved franchise best represents how you should be in the world. Like it or not, you have to compromise sometimes, and going against the grain isn’t always the correct path… even if you try to summon the devil (which is cool).
So in closing: the Harry Potter fanbase is the better fanbase.
I hope you enjoyed the first ever entry in the Fandom Wars. I enjoyed doing it and would like to see whatever story you can find to tell in here. As I state in the linked disclaimer, part of the exercise here is to satirize data analysis, so I hope I did that in an entertaining and thoughtful way. See you next time.
*It’s not really. I like punk a lot. While you’re reading this footnote, why not click here and see the definitive answer to the Team Jacob vs Team Edward debate?