The five "Twilight" films, based on novels by Stephenie Meyer about a human girl entangled in a love triangle with a vampire and a werewolf, grossed more than $3 billion at the worldwide box office and set studios on the hunt for the next young adult franchise to capture the audience.
What they found was significantly darker in nature, exploring themes far beyond a teenage love story and wizardry.
Last year's Lions Gate film "The Hunger Games," the first film based on author Suzanne Collins' trilogy, features a post-apocalypse society in which a totalitarian government holds an annual "Hunger Games," a televised survival game where 24 children must fight to the death until only one remains.
The film, which made $691 million worldwide last year, will be followed by sequel "Catching Fire" in November, which puts Katniss back in the perilous game as society starts to find hope in opposing the regime.
That theme resonates with teens who feel powerless, who feel like adults but are still stuck in a restricted environment, said author Veronica Roth.
"To have a character who is claiming their identity in a world spinning wildly out of control and to use their means to overcome that world, I think that's a really powerful thing for a teenager to read about," Roth said.
Roth is the author of "Divergent," the first of three novels, which takes dystopia further in a society divided into five factions which define how a person lives their life.