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No sex please, we're vampires

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A new take on teenage love
  • "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" is breaking records at the box office
  • Film contains plenty of sexual tension but no sex scenes
  • Twilight Saga concentrates on matters of the heart and spirit says director Chris Weitz

(CNN) -- "New Moon," the latest film in "The Twilight Saga" is doing record business at the box office.

In its opening weekend the film grossed $140.7 million -- more than any other film with an autumn release in history.

The tales of teenage vampire love based on the best-selling books by Stephanie Meyer have wooed film-goers without having to resort to acres of flesh being on display.

This distinct lack of on-screen sex runs contrary to the popular trend of portraying teenagers on screen as playing fast and loose with their virginity and affections.

Love and the importance of relationships most definitely rule in "The Twilight Saga" and the formula is proving popular with audiences.

Elizabeth Morowitz, Communications Professor at the University of Missouri and author of "Bitten By Twilight" thinks that this more sensitive approach is the key to the film's success.

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"A lot of people ask 'what's so appealing about the Twilight and why is it popular now?' and we think it's because of the relationships and the messages about love in Twilight. In a more conservative environment we've had this push for abstinence education, so we now have a media message that's more congruent with that. So perhaps some teens relate to it in that way," Morowitz told CNN's Katie Walmsley.

The director of "New Moon" Chris Weitz says that sexual abstinence is central to the film's appeal.

"It's not that they can't have sex, they choose not to and I think there's so much popular culture that's saying to young people: 'you'll be cool if you have sex' or 'it's important to be sexy' whereas this series really concentrates on matters of the heart and spirit and I think that's lovely," Weitz told CNN.

A dashing male lead, in the shape of Robert Pattison doesn't hurt either when you're trying to attract a female teenage audience.

But whatever the exact recipe for its undoubted success it looks like teenagers in the "Twilight" world don't like to bite off more than they can chew.