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Why Rotten Tomatoes’ Top Critics? Why Box-Office Reports? Why Anti-Robert Pattinson Bias?

Robert Pattinson Cosmopolis movie Eric PackerAnti-Robert Pattinson bias?

[See previous article: "David Cronenberg / Robert Pattinson Cosmopolis Box Office: 90 percent Per-Theater-Average Tumble."] The “anti-Robert Pattinson bias” accusation is so ridiculously absurd that I’m not going to take the trouble to explain why that isn’t so. Instead, I’ll merely suggest that The Accusers click on our various Robert Pattinson links (check out the tags and our "related posts" suggestions at the bottom of this article) to read what we’ve written about him. As for those accusing us of having a pro-Kristen Stewart bias, let me remind you that we’re not five-year-olds playing Twi-favorites.

And make sure to check out this Kristen Stewart / Welcome to the Rileys box-office piece. (It’s too bad I can’t find the post featuring a comment by an irate Kristen Stewart fan accusing Alt Film Guide of having a “hard-on” for Robert Pattinson because the editor chose a Pattinson / Edward Cullen image to illustrate Eclipse’s box office success.) [See also: Robert Pattinson Cosmopolis Oscar chances / awards-season buzz: how likely?]

Now, some of those same people (and a few others) raised issues we at Alt Film Guide feel should be addressed in more detail. Here they are:

Cosmopolis was never intended to make money and Alt Film Guide shouldn’t be discussing its box office grosses

Wrong on both counts. Barring some sort of bizarre tax-deduction deal, Cosmopolis was certainly meant to at least earn back its cost. Else, David Cronenberg would in all likelihood have found it very difficult to raise $20m to make this film. The casting of Robert Pattinson (as a replacement for Colin Farrell) was no coincidence, either. Stars help to sell a film to prospective investors.

And of course it’s our right to discuss whatever aspect of filmmaking we wish. That includes box office grosses.

Every movie was down this past weekend, so Cosmopolis had to be down, too!

Wrong. Although it was indeed a dismal weekend at the domestic box office — the worst this year so far — that’s not because of some "Fourth-Weekend-in-August Curse" found in the Mayan Calendar or because of a carefully planned filmgoers’ insurrection.

This past weekend, there were no major new releases (The Apparition, Premium Rush, and Hit and Run were anything but), relatively few people cared about Sylvester Stallone / Liam Hemsworth’s blow’em up fest The Expendables 2, while Tony Gilroy / Jeremy Renner’s costly The Bourne Legacy has been performing below expectations. That happens.

On the other hand, Dinesh D’Souza and John Sullivan’s right-wing documentary 2016 Obama’s America performed quite well, and so did several movies in limited release, including two newcomers: Ron Fricke’s Samsara ($76,222 at two screens) and Mike Birbiglia’s Sleepwalk with Me ($65,000 at one theater).

An even more appropriate comparison to Cosmopolis would be Jake Schreier / Frank Langella’s Robot & Frank, which also expanded this weekend. Probably as a result of solid reviews (86 percent approval rating and a 7.1/10 average among Rotten Tomatoes’ top critics), the Robot & Frank expansion was much more successful than that of Cosmopolis (46 percent approval rating): a 2,200 percent increase in number of theaters and a 719 percent increase in box office grosses.

Your site shouldn’t use only Rotten Tomatoes’ top critics’ percentages / averages

Well, if you would rather use Rotten Tomatoes’ overall percentages / averages for your own site or moviegoing decisions, that’s your call.

It’s our editorial policy to use only the Top Critics’ figures because whether or not we personally like / agree with them, Rotten Tomatoes’ "top critics" are usually those from more influential North American (and UK) print / online publications.

Chances are only MooMoo’s mother and favorite aunt will head to MooMoo’s MoovieMoovie Blog before they decide which moovie they want to watch. Most other English-speakers who a) can read b) check out film critics’ reviews will likely visit, say, The Guardian or the New York Times or the Los Angeles Times or Salon or Slate.

Those reviewers may have little to no influence on something like The Expendables 2 or Transformers: Dark of the Moon or Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 or The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2. Yet, they — but not MooMoo — are crucial for the initial (and perhaps long-term) success of "small" movies, including Cosmopolis.

I hope this matter has been clarified.

Robert Pattinson Cosmopolis movie: Alfama Films

Continue Reading: ON THE ROAD Movie Reedited: Toronto 2012

Previous Post: Robert Pattinson COSMOPOLIS Movie: Down 90% Per-Theater Average


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41 Comments to Anti-Robert Pattinson Bias?

  1. xnamora

    Mr. Pattinson is a very nice fellow. Having met him a few times I can attest to this. He is also a very talented fellow. Please don’t hold a genre against him.

  2. Jel

    @Jessica

    Have come across your other posts and you seem to hate the movie and Pattinson, yet you also seem to be just as invested as his die-hard fans on getting your voice heard, albeit on a subject you claim not to like. Odd I think, but can understand your fascination.

  3. MA

    Cosmopolis is showing in a few theaters in SoCal, but when I asked my CA friends (I live in MA) if they’ve seen the movie, all of them said they haven’t even heard of it. When I said it’s an art-house film, all of them commented that they probably only know or are interested in mainstream ones.

    Then there’s this — Delillo is a challenging read. Cronenberg makes uncomproming films. So regardless who is cast, Cosmopolis is a difficult sell.

    What Pattinson did by being cast in the movie is reach a wider audience made aware of the works of both Delillo and Cronenberg. And that really isn’t a bad thing.

  4. Jessica

    The scary thing about Cosmopolis’ box office, is the fact that it’s doing less than stellar despite the Pattinson fans going to see it over and over and over. They mention this all over the net:”I’m going again tomorrow”, “I’m going for my 4th time tonight”, “I hope my husband will go with me again”. Some even bought tickets for the opening weekend, even though they were far away and couldn’t attend. Just to help the box office!

    Of course this also means the producers were right by going for the box office draw that is Pattinson. It’s doubtful that other actors’ fans would have displayed the same “dedication” to the movie’s box office. LOL!

  5. Anna

    AFG isn’t biased against Robert Pattinson, never was. The article is just stating facts. But the uproar is a good example for the real problem: Robert Pattinson has a group of very active, overly invested followers who create a HUGE amount of buzz on the internet and show up for all his events, all his carpets, defend him against anything, leverage him over everyone. But they create an UN-reality. It’s not millions of Twilight fans who support Robert Pattinson 24/7, see all his movies, it is just a group of a few thousands. They create overinflated expectations, which later come back and bite Pattinson in the ass. Remember Me, Bel Ami, always the same story, fans creating expectations. His fans voted day and night for a whole week for Cosmopolis to beat TDNR at the MTV movie brawl. This are the same fans who know come and attack when someone just comments on box office facts. When do this fans realize that they are a liability.

  6. didi

    I’m late to the party and I don’t get what’s really going on here. Is AFG accused of being anti Rob?
    I discovered this site in 2010 during promo for Remember me and it was one of the few sites who defended the movie and Robert Pattinson. Since then I’ve never noticed an anti bias against Rob. AFG even loved his performance in Bel ami.
    I don’t know about Cosmopolis, where is your review of it? Missed it.
    Cosmopolis doesn’t do that well in BO numbers. The reason? Several I guess: lack of good promo in Europe, release date in june with European Football cup, exams of students. Limited releases so that fans have to travel (some by plane!!) to see it.
    But I think the most important reason is that it’s an unaccessible movie, not comparable with other indie movies like De rouille et d’os, On the Road, Moonrise Kingdom, Lawless. They’re much more watchable, likable.
    Cosmopolis is a difficult watch just as the novel which is a difficult read. Cronenberg said it’s a movie you haven’t seen before and he’s right.
    I’m disappointed in the movieviewing audiences. They don’t like this kind of movie, they don’t like to be challenged, to see something they don’t get immediately, something they need to think about.
    Maybe Cronenberg has put the barr too high this time, maybe he has overestimated the audience.
    In my idea Cosmopolis is a masterpiece and I would find it sad that it wouldn’t get more recognition. The themes are so actual, in Europe and elsewhere.
    Many fans of Rob have read the book, they know the work of Cronenberg and they knew this film wasn’t gonna make big numbers. But I had hoped it would do better so that more movies like that would find funding in the future.
    It isn’t Rob’s fault: he got raving reviews for his part from like 80% of the critics and right so as his perfomance is brilliant. Believe me, after having read the book 4 times, I know Eric Packer a bit: such a fascinating character and so few want to meet him :)

  7. gabi

    there is hardly any actor who can guaratee a movie sucsess, look at Colin Ferell, George Clooney , Brad Pitt and so many more, who exactly brings in the big bucks. Pattinson is a big draw . Even a Gosling didn’t draw a big audiance in his Movies, so whats your point

  8. Teresa

    There is a serious issue that needs to be addressed - Robert Pattinsen’s future earnings are in danger.

    Because of poor reviews such as the ones found on this site, directors will eventually realise that a piece of 4 by 2 with an expression drawn in marker pen is just as effective and Rob will start losing roles to his most cost effective counterpart.

    That’s why it’s imperative that we spam comments to his critics with how amazing he is and how his hair makes him the best actor in Hollywood, and why we need to make false positive reviews on sites such as Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

    Act now and save Rob’s career while you can!

  9. Veronica

    You Twi-tards crack me up! Delusional.

  10. editor

    @Geri

    Again, that’s not true. See Zac Gille’s mention of “2016 Obama’s America” and “Robot & Frank.” The reason the domestic box office was down this past weekend was that people, for whatever reason, didn’t care about the movies at their local theater/cineplex — or perhaps they simply hadn’t heard of them.

    Note that we use not only Rotten Tomatoes’ “approval” (fresh/rotten) percentage, but also the critics’ averages (xy/10), which are a better indication of how a movie fared. Your comment re: Metacritic is appreciated, and we’ve actually been considering using them as our “critics’ consensus” source.

  11. Geri

    @editor
    Sorry, but, for whatever reason, it was a pretty awful box office weekend and was acknowledged as such by other major publications. The only films that showed anything significant were limited releases showing in one and two theaters. As I said, the original article was OK, this response, which is a bit unprofessional and childish, is the issue. By the way, I will restate that you and others have given a bye (a pass) to stars/films in wide releases this weekend that should have, based on the genre playing directly into their fanbase and/or decent promo, performed significantly better. As an aside, RT is a pretty simplistic source for you to utilize in your analysis especially with its ‘movies for dummies’ fresh and rotten generalizations. Use Metacritic or MRQE which are less hit or miss when including existing major critical reviews and have a much more statistically valid means of assigning an overall score/rating.

  12. gabi

    I think that Robert Pattinson is here to stay, his performance in Cosmopolis was brilliant and only a strong actor could pull off such a character. His showdown with Paul was raw and exitig. No backing down…good Job Mr. Pattinson

  13. guru

    to Jackie! Its quiet sad to see that one particular Joke was made the most important aspect of you obsevation. you are not aware it was put into brackets and has no meaning , only a personal preference. It has NOTHING to do with Rob’s character. I like his Hair, so what. You like Bieber, Fassbender or Clooney maybe Shia or Tantum for something what attracts you, but if there is a strong personality behind the looks , that is what makes it stick. But that is personal for the individual, right. To be a fan means that this person was able to get your attention through performance, just like I love Senna or Dali( by the way I loved his moustache) whoopdido

  14. editor

    @Geri

    Actually, you’re wrong. This past weekend was NOT “horrible all the way around,” as clearly explained in Zac Gille’s article.

    Now, of course “website hits” are crucial to our site. They’re crucial to ANY site. Are you kidding?
    Ask anyone, from the most modest bloggers to the biggest world-class sites. They ALL want visits. We’re no different and we don’t pretend to be.
    Does that mean this article was written/edited so as to create “controversy” and get hits? Please. If we wanted that sort of stuff, we’d have gone the way of vicious gossip sites that are *infinitely* more popular than we are.
    We publish articles that interest us and that we hope will interest our readers. That’s it.

  15. Geri

    @editor.
    When I used the word ‘bye’ I meant a pass. Basically stating it is OK for some to have what would be deemed poor box office while others are scrutinized or overly scrutinized. This past weekend was horrible all the way around. Why is the criticism and scrutiny so narrowly focused? Based on what I am seeing here, I think I get it now, website hits are all that is valid for this site. It is too bad, because the original article’s was OK but its validity was diminished by this so-called ‘response’ article and the author’s lack of professionalism at some points.

  16. Jackie

    The comments here are hilarious, particularly the one about Robert Pattinson has the best hair in Hollywood! Of course, that should be a large factor in discussing his talents (or lack thereof) in film.

    How many cinematic failures will it take for these deluded people to realise that their idol is simply talentless? It must be so nice to have such low expectations when you go to the movies.

  17. Keley

    @L I disagree that Kristen Stewart is more respected that Rob Pattinson. While yes she has more experience, she isn’t a phenomenal actress. She definitely isn’t getting the respect and critical praise Jennifer Lawrence or Emma Stone are getting. Her reviews for Snow White were really bad and she received mixed reviews for On The Road. I would think both her and Rob are on the same level in terms of talent.

  18. lexi

    This movie was not well received by many. There were reports that viewers actually walked out during the show so it’s no wonder the BO is very poor.

  19. Ira

    And after checking imdb today, several of Robs fans are discussing this article. Just thought you would want a heads up because I would assume your traffic and comments section may explode. Often some of the posters there waffle between Rob is the exception to the rule and he will always be better than everyone else (when things go favorably for him) to Rob isn’t a miracle worker and he just wants to do good films with good people regardless of the outcome (when things don’t work out to their fantasy/expectations). Btw, the “good films with good people” has been the Kristen S fan mantra and Robs fans dismissed it. A prime example of how the Rob fans think is bel ami. His fans were certain this was a film that would take over the indie world, go wide and get lots of critical recognition because everyone adores Rob and he is the ONLY actor from twilight with a future career, even though it was a small film with relatively new directors. When that didn’t happen, they blamed the directors, the distributors, the critics who “had it out for Rob”, everyone was at fault but Rob. Remember Me was another example, the BO predictions from his fans was out of control and oddly enough, the domestic BO for RM was similar to adventureland but Robs fans consider adventureland a failure, while RM made bck it’s budget in the US. Actually both films made back their budget.

  20. Gina

    Thank you, excellent article. This part was spot on…

    ‘Chances are only MooMoo’s mother and favorite aunt will head to MooMoo’s MoovieMoovie Blog before they decide which moovie they want to watch. Most other English-speakers who a) can read b) check out film critics’ reviews will likely visit, say, The Guardian or the New York Times or the Los Angeles Times or Salon or Slate.’

  21. guru

    by the way, I had to travel 2 hours to a Theatre to see Cosmopolis and thanks good I felt very entertained and glued to the screen, not only because of Pattinson who played deLillos character to perfection but also, because it felt like I’m watching a Play where every scene build up to the finale with Benno

  22. Andre

    @Avi

    Thank you.

  23. editor

    @Geri

    I can’t understand how anyone would see the “Cosmopolis” piece as a “bye” to “a certain star.” Nowhere in his article does Zac Gille imply that we should say “bye” to Robert Pattinson. If that’s what you came up with, that’s not our fault.

    Also, Zac Gille is not an octopus. He has two hands. He chose three movies for this weekend’s box-office report. “Cosmopolis” was one of them. Why? It’s both a movie “of interest” and a popular subject. Else, he might have picked, say, “Ek Tha Tiger” or “Teddy Bear.”

  24. guru

    really , what exactly are you trying to defend here. Its not that important what you think, to me at least. I read your stuff and shake my head for a second and know that I’ll let nobody dictate me , what I should like or not. I read most of the critics view because its entertaining. One thing that sticks out , there isn’t another actor who’s scrutinized and analyzed than Robert Pattinson. No other actor is ever personally attacked , from his smile to twitching of his mouth in a certain scene, from his Hair( may I add he has the most amazing hair in whole hollywood), to the way he walks. When a Tatum gets away with a spaced out , whats going on here, look , Pattinson is being ridiculed . Journalists are bias but it doesn’t matter. Mr. Pattinson has a special aura around him , the sweet personality of a true good man. I think he is a great intense actor who shows emotions and understands Movies. So, whatever , you guys write to get paid , Pattinson acts so he gets paid. Cronenberg and Herzog are talented established Directors and I trust them more than some small-town so called film-critic

  25. Geri

    Actually, forget those. What analysis has been performed on this week’s wide releases that have failed to impress? Other than a line here and there, I haven’t seen it. JGL, Bradley Cooper get a bye? Or, does an abnormally slow box office weekend only serve as a bye for certain stars?

  26. Avi

    @Andre Thank you for replying but I was genuinely curious, not finding fault, In fact, bias is a synonym for preference, and doesn’t necessarily imply distortion at all. I only used the particular term because it was in your title. I assumed you cover TDK and other films because they are blockbusters that did well at the boxoffice, but hadn’t seen as much about, say, Christian Bale or Stallone in general, so was interested if it were because Pattinson and Stewart are particular favorites, or if you were responding to the interests of those visiting your site. From your response, it is both, and apparently dependent on the contributor. I, too, am a Deneuve and Sarandon fan, so have no quibbles with any predilections.

  27. Raven

    Off topic slightly - could I just ask why your photo of Robert Pattinson at the top of this article is reversed? So many websites and magazines do this, and even film trailers and I’ve never seen a satisfactory explanation. Is it a question of copyright?

  28. Ira

    The problem with the whole Rob/Kristen debate is that for the past few years some Rob fans have mocked Kristen S for her indie BO. I remember reading at his imdb board as recently as this past year how Kristens indies were failures, regardless of their critical success. Many Rob fans had high hopes for BA amd cosmopolis, that they would surpass Kristens indie BO and critical appeal. Unfortunately, they didnt and this is why Rob fans are now scrambling with the excuses like “hard subject matter” and “true indies dont make money”. These fans who were so critical of Kristen and her films are now having to eat their words. Hopefully they have learned their lesson.

  29. Raven

    Robert Pattinson has been in 11 wide or limited release feature films (not counting his TV roles or short films), starring in all but 1 of them (unusual for such a short career). At least 7 of them have made a profit (results for the remaining 4 are unknown or incomplete). 5 of the 7 (The Twilight films and Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire) have made mega-profits, and the other 2 (Remember Me and Water for Elephants) have made close to 4 x their production budgets, a very respectable measure of profit. He has received favourable critical reviews for 6 of his films (winning Best Actor at the Strasbourg Film Festival for How to Be and rave reviews for Cosmopolis).

    His 12th film (the last Twilight film) shortly to be released will no doubt make mega-profits.

    He has now been cast in leading roles in a further 3 films, all independent, with high quality directors, and Cronenberg wants to work with him again. Who knows if these will be profitable but this isn’t a bad track record compared to some at 26 years old wouldn’t you say?

    For the record, I am a mature, adult, objective and interested film fan who has no time for over-invested gossip nonsense.

  30. Geri

    Was there this type of coverage of the performances of recent independant releases by Channing Tatum (Late last year) or J.Hutcherson (released in the midst of THG hysteria)?

  31. lauralynn

    I have never gone by what the critics say. Ever since the critics panned STAR WARS back in the 70′s-80′s I’ve never trusted another movie critic again and I’ve always been right. Most wouldn’t know a good movie if it smacked them in the face.

  32. Andre

    @Avi

    If you look at my own articles on, say, Norma Talmadge or Tyrone Power or Susan Sarandon or Catherine Deneuve or Jeanne Crain or, gasp, Kristen Stewart or Robert Pattinson … you’ll see that I have my personal preferences. We all do. That’s not bias. Facts aren’t distorted. Instead, I (and other contributors) provide opinions, whether we’re discussing an actor or a film. When *facts* are involved, we describe them as they are to the best of our abilities. That’s the case with this particular article and the two previous ones on the box-office performance of David Cronenberg / Robert Pattinson’s “Cosmopolis.”

    Now, I find it curious that for a couple of weeks in late July/early August we had daily articles — sometimes more than one — on “The Dark Knight Rises.” NO ONE ever remarked on that. No one wondered if we were “purposefully catering to Batman fans.” Same thing with “The Avengers” and “Avatar.” Lots of articles — for obvious reasons — but not a single instance of someone wondering whether we were catering to those movies’ fans. It’s very interesting.

    And of course, we have published and will continue to publish articles on topics that will bring in more visitors. That’s logical from a business sense — especially considering that we have only a handful of contributors — and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

    We don’t pretend to like something just to pander to a certain crowd. We don’t pretend to dislike something just to create controversy. We like what we like (and sometimes we don’t agree with one another). We dislike what we dislike (once again, our dislikes aren’t necessarily the same ones either). And we report facts as facts.

  33. Avi

    Title to the contrary, I’m curious why the blog appears to have a pro-Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart bias. It seems to have more coverage of these two actors on a regular basis than any almost any others, and as the choice of films/actors is highly selective, I’m wondering if the blog is purposefully catering to Twilight fans, or is one of the contributors a particular fan of the Saga?

  34. Betty b

     Bel Ami and Cosmopolis  are both (R) rated not (PG -13) “True Art House Films” which are in “limited release.” Your BO numbers are factual. Many of his fans travel great distances to reach many of the “selective” theaters. Economically for most this is not a viable option.  But the (R) films are giving RP a chance to build a”mainstream” audience.  Cosmopolis is a very provocative cerebral non- conventional film. Therefore Cosmopolis becoming a breakout box office hit was and is highly unlikely.  RT rating 64% for Cosmopolis which includes “all” the critics is modest but note-worthy for RP and DC. There are movies with much lower % that were still nominated for awards.

    As to the reference and definition of bomb after bomb “meh”.. Every actor has them…  RP’s impressive BO stats currently still runs circles around some of the best of them in Hollywood. He’s only 26 yrs old and has chosen the path less traveled by most his age in the movie industry. God-Speed Robert Pattinson.  Btw Cosmopolis is awesome.

  35. Freya

    The Cosmopolis producers might have cast Robert as a box office draw, but for Cronenberg it was just an opportunity to eventually make the movie. I can’t believe DC hoped for a box office success even for a second. Have you seen the movie - it’s raw absurdism, not a movie actually, but a cinematograhic experiment.

  36. Annie

    Robert got bad reviews for his acting, but that’s not new he always does. His films hardly ever make money except for Twilight, and that’s not because of him, but rather because of the built in fan base.

  37. editor

    @L

    Actually, Robert Pattinson earned mostly quite positive reviews for his performance in “Cosmopolis.” We checked reviews at the time of the Cannes Film Festival (from various countries), US, France, and Canada.

    Here are a few samples:

    http://www.altfg.com/blog/movie/cosmopolis-reviews-robert-pattinson-aces-the-role/
    http://www.altfg.com/blog/movie/cosmopolis-review-robert-pattinson/
    http://www.altfg.com/blog/movie/cosmopolis-reviews-robert-pattinson/

  38. L

    The twi-hards are insane but unfortunately have become a virulent presence on the web. Better to just ignore them. I read several film blogs, and it’s fairly obvious that many of the fans go on and post the same thing over and over again on different websites…it’s even word for word, in some cases. The film performed poorly, and anyone with common sense can see that…even with all the supposed public sympathy he has garnered…What I am interested in is how this may affect his career. Bomb after bomb after bomb, with little critical success. How is he still getting cast in films with directors like Michod or Herzog? He’s not bringing in the box office money and he really isn’t considering by most of the critics to be a very good actor. Hell, even Kristen Stewart tends to get more respect from the critics (not withstanding Snow White).

  39. George Dean

    May I suggest, if you are going to use top critics and ratings from any major site, you use Metacritic? It provides a much more valid rating based on the numerical scores the top critics provide rather than a straight positive/negative slant which can be misleading. The top critics list at Metacritic is also often more comprehensive than that used by RT which for some reason seems to omit some critics reviews without rhyme or reason. I am not saying anything occurred with regard to the film being discussed, but, perhaps RT’s fairly recent acquisition by, I believe, Warner Bros, should cause a fair and unbiased site who wishes to report responsibly, to more thoroughly examine the shallow data provided by RT.

  40. editor

    No font was wasted, I can assure you. We’re very careful about protecting the environment.

    As for “defensive hostile” — man (or woman), you need a serious reality check. And a good mirror.

  41. Mark

    Wow. Get over yourself what a defensive hostile waste of font.







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