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Robert Pattinson COSMOPOLIS Movie Box Office: Per-Theater Average Plummets

Robert Pattinson Cosmopolis wallpaperRobert Pattinson Cosmopolis movie: disappointing second weekend in the US

Directed by the iconoclastic David Cronenberg and starring Robert Pattinson, Cosmopolis had a solid opening in the United States last weekend. Cronenberg's bizarre white limo-set comedy-drama about a young Manhattan billionaire (Pattinson) anxious to get a haircut raked in a respectable $70,339 at only three locations, averaging a good $23,446 per site — the highest per-theater average on Box Office Mojo's weekend chart.

This weekend, however, the eOne Films-distributed Cosmopolis went steeply downhill. True, if studio estimates are accurate, the David Cronenberg / Robert Pattinson collaboration more than doubled its box office take, earning $153,000 — but at 20+ times more theaters, 63 in all. In other words, a 2,000 percent increase in venues resulted in a mere 117 percent increase in revenues. Thus, Cosmopolis' per-theater average plummeted to a paltry $2,429. What went wrong?

Cosmopolis expansion lacked major marketing push

Both David Cronenberg and Robert Pattinson were busy during the week prior to Cosmopolis' American debut. Director and star attended the film's premiere at New York City's Museum of Modern Art, and Pattinson gave his first couple of interviews since the Kristen Stewart / Rupert Sanders "cheating scandal" in late July, appearing on Jon Stewart's The Daily Show and Good Morning America. As part of the Cosmopolis marketing blitz, Pattinson and Cronenberg even rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange. [See full-size Robert Pattinson David Cronenberg NYSE photo.]

The Stewart / Sanders scandal — Pattinson reportedly was his Twilight Saga co-star's boyfriend — may have been detrimental to his personal life, but it undoubtedly increased awareness of Cosmopolis. After weeks keeping a low profile, Pattinson's return to the spotlight to hawk Cosmopolis was widely reported. All that surely helped the film's visibility. And more of that was needed this past week, prior to the expansion.

Without strong critical support — Cosmopolis has a mediocre 46 percent approval rating among Rotten Tomatoes' top critics — such an uncommercial movie needed all the marketing push it could get in a country where film exhibition is in the hands of the major Hollywood studios and multiplex conglomerates.

Just recently, the independently distributed 2016 Obama's America managed to increase both its number of theaters and its per-theater average by way of savvy targeted marketing. Thanks to right-wing talk radio and Fox News, Rocky Mountain Pictures succeeded in reaching the people interested in watching a political documentary that has been ridiculed by the American mainstream media. Although Robert Pattinson isn't running for president of the United States, eOne Films should have increased Cosmopolis' media presence.

(Pattinson was on The Jimmy Kimmel Show last week. What else? Media morons tried to make a big deal out of his joke about being "homeless," but that, somewhat surprisingly — considering the general media/media consumer idiocy level — hasn't become a major story.) [See also: Robert Pattinson Cosmopolis Oscar chances / awards-season buzz: how likely?]

Cosmopolis at the French box office

In France, a country with about 1/6th of the US population, Cosmopolis took in $2.27m. In the US, the Cronenberg / Pattinson movie will be lucky if it reaches $2m. In all likelihood, this weekend's meager per-theater average means further expansions will have to be either scrapped or dramatically reduced. The film's cume after ten days is an estimated $447,000.

Alfama Films / Prospero Pictures' chances of recovering their not inconsiderable $20m investment — of course, depending on pre-sale agreements — would lie on DVD and VOD sales both in the US and internationally.

Cosmopolis vs. other offbeat David Cronenberg movies

Below are comparisons to three other offbeat Cronenberg efforts of the last 16 years. (Hence, no A Dangerous Method, A History of Violence, or Eastern Promises.)

  • Spider, featuring Ralph Fiennes, cumed at $1.64 million in 2002 (approx. $2.2 million today).
  • Back in 1996, at a time when arthouse moviegoing was radically different than it is today, Crash, with James Spader and Holly Hunter, reached $2.03 million (approx. $3.5 million today).
  • Featuring Jude Law, eXistenZ cumed at $2.85 million (approx. $4.51 million today) in 1999.

Cosmopolis movie cast

In addition to Robert Pattinson as the billionaire Eric Packer, Cosmopolis features Juliette Binoche, Samantha Morton, Paul Giamatti, Mathieu Amalric, Sarah Gadon, Jay Baruchel, Kevin Durand, Emily Hampshire, and K'Naan. David Cronenberg himself wrote the screenplay based on Don DeLillo's novel.

Robert Pattinson Cosmopolis movie wallpaper courtesy of dreamysim1.

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26 Comments to Robert Pattinson COSMOPOLIS Movie Box Office: Per-Theater Average Plummets

  1. Kent

    @Jessica

    "Trying to be intelligent" can go either way, don't you think – is it the movie or is it…?

    To your claim that they cast Pattinson so the movie makes money – I'm sure they hoped, I'd give you that, but art-house, experimental movies are always risky business. Why do you think big studios stay away from these and why they're difficult to finance?
    Actually it is a known fact that another actor was initially slated to play the lead, but he backed out due to scheduling conflicts. So maybe, just maybe, it is fate…that this is meant to be Pattinson's vehicle for acting credo as many hope/believe.
    Regardless of the cast, Cronenberg movies have always been divisive so what makes you think this is any different?

  2. Jax

    @Jessica

    I can understand Pattinson die-hards expressing their support for their idol, but for someone who said she hated the movie and who obviously is not a big Pattinson fan, you sure are wasting ink and grey matter posting your "passions" on the subject. Maybe the movie did manage to ingrain itself on you somehow (as with a lot of other viewers) but you just hate to admit it. Sorry just sayin…

  3. Jessica

    @Mel

    There's intelligent and TRYING to be intelligent. I stand by that. I also have to laugh at your contention below (in an earlier post) that the movie's real success is that it was made in the first place. Are you kidding me? Trust me, the people behind the money are NOT looking at it that way. But this attitude doesn't surprise me. I've been reading all over the internet how the box office doesn't matter, because "Rob" got good reviews. Some have even stated that the movie has served its purpose to give 'Rob" cred as a serious actor, and that's all that matters. You guys seriously think the movie was made for the benefit of "Rob's" career? Again – LOL!

  4. Mel

    Jessica,
    Calm down, no need for all caps. Sounds to me you just insulted not only the movie and those that appreciated it, but one of the most notable American authors as well. It's unfortunate that movies that try something different, shockingly out-of-the-box are marked pretentious. So on behalf of the movie, please accept our sincerest apologies for dulling your senses to no end. We realize Einstein is in the house.

  5. Jessica

    LOL at the Robert Pattinson fans trying to rationalize the movie's failure. Tons of indie movies do very well. Tons of indie movies with LOTS of dialogue do very well. The problem is not that the movie is oh so intelligent. It's the fact that it's so PRETENTIOUS. The book tries so hard to be clever, and thus so does the movie. It's awfully boring, awfully pretentious, and awfully pseudo-intellectual. I've seen Wall Street protest posters with more insightful and clever commentary.

    And the movie was not supposed to make money? Gimme a break. That's why they picked Pattinson for the role, isn't it? For his starpower? Well it didn't work, Pattinson fans, live with it!

  6. nh

    One thing about Cosmopolis is that there is no other movie out there that is quite like it. It is somewhat shocking to the senses, especially if one is not familiar with Don Delillo's novel, from which the dialogue was lifted verbatim. Other non-mainstream indies are by far more accessible in comparison. Box office numbers depend on how easy it is for viewers to "get" a movie. Cosmopolis is difficult in many aspects, most definitely not for mass consumption. The movie has the 3 things most viewers cannot stand – a lot of dialogue, too quiet, slow pace. But for those who "get" it, it is a thing of beauty to behold. Bold, daring and uncompromising, yet honest. Refreshingly unique. I can actually hear myself think.

  7. DG

    This is not unexpected, but thanks for reporting it just as you did last weekend's "highest per-theater average". More L.A. press & talk shows would have helped the box office – but just like Stewart's best (indie) films, the box office is just not going to deliver. Might as well get it to VOD & DVD as quickly as possible. Looking forward to seeing it.

    But it may be a long dry spell upcoming for Mr. Pattinson – except for the hoopla surrounding the "Breaking Dawn 2" release. The BD2 film will pale in comparison to the off-screen Twi-drama of watching him & the fans react to the (possible) presence of Miss Stewart while doing press & red carpets. Afterwards, decent supporting roles in 2 films w/quality actors (Naomi Watts, Guy Pearce), but not sure if his "Mission: Blacklist" will get people in the theaters -(shaving his head might not be enough to convince the public that he's an Army interrogator) – watching old news clips & reading the book might be the public's better route to take on that one.

  8. gabi

    there is one Theatre in Toronto showing it. There were 10 people on a scorching hot day at the 4:20 show. I loved it because every scene looked like a building block for the final dialog with Benno. Its a Cronenberg after all. He doesn't make mainstream Movies. The film followed the book so closely. If you would read the book while watching you can almost turn the page if you missed a sentence or so , to find out what was said

  9. Hughie

    I'm very confus with the direction of your articles in regards to Cosmo. First the Werewolf comparison titled or mistitled bc you kept posting wrong link. Then theirs one. I'm not saying your own personal slant for Cosmo is in this but if feels like both share a biased opinion of the movie. Which is fine but passive aggressive. (I say this only bc you didn't dedicate a wknd BO last wknd or share the 47% crit comments neg/positive that accompanied the movie. Nor, did you mention this movie was. Ever meant to be 75-85% RT fav, bc DC movies hardly ever do that, their mainly devisive. So this one shares that 50% crit review on par. And who says RT is the bible. Just sayin!)

    Yes, I hear you only use top crit %s, and you didn't compare your no's for the month or wknd downslide totals either which are typically down but down overall the wknd as written by several BO posts. As for the marketing, Eone was always lame and they should habe been pumping commercials, radio and banner campaigns in those new mkts but relied only on Jimmy Kimmel interview. Which was for me a fail bc everyone was just hoping Pattinson made it out alive. The entire campaign for this movie was an uphill battle after 7/24 bc the focus was on his personal life not the movie. It probably received a small bump but had that not taken place we could have more focus on move not affair, the affair took up 75% of his on air time. So again, the mktg issue you speak of seems right on but there are several issues that make this a problem, least of which are a result of RT top critic reviews which I guess you think are the only reviews that bring audiences to the box office. That would be a proven NO.

  10. Deanna

    One reason the movie didn't pull in more money is because of the few and far between theaters where it is being shown. I had to drive four hours (one way) to see it because the only theater in Georgia was around Atlanta. The distributors pretty much ignored the southeast– having theaters available in north Georgia and southern Florida with nothing in between. Many of my friends wanted to see it, but couldn't make the trek.

  11. Scott

    Any way you slice it COSMOPOLIS has not performed well. It was hailed as the return to natural David Cronenberg after his foray into more serious matter such as A DANGEROUS METHOD, yet won't get anywhere near that film's final box office. The $447K figure includes Canadian box office receipts, which means COSMOPOLIS is likely to finish with less than $1 million in North America. If COSMOPOLIS had been made on a budget of $5 million or less it would have a chance at recouping costs but estimates put it at $19-20 million. Reviews have been mixed by top critics and word of mouth is abysmal as you can tell from the huge drop upon expansion. Robert Pattinson hasn't had a good year at the cinema. BEL AMI failed to do well but it's foreign cume was higher than COSMOPOLIS and it cost less. BEL AMI had the benefit of video on demand too. In terms of EOne, it can't have been a smart move to forgo TIFF and release COSMOPOLIS in the doldrums of summer. David Cronenberg is already feeling the fallout as his EASTERN PROMISES sequel has been cancelled. A quick look at Robert Pattinson's IMDB page shows that his next few parts are in the supporting category. He has not proven himself as leading man material and it is good that his career is adjusting accordingly. Lucky for him he has a blockbuster awaiting in the last TWILIGHT. On the other hand, it could be a long time before David Cronenberg gets back to movie making.

  12. Mel

    Not sure what you guys are seeing, it's 64% overall, 61% top critics (11 fresh, 7 rotten) and 47% audience. Maybe that's because I'm in the UK and our top critics don't count, which is ridiculous if true. I don't understand why you only use top critics, they have the same agendas as any other critic, more in some cases. What makes them a 'top critic', the publication that they write for? Why is their opinion more valid to you than, quite often. a better writer with a more detailed critique?

  13. Garth

    @Debra,
    It's not true that ALL movies were low this weekend. The movie called Sleep Walk With Me (IFC Films) made 65,000 from only one theater. It had the 3rd largest per screen average of any Independent film this year. Next the film called Samsara (Oscilloscope Laboratories) playing at only two theaters made $75K with a Per Screen Average of $37,500 which is higher than Cosmopolis made last week. This analysis article is fair and balanced. Yes the RT score is 46% by Top Critics which is what this site usually goes by.

    Mr. Pattinson's movie benefitted from the scandal publicity but it had poor word of mouth so it didn't do so well in week two. More publicity might help but only so much. If you check twitter many watched this film in almost empty theaters or with some walking out. It's not a bad movie just not appealing to a wide crowd. The other off beat David Cronenberg movies too didn't do so well over the years.

  14. zacG

    @Matt,

    It's your call if you'd rather use the "overall" Rotten Tomatoes score. At Alt Film Guide, we ONLY use RT's top critics' score — even then with reservations.

    TV spots are quite expensive. I'm assuming that's why they aren't doing them. Most indies don't get TV spots — but eOne Films could (I assume) have gotten Robert Pattinson on more TV shows. After all, "Cosmopolis" is a "small" movie with a BIG star.

    The problem if "Cosmopolis" underperforms — and that also depends on ancillary revenues and other box-office markets; the film still has a long route ahead — is that David Cronenberg might have a tougher time getting financing of that magnitude (approx. $20m) for his future personal projects. It's so much easier to get financing when your most recent movie was a hit.

    As for "all the films were down this weekend" … that isn't true. Several films performed quite well (within their distribution constraints), including the right-wing documentary "2016 Obama's America" (mentioned in this piece) and "Robot & Frank," which, like "Cosmopolis," expanded this weekend — but, probably as a result of solid reviews, was much more successful in its expansion (about 2,200% increase in theaters, 719% increase in revenues). Note: "Robot & Frank" has an 86% approval rating and a 7.1/10 average among Rotten Tomatoes' top critics.

  15. Matt

    The overall RT score is around 65 percent, and that's Fresh. The problem is that after the promo tour in NY and a couple of TV appearances, there is no advertising for Cosmopolis. They aren't running TV spots or doing any other kind of advertising that I'm aware of.

    It was also never meant to be a mainstream film, and even for an indie, it's out there. The real success is that it got the financing to even be made, and if the top critics disagree, at least the majority of critics liked it. And all the films were down this weekend, it wasn't a good weekend for movies.

  16. editor

    @Kathy,

    The Rotten Tomatoes percentage (46%) is correct. As stated in the article, that refers to RT's Top Critics. We ONLY use RT's Top Critics as reference, for obvious reasons.

  17. Anon

    The only reason it made any money was because of the scandal. Prior to that a lot of folks were walking out of showings. He should send a thank you card to Ms. Stewart. Because of the interest surrounding her this film was able to make any money.

  18. Kathy

    Your figure is wrong for Rotten Tomatoes. It has a 64% rating from the critics. The 47% is the viewers liking the film. I suppose mainly because Twilight fans went to see it and it was over their heads. This is an art house movie not a teen flic. Pattinson himself stated he really didn't understand the movie so why would the viewing public? Sometimes no matter how much we like a particular actor we have to go into the viewing of their films with an open mind and not a boy meets girl wins girl kind of mind. Life is never that simple and if it was it would be a bore.

  19. lorraine

    Cosmopolis is doing well considering it is a very non-mainstream film, a very difficult film to digest especially for american audiences that is so used to special effects/fantasy/super hero ridden films that allows only a fraction of your brain to function to appreciate a film.

    It has a 64% fresh rating in RT and it is one film that probably has one of the best reviews you can find out there where the critics probably took hours to pen their thoughts just to articulate their personal views either positive or negative on this very difficult yet stunningly intelligent film.

    I hope when you write an article about a film as diverse as Cosmopolis, try to be more objective and original in your thoughts on how this kind of film is performing. Have you ever thought that Cosmopolis is probably one of the most inaccessible film by Cronenberg yet when you truly get/digest the film it is but an amazing experience that is like experiencing an artistic nirvana.

    This film was from the onset not meant for a box office success but I would rather surmise that this is like a gift to us by the great Cronenberg for us to experience once again a film that is abundant in intelligent thoughts and will somewhat free us even for a very brief time form the senselessness that is prevailing in the movie industry today.

  20. editor

    @DGH167

    In the preceding segment (before the comparisons to other David Cronenberg movies), the author states:
    "In the US, the Cronenberg / Pattinson movie will be lucky if it reaches $2m."

    Only someone who didn't bother reading the article would think — and complain — that the author is comparing "Crash" and "eXistenZ's" box-office totals to "Cosmopolis'" second-weekend grosses.

  21. Guest

    I find it irritating when people assume that if you don't like Cosmopolis it's because you don't understand it. Sorry, but there are intelligent people in the U.S. and it could be that we just don't like the movie. It doesn't mean that we're stupid or that heaven forbid we don't like Pattinson. The movie is just not everyone's cup of tea.

  22. DGH167

    Why is this article citing other movie's total cums and comparing them to only second weekend numbers? Thats not apples to oranges at all. Kind of misleading peeps….

  23. Debra

    From what I'm seeing, the Box Office this weekend was low for all movies.

    The comments on Twitter and other locations show that the majority of those that went to see Cosmopolis liked it. It's a thinking person movie and unfortunately in the US that doesn't usually mean major Box Office results. I suspect it will continue to build an audience and will become a cult classic like so many of Cronenberg's films.

    As for the scandal, while that may have made some take notice I don't believe that had as much impact as some think. Many of Pattinson's and Cronenberg's fans had been waiting for this. I know many who traveled from around the country to NYC to see the movie.

  24. Stella

    Cosmopolis was a smart, savvy, compelling movie. Unfortunately, US theater crowds prefer to be numb and mindlessly entertained vs having to actually think during a movie.

    Pattinson's performance was his best yet and this certainly made many stand up and take notice. This film, like most of Cronenberg's, was never expecting big BO numbers. How about we just applaud the performances and not worry about BO chatter that will have little impact on Pattinson and Cronenberg's futures. Not to mention, the foreign BO numbers haven't been updated in a while for this film.

  25. Nolween

    Je suis tout à fait d'accord avec vous.

  26. Ann

    Major marketing push was LESCANDAL which generated world wide morbid interest to watch Robert Pattinson promotion – how he'll manage it. He was classy, people symphatized with him and first week was successful. But obviously interest evaporated after first week, freshness is gone. So, basically say thank you to Kristen Stewart that at least one week was OK from BO point of view.




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