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Jack Kerouac 'On the Road' Movie Adaptation Flops: 'Cosmopolis' Comparisons & Kristen Stewart-Robert Pattinson Furor

Kristen Stewart On the Road Box Office'On the Road' with Kristen Stewart.

Jack Kerouac 'On the Road' movie version has disappointing U.S. box office debut

Directed by Walter Salles, and starring Garrett Hedlund, Sam Riley, and Kristen Stewart, On the Road had a surprisingly soft bow at the North American box office this weekend, Dec. 21-23. The IFC Films-distributed drama based on Jack Kerouac's classic novel grossed $43,200 at four locations, averaging a modest $10,800 per site according to weekend estimates found at Deadline.com. (Image: Kristen Stewart as Marylou, On the Road.)

It remains to be seen whether or not On the Road will manage to gain some much-needed stamina throughout the Christmas / New Year's holiday season. At the North American box office, the weekend before Christmas tends to be quite low key; but even taking that into account, On the Road's debut was quite disappointing when one considers the presence of TRON: Legacy's Garrett Hedlund and Snow White and the Huntsman / Breaking Dawn - Part 2's Kristen Stewart – not to mention Viggo Mortensen, Amy Adams, and Kirsten Dunst in supporting roles. Plus the behind-the-scenes prestige of director Walter Salles, The Motorcycle Diaries screenwriter José Rivera, and executive producer Francis Ford Coppola.

On the Road vs. Amour, The Impossible

For comparison's sake: At three locations, Michael Haneke's widely acclaimed Palme d'Or winner Amour took in $70,700, averaging $23,567 per site according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo. And the French-language Amour is hardly an audience-friendly flick: veterans Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva, neither of whom means anything to the vast majority of (ignorant) U.S. moviegoers, play an elderly couple facing illness and death.

Also, Juan Antonio Bayona's tsunami drama The Impossible, starring Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor, debuted with an estimated $139,000 at 15 venues, averaging $9,267 per site. That's a lower per-theater average than On the Road's – but at nearly four times more theaters. All things being equal, the fewer the number of theaters, the higher the per-theater average should be. In other words: relatively speaking, The Impossible opened much more strongly than On the Road.

And of course, there's no comparison to Kathryn Bigelow's generally acclaimed and highly controversial Zero Dark Thirty, which has been getting lots of awards-season / Academy Award buzz, in addition to tons of free publicity from outraged CIA honchos and U.S. congressmen and women. Featuring Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Joel Edgerton, and Jennifer Ehle, Zero Dark Thirty scored an estimated $410,000 at five locations, or $82,000 per site – despite having blown off some steam following its Wednesday debut.

Even IFC Films' own The Central Park Five – Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, and David McMahon's documentary about a gross miscarriage of justice committed in New York City in the early '90s – collected $30,570 on its opening weekend at three locations in late November, averaging $10,190 per site. That's about the same level as the star-studded On the Road.

Now, had either Garrett Hedlund or Kristen Stewart – or both – earned early awards-season mentions from U.S.-based critics' groups, the Screen Actors Guild, or the Golden Globes, things would likely have been quite different for On the Road at the domestic box office. However, that didn't happen. In fact, On the Road has been all but ignored so far.

On the Road Movie Garrett HedlundOn the Road vs. Walter Salles' The Motorcycle Diaries, Central Station; David Cronenberg / Robert Pattinson's Cosmopolis

Distributed by Focus Features, Walter Salles' Spanish-language The Motorcycle Diaries, featuring Gael García Bernal, Rodrigo de la Serna, and Breaking Dawn - Part 2's Mia Maestro, debuted with $159,819 at three North American locations in late September 2004, averaging a remarkable $53,273 per site (approx. $68,100 adjusted for inflation). The Motorcycle Diaries went on to gross $16.78 million in the U.S. and Canada, in addition to $40.88 million internationally. (Image: Garrett Hedlund as Sal Paradise, On the Road.)

And back in 1998, the Portuguese-language Central Station, starring eventual Best Actress Academy Award nominee Fernanda Montenegro, averaged $17,854 (approx. $30,200 adjusted) at two locations. Distributed by Sony Pictures Classics, Central Station cumed at $5.59 million in North America.

Another comparison: like On the Road, an “automobile-set,” stream-of-consciousness 2012 Cannes Film Festival entry that received mixed reviews in the U.S., David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis debuted in the United States (via Entertainment One) last August. Starring Kristen Stewart's fellow Twilight actor Robert Pattinson, on its first weekend out Cosmopolis raked in $70,339 at three locations, averaging a respectable $23,446 per venue. The film's initial bow was likely helped by the Rupert Sanders / Kristen Stewart / Robert Pattinson to-do that in late summer kept the U.S. media in a state of frenzy for weeks.

However, after its solid start, Cosmopolis' per-theater average plummeted to a meager $2,453 following a minor expansion on weekend no. 2. The Cronenberg / Pattinson collaboration ultimately cumed with a highly disappointing $763,556 in North America (including Canada, where the movie was released in the spring).

According to figures – probably incomplete – found at Box Office Mojo, On the Road has collected $8.37 million internationally. Its top markets are France with $2.7 million, Brazil with $1.53 million, Italy with $1.13 million, and the UK with $934,000. Brazil's relatively good showing can partly be explained by the fact that Walter Salles is a renowned filmmaker in his home country, while Kristen Stewart has a huge following there as well. On the Road's budget was a reported $25m; IFC Films acquired it for an amount “in the low seven figures.” (Update: On the Road opened in France at the time of the Cannes Film Festival.)

IFC Films at the domestic box office

Something else worth noting is that IFC-distributed movies haven't been faring very well at all at the North American box office. The most successful IFC release in 2012 is Mike Birbiglia and Seth Barrish's Sleepwalk with Me, which collected a grand total of $2.26 million, after opening with (an impressive) $68,801 at one New York City location in late August. In fact, IFC movies are generally prestigious entries that may find long lives in the home-video market, but at the box office their overall performance has ranged from the very modest to the downright disastrous.

And finally, surely not helping matters for On the Road were wildly mixed reviews. For instance, Walter Salles' film has a mediocre 44 percent approval rating and 5.9/10 average among Rotten Tomatoes' top critics.

On the Road will reportedly reach more theaters on January 18, eight days after the 2013 Academy Award nominations are announced. (The Oscar nods were to have been announced on January 15; the Academy later moved the date forward to Jan. 10.) However, despite Kristen Stewart's visibility at various functions, at this stage it doesn't seem very likely that the film will be found in many – or even any – Oscar categories. (See also: “On the Road to become another The Motorcycle Diaries?”)

Garrett Hedlund, Sam Riley, Kristen Stewart topline On the Road cast

Besides the aforementioned Garrett Hedlund as Dean Moriarty, Sam Riley as Jack Kerouac's alter ego Sal Paradise, and Kristen Stewart as Marylou, On the Road features Viggo Mortensen, Amy Adams, Kirsten Dunst, Elisabeth Moss, Tom Sturridge, Alice Braga, Danny Morgan, Steve Buscemi, and Terrence Howard.

Garrett Hedlund as Sal Paradise, On the Road photo: IFC Films.

Photo: Kristen Stewart as Marylou, On the Road photo: IFC Films.

Dec. 28

On the Road movie Garrett Hedlund Sam Riley'On the Road' weekend box office figures below estimates

On the Road, toplining Garrett Hedlund, Sam Riley, and Kristen Stewart, and directed by Walter Salles, opened to disappointing figures this past weekend in North America: an estimated $39,550 at four locations, according to (updated) figures found at Box Office Mojo. On the Road's per-theater average was a quite modest $9,888 per site. (Image: Garrett Hedlund, Sam Riley On the Road.)

On the Road's opening-weekend box office take is particularly disappointing when one considers that the film was directed by the well-regarded Walter Salles, among whose credits are two key road movies of the last 15 years – Central Station (1998) and The Motorcycle Diaries (2004). And that it features TRON: Legacy actor Garrett Hedlund; in addition to Viggo Mortensen, Amy Adams, and Kirsten Dunst in supporting roles; and Twilight actress Kristen Stewart doing things that Bella Swan could only dream of doing with Edward and Jacob.

I haven't been able to find On the Road's box office estimates for the last three days. Though not guaranteed, chances are the film's figures improved on Christmas Day, as that has been a regular pattern. We'll only find out for sure once IFC Films makes those figures available.

On the Road box office post: Lots of angry comments

Update: This On the Road box office post became one of Alt Film Guide's most commented posts in months. Why? For two reasons:

a) Those with a strong sense of moralistic outrage but little-to-no sense of basic ethical principles sent a barrage of comments filled with ad hominem attacks against either Kristen Stewart or myself – or both. (These have been duly deleted and the commenters in question have been banned.)

b) I dared to compare the U.S. opening-weekend box office performances of On the Road and Cosmopolis. (Needless to say, my comparisons to Amour, The Impossible, Central Station, and The Motorcycle Diaries went unnoticed.) As a result, I became enmeshed in lengthy discussions with assorted Robert Pattinson fans who expressed outrage at the Cosmopolis / On the Road comparison and at my raising the issue that on its opening weekend Cosmopolis was helped by the Robert Pattinson-Kristen Stewart-Rupert Sanders-Liberty Ross Quadrangle Scandal.

The Attack of the Moralistic Brigade and bias accusations

Regarding “item a),” there isn't much I can say except that holier-than-thou moralists are some of the most venomous, most repulsive, and, really, most dangerous people on the planet. That's no exaggeration. Take a good look at history – up to the present day – and you'll see that I'm right.

Now, do Alt Film Guide and myself have a “pro-Kristen Stewart bias”? Well, as much as I have a pro-Norma Talmadge bias. Or a pro-Tyrone Power bias. Or a pro-Susan Sarandon, pro-Pierre Fresnay, pro-Anna Magnani bias. Or an anti-Clint Eastwood bias, for that matter. I love watching Anna Magnani; I don't love watching Clint Eastwood. If that's having a “bias,” then I'm biased. If that's merely having one's likes and dislikes, and expressing one's opinions about issues, then, horrors, I'm a human being with a functioning brain.

Check out my (very negative) review of Eastwood's Oscar-winning Million Dollar Baby. One trade-magazine critic sent me a note (I should have kept it…) calling my commentary “the most idiotic film review I've ever read in my 200 years as a film critic.” (Okay, I'm paraphrasing a bit here.)

Now, was I being biased? Had I expressed my dislike for Million Dollar Baby merely because I saw Clint Eastwood's name attached to it, that would unquestioningly have been a form of bias. But I disliked Million Dollar Baby for a variety of reasons, as explained in my review. And if you, like that trade-magazine critic, don't agree with me, that doesn't necessarily make you biased either. It could just mean we have different likes and dislikes. Nothing wrong with that.

As for accusations that Alt Film Guide gets “paid by Kristen Stewart and her people” because we dare not judge or attack her private life … Hell, I'd be thrilled if Kristen Stewart (or any of “her people”) has even heard of us – though I doubt very much that either she or they has/have.

The positive articles I've recently written about Kristen Stewart have been the result of two things: a) I enjoy watching her – in fact, she's one of the few current performers that I truly enjoy; b) I utterly despise moralists and judgmental morons with no lives.

Robert Pattinson CosmopolisRobert Pattinson fan comes out

Now, when it comes to “item b),” there's much I can and probably should say / clarify. I'll try to make this as brief as possible, so my “clarification” won't be nearly as long as the comments section in this On the Road post. (Image: Robert Pattinson Cosmopolis.)

First of all, I must grudgingly come out as a Robert Pattinson fan. Why grudgingly? Because my admission may come across as if I'm trying to either appease or make peace with the rabid segment among Pattinson's fans, to beg their forgiveness, compassion, and understanding. That's not the case at all. I want those demented, monstrous jerks away from this site (and from our Twitter account).

Now, before I proceed I want to make clear that I'm fully aware that every star has their share of rabid fans. We've been mercilessly badmouthed by some Kristen Stewart fans in the past – we still are. In fact, we've been called names by fans of just about everybody, from Steven Spielberg and Mel Gibson to John Cassavetes and Louise Brooks. We also get attacked by rabid haters whenever we say something positive about a performer or director or screenwriter they abhor. It's how it goes; the Internet offers a great – if more than a tad disturbing – glimpse into humankind's (safely anonymous) sociopathic tendencies.

On Christmas Eve, for instance, one individual sent us a lengthy comment bashing Tom Cruise and Jack Reacher. I looked into it and discovered that that same comment had been posted in dozens of other sites. In other words, someone spent the days before Christmas posting an online comment berating and ridiculing Tom Cruise. Why? Why indeed.

Back to Robert Pattinson: I find him a highly capable actor – I thought he was excellent in the widely panned Bel Ami and I even enjoy his moody, gloomy Edward. In interviews, Pattinson comes across as funny, witty, warm, unpretentious, unaffected. A rarity among movie stars (and human beings in general).

That's the reason I enjoy writing about both Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart. I actually like them – and that's not at all how I feel about the vast majority of early 21st century Hollywood movie stars, including lots of highly-regarded names, whom I find either uninteresting or downright unwatchable.

Cosmopolis and On the Road: Why the comparison?

Now, back to Cosmopolis and On the Road. Why the comparison? For those who've had trouble understanding what, in my view, should have been obvious, here's why:

a) Both Cosmopolis and On the Road debuted at the Cannes Film Festival.

b) Both Cosmopolis and On the Road were distributed in the United States by a relatively small indie company (Cosmopolis' eOne Films – whose parent company, eOne, is big in Canada and the UK [they distribute the Twilight movies] but not in the U.S.; On the Road's IFC Films).

c) Both Cosmopolis and On the Road are uncommercial, highly personal English-language projects, featuring a loose, episodic, stream-of-consciousness narrative – one in which automobiles serve as a major setting.

d) Both Cosmopolis and On the Road were directed by well-respected filmmakers (David Cronenberg / Walter Salles), and feature a “name” supporting cast (Juliette Binoche, Jay Baruchel, Mathieu Amalric and others in Cosmopolis / Amy Adams, Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst, and others in On the Road).

e) Both Cosmopolis and On the Road had similar budgets (Cosmopolis $20m; On the Road $25m).

f) Both Cosmopolis and On the Road received mixed reviews in North America. Among Rotten Tomatoes' top critics, Cosmopolis has a 50 percent score and 5.7/10 average (28 reviews); On the Road has a 42 percent score and 5.9/10 average (19 reviews).

g) Both Cosmopolis and On the Road feature two major Hollywood celebrities in key roles, both of whom also starred in the highly popular Twilight movie franchise: Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart.

Of course there are many things that are radically different in Cosmopolis and On the Road. But, undeniably, there are enough similarities between the two movies for them to merit a comparison. Much like one could compare, say, the box office performance of Irene Dunne's Theodora Goes Wild and Carole Lombard's My Man Godfrey, even though the two 1936 screwball comedies were made at different studios, by different directors and screenwriters, and featured different stars, supporting players, and storylines.

Kristen Stewart On the Road Marylou Garrett HedlundPlatform releases

Platform releases are those when a distributor “tests the box office waters” before spending extra cash opening the film in more markets / locations. In North America, Los Angeles and New York are the two urban centers – at times with the addition of Toronto – where micro-platform releases usually take place. (Image: Kristen Stewart On the Road, with Garrett Hedlund in the background.)

Movies distributed in that manner, such as Cosmopolis and On the Road, open at only a handful of theaters. If the per-theater averages are good – or great – the film expands; i.e., it opens in more theaters. But what's a “good” or “great” per-theater average? That depends on the exact number of venues; remember, all things being equal, the smaller the number of theaters the higher the per-theater average should be.

Different platform releases: On the Road vs. The Impossible

For comparison's sake: starring Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor, Juan Antonio Bayona's The Impossible opened in North America (coincidentally via Twilight's Summit Entertainment) on the same weekend as On the Road. The Impossible grossed $143,818 at 15 venues, averaging $9,588 per site. That's $300 less than On the Road. So, does that mean On the Road is the more successful movie? Not at all. Remember: On the Road was screening at four locations; The Impossible at 15 – that's nearly four times as many. Hence, if the two movies had the same level of box office success On the Road's per-theater average should have been much higher than The Impossible's.

If a film in platform release opens with a modest per-theater average – say, below $20,000-$30,000 for a movie at 2-6 locations – there's a very good chance that movie will have a small expansion. Or no expansion at all. At times, the distributor will merely keep the movie at a handful of theaters, but in different locations – e.g., dropping two New York venues while adding one venue in San Francisco and another in Denver; the next week, dropping San Francisco and Denver, while adding Miami and Detroit, and so on, for a few weeks.

The Cosmopolis case

That's basically what happened to Cosmopolis after its solid first-weekend take ($23,446 average at three sites as per Box Office Mojo) plummeted following the film's expansion to 63 locations on weekend no. 2 (a meager $2,429 per-theater average). Two weeks later, only 45 theaters were showing Cosmopolis in the U.S. Two weeks after that, only nine.

In sum, if a movie in platform release doesn't find its audience on its first or second weekend out, almost invariably it will either have a very small expansion or none at all. “Oh, but fans can't drive ten hours to watch a movie.” No, not fans who live in Utah and want to catch a movie in Los Angeles. But those fans who live in the L.A. area wouldn't have to drive that long, not even during rush hour. They are the target audience of platform releases. If those fans buy tickets, then distributors feel secure that more fans elsewhere will do the same; if they don't, distributors may not want to increase their distribution / marketing expenses to release potentially unprofitable movies in smaller markets.

The Kristen Stewart-Rupert Sanders 'Scandal'

In my On the Road box office post this past weekend, several commenters took umbrage with my remark that the Kristen Stewart-Rupert Sanders to-do helped Cosmopolis on its first weekend out in North America. Now, do I have hard proof that it did? Of course not. One would need to interview those people who bought tickets.

But stop and think for a moment: eOne Films is releasing Cosmopolis in the United States in mid-August. Following the scandal in late July, Robert Pattinson remains “in hiding” for several weeks and then resurfaces for the New York Cosmopolis premiere, and later is interviewed on Jon Stewart's The Daily Show. The global media covers the event as if it's the Second Coming.

Kristen Stewart On the Road premiereKristen Stewart and Rupert Sanders 'Scandal' and the box office

Are we to believe that Cosmopolis didn't have its visibility dramatically increased at the time? That countless people who had never heard of the film and couldn't care less about Robert Pattinson's romantic life or Twilight role suddenly became aware of the existence of Cosmopolis because of the Kristen Stewart-Rupert Sanders to-do? That a potentially wider audience was reached that could theoretically feel inclined to check out David Cronenberg's movie, whether because of Pattinson, Cronenberg, author Don DeLillo, the storyline, any of the film's supporting players, or all of the above? What's so far-fetched about that? (Image: Kristen Stewart On the Road New York premiere.)

That, in fact, might also help to explain Cosmopolis' dramatic box office drop on its second weekend. The ten-fold expansion came too soon, especially considering that the novelty had worn off; after all, Robert Pattinson had already made his television appearances and had rung the bell at the New York Stock Exchange the week before. Then what, without strong word of mouth and/or eOne's publicity machine working full force to maintain Cosmopolis in the public consciousness?

Hollywood scandals and the box office – and as movie history

But how dare I mention The Scandal? That should become as unutterable as certain slurs, spelled out like the S— word or something. Shouldn't we only discuss what takes place on screen and that's it? Well, I'm not sure in which galaxy you live, but on Planet Earth, what happens off screen affects – oftentimes radically so – what we get to watch on screen (and how we get to watch it, too).

Imagine someone discussing Cleopatra without mentioning the Elizabeth Taylor-Richard Burton affair and the behind-the-scenes goings-on. Or discussing Douglas Sirk's mother-daughter melo Imitation of Life, one of Universal's biggest pre-1960 hits, without mentioning Lana Turner's daughter fatally stabbing Turner's hoodlum lover Johnny Stompanato and the highly publicized trial that ensued. Or discussing Husbands and Wives without talking about the nasty Woody Allen-Mia Farrow breakup. Or, back to Elizabeth Taylor, talking about Cat on a Hot Tin Roof's stupendous box office performance without mentioning that the film opened at the height of the Elizabeth Taylor-Eddie Fisher-Debbie Reynolds to-do. The list goes on.

'The Scandal' and On the Road

Now, unlike some ardent Pattinson / Cosmopolis “defenders” insist, I don't believe the scandal helped On the Road for the simple fact that Walter Salles' movie opened five months later. The scandal is now old news. Had On the Road opened back in August, I'm quite sure its opening-weekend box office results would have been more impressive.

Oh, but Kristen Stewart was recently featured in all those premieres and awards-season roundtables and photo-ops. Yes, mostly followed by her fans, spread out all over the world. What would have truly helped On the Road at this time of year, in Los Angeles and in New York City, would have been strong local reviews; tons of billboards, and TV, print, and online ads; plus a few awards here and there. None of that happened.

Box Office reports

But why discuss box office reports? Who cares about box office grosses? Cosmopolis is a great movie. On the Road is a wonderful movie. What does it matter if Cosmopolis bombed in the United States and failed to get even close to reaching its $20 million budget at the worldwide box office? What does it matter if On the Road opened with highly disappointing figures in North America and may have failed to even match half its budget at the global box office?

Well, I'm sure that those films' investors and distributors think it matters. That David Cronenberg and Robert Pattinson and Walter Salles and Garrett Hedlund and Sam Riley and Kristen Stewart probably think it matters as well.

As for those who don't care, well, they should simply avoid reading box office articles. That would take care of their problem – because we certainly don't have an issue with that subject matter. And remember: No box office (and/or ancillary revenues) = no movies. If you believe it's all about “art,” then I have a couple of bridges, half a dozen mountains, and one huge waterfall to sell you.

Oh, well … This turned out to be much longer than the comments section in my On the Road post published last weekend. But that's life.

Kristen Stewart On the Road New York premiere photo via the On the Road Facebook page / IFC Films.

Kristen Stewart and Garrett Hedlund On the Road photo: IFC Films.

Robert Pattinson Cosmopolis photo: eOne Films.

Garrett Hedlund, Sam Riley On the Road photo: IFC Films.

Dec. 30

Kristen Stewart On the Road movie Sam RileyGarrett Hedlund, Sam Riley, Kristen Stewart On the Road down

Directed by The Motorcycle Diaries and Central Station's Walter Salles, and featuring Garrett Hedlund, Sam Riley, Kristen Stewart, Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst, Amy Adams, and others, On the Road was down a relatively steep 36 percent on its second weekend out, Dec. 28-30, according to box office estimates found at Deadline.com. (Image: Kristen Stewart, Sam Riley On the Road.)

Note: Deadline.com's estimates for last weekend ($10,800) were higher than those found at Box Office Mojo ($9,888) – which has yet to report On the Road's box office gross this weekend. The 36 percent drop-off rate is based on Box Office Mojo's Dec. 21-23 figures, used in our previous On the Road box-office piece (see further above); had I used Deadline's estimate, the film's drop would have been steeper: 41 percent.

IFC Films is reportedly still planning to expand On the Road to more venues come January and February 2013. But considering the film's box office grosses on its first two weekends out in North America – $96,200 after collecting $25,600 this weekend – barring a miraculous surge, On the Road's expansion will be both modest and short-lived. It'll be an uphill drive for the movie to reach $1 million in the U.S. and Canada.

Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor The Impossible up; Jean-Louis-Trintignant, Emmanuelle Riva Amour steady

If Deadline.com's estimates are on target, On the Road's North American box office performance on its second weekend out was particularly disappointing when compared to those of other holdovers.

Directed by Juan Antonio Bayona, the tsunami family drama The Impossible was up an impressive 29 percent from last weekend according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo. Starring SAG Award nominee Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor, The Impossible added an estimated $185,000 this weekend at 15 locations (the same number of venues as last week). Cume after 10 days: $485,000.

I should add that The Impossible is the highest-grossing movie of the year at the Spanish box office: $52.99 million, far ahead of the no. 2 movie, Bill Condon's The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2, starring On the Road's Kristen Stewart, alongside Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner, which has earned $27.95 million.

I should also add that Juan Antonio Bayona had a previous no. 1 hit at the Spanish box office: the atmospheric psychological / horror drama The Orphanage / El Orfanato, starring Belén Rueda, which scored $37.72 million in 2007. And that The Impossible is Spain's second biggest box office blockbuster in the last ten years, behind James Cameron / Sam Worthington Avatar, which grossed a gigantic $109.99 million in late 2009 / early 2010.

Another strong holdover in North America was Michael Haneke's Palme d'Or and European Film Award winner Amour, featuring Jean-Louis Trintignant, Emmanuelle Riva, and Isabelle Huppert. At three locations, Amour earned $60,000 – down only 12 percent compared to a week ago. The story of an elderly couple facing illness and death, Amour has raked in an estimated $217,800 after ten days.

Kathryn Bigelow Zero Dark Thirty slows down – but remains far ahead

And finally, Kathryn Bigelow's controversial Zero Dark Thirty, about the hunt for Osama bin Laden, continues far ahead of the “specialty” pack. Featuring Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Joel Edgerton, Edgar Ramírez, and Jennifer Ehle, Zero Dark Thirty scored an estimated $315,000 at five locations, averaging a highly impressive $63,000 per site.

Now, the not-so-good news: despite free publicity from outraged political pundits, the U.S. government, and the CIA; lots of awards-season / Oscar buzz; and the fact that Zero Dark Thirty opened on a Wednesday – i.e., its box office take last weekend was more subdued than it would have been otherwise – the Bigelow-directed, Mark Boal-written political thriller was still down 23 percent. Reportedly budgeted at $40m, Zero Dark Thirty's cume stands at $1.36 million after 12 days.

On the Road box office article initially posted by André Soares.

Photo: Kristen Stewart, Sam Riley On the Road photo: IFC Films.

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115 Comments to Jack Kerouac 'On the Road' Movie Adaptation Flops: 'Cosmopolis' Comparisons & Kristen Stewart-Robert Pattinson Furor

  1. Andre

    @Betty B

    Bear in mind that this article was written in late December 2012, shortly after “On the Road” opened to “highly disappointing” figures. I couldn't have said the movie “bombed” (or “flopped,” so as to avoid repeating the same word twice within the same paragraph) because I didn't have the film's final box office numbers. They'd only become available months later. For all I knew at the time the article was written, “On the Road” might have kept on going for a while or even increased its per-theater tally; such things have happened. But true, as it turned out “On the Road” was as much an arthouse domestic box office bomb as “Cosmopolis.”

  2. Betty b

    These are not all your exact words…I did check the numbers….

    Just a observation of selective words I read your article : On The Road” BO opening numbers were “highly disappointing ” opening in 4 theaters average $9,888 per…. ending with total ending US gross of $744,296 from *Dec/2012 thru *May/2013.
    widest release 107 theaters

    Your description: “Cosmopolis “bombed” in the US ” … yet it opened in 3 theaters 23,446 per… opening weekend total $70,339. Cosmopolis widest release 65 theaters… only in realease from *Aug /2012 thru *Oct /2012 ending US market Total Gross $763,556

    Sorry, When I read your article I did chuckle. (highly disappointing vs bombed)
    I did find your observation somewhat puzzling. It is what it is. Take Care :-)

    p.s. I Did observe OTR Internationally did gross a little more but it also had time on its side. Thanks again

  3. David Pujols

    Art Film Guide's Teams.
    On the Road Film is one of the best Kristen Stewart celluloid.
    Here and in other film, she work with all the knowledge about she want to do, because she can made that, with all her soul and their heart!.
    Sincerely, I wish alls the God's blesses for her!.

    David Pujols

  4. Elizabeth

    I did not want to know about on the road, I wanted to know about Cosmopolis. Mr. David Cronenburg is a Brilliant Director. The cast did a magnificent job of bring these characters to life. The producers etc. were spot on. I am very sorry about the Gay Actor dying without recognition; but I wanted to know why Cosmopolis was not considered for awards.

  5. Ridley

    Was this sold as a Kristen Stewart movie? It can't be since with the summary of the plot everyone knew she had a minuscule part.

  6. kidkennedy

    Okay. Couple and compare away. But know that doing so entices the fanatical sects of both fandoms……..you know…..the “monstrous jerks”.
    Personally, I think bringing their individual work together in an article is a little disrespectful of their individuality. It has a tabloid smell to it.
    I don't blame the fiercely private and independent Hepburn for being pissed.

  7. Lena

    On The road was sold as a Kristen Stewart's movie, no surprise that it is a dismal failure.

  8. didi

    Theatre tickets aren't cheap, so when people decide to buy one, the big majority will do it because they're interested to see the movie and /or its actors, not because of their private life. The actor can attract more attention on premieres the way it happened to Rob Pattinson in NY, but it's not the kind of attention they're looking for and not the kind that improves the ticket sales IMO. Fans of Rob and fans of Cronenberg planned to see the movie anyway. Many didn't like it and that did the round. It's an unaccessible film, a love it or hate it movie that's getting more positive attention now since the DVD is released in many countries. Word of mouth is doing its job on twitter and moviesites. I guess the positive buzz will grow within the years to come.
    Real Cronenberg fans didn't stay away because of Pattinson as a poster here wrote, he was praised by most critics and Cronenberg himself on many occasions.
    Didn't see On the Road, so I can't say anything about that. Don't think the scandal influenced its BO numbers either.
    What would've been a disaster was the scandal happening like a month before Breaking Dawn II. That would've influenced the BO for sure.

  9. Andre


    Thank you. And thanks for the Kristen Stewart quote. I hadn't seen that. She put it very succinctly.

  10. Marina

    Why are people freaking out about this? I liked Cosmopolis. It's a good movie, but it's not really a “mainstream” movie. The scandal probably did help it. I like both Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson and I don't see anything wrong with saying that?

  11. Vanquish

    What we forget is Kristen isn't even a lead in OTR. Yes out of all the female actors she appears the most, but it's Garrett Hedlund and Sam Riley who carry the weight for this movie. So I don't get why people are pinning the box office numbers on her. But then again any success isn't because of Kristen and every failure is because of Kristen. That's the mentality of haters.

  12. Vanquish

    Andre, fantastic piece. Your were merely reviewing OTR's progress and then you were attacked by “starving sh*t eaters” as quoted from Kristen. Honestly these people who attacked you and attack Kristen need help. They are bitter, awful little girls who never grew up. I'm a fan of Kristen's work and am looking forward to see what OTR will be like.

  13. spider

    To me a list of BIG HUGE MONUMENTAL box-office hit entails the first 20 positions of that list.
    The rest are not monumental.
    “Both movies you've mentioned have in the cast the two parties involved in these scandals.”
    And what part of “both” wasn't clear? And all those scandals you have mentioned? They covered magazines for months. I wrote nowhere that the fact the Taylor-Burton scandal broke a year before release diminished its effect by june 1963. You interpreted it that way, don't put words in my mouth. And how come the Stewart-Pattinson's scandal is way in the past when it comes for “On the road”? Did you miss the circus of the reconciliation?
    And you keep ignoring that we're no longer in a time when cheating is a big scandal.
    You claimed the “big” expansion “Cosmopolis” had its second week was because of the scandal (because according to you it raised the average in the first week). “Cosmopolis” had the same kind of expansion reserved for a movie that had a lower average and less promotion, by the same distribution company. “Cosmopolis” never went over 65 venues, too. It was a disappointment? Sure, I'm not hiding it. I'm arguing your point about the scandal helping it.
    Despite expectations + a scandal “Cosmopolis” drew an average of $23,000 in the opening week. You keep contradicting yourself too in these comments, “A dangerous method” did better than “Cosmopolis” because it was more commercial, but “On the road” isn't?
    Don't try to confuse, deflect or spin what you or I wrote.
    And you're last response to me? Very mature.

    The Taylor Burton scandal helped “Cleopatra” but the Stewart-Pattinson scandal hurt “On the road”? Those fans driving to see “Cosmopolis” would have done it without the scandal too.

  14. Andre


    Use a calculator and add up the figures per country.
    And next time, take a look at the DATE next to the “Total” figure. Box Office Mojo's international totals aren't always fully up to date.

    As for the rest of your inane rant, no calculator can help with THAT…

  15. Andre


    If you think $533m (as per that Box Office Mojo page you linked to) — the 40th highest-grossing movie in history — doesn't indicate A BIG HUGE MONUMENTAL box-office hit, then I'm at a loss for words. You've set a really, really high bar. $534m, perhaps??

    So, your online research led you to discover that the Elizabeth Taylor-Richard Burton scandal broke out in spring 1962. “Cleopatra” opened a year later. Wow. Do a little more research, please. You'll then discover that Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor were both married at the time. That they both had to get divorces. That they both went on to get married. You wanna bet all that didn't happen in summer 1962? Not to mention the fact that the way Taylor and Burton were acting on the set was a key reason why “Cleopatra's” costs escalated beyond belief? Hell, Fox later *sued* them. More publicity.

    So, Woody Allen was a three-time Oscar winner by 1991. Well, Katharine Hepburn was a four-time Oscar winner by that time. She couldn't open a movie either. Allen's biggest box-office hits BY FAR were in the '70s, plus “Hannah and Her Sisters” in 1986. Most of his movies of the '80s were either box-office misfires or modest performers. He was NOT a box-office magnet in 1992. NOT. But following the Allen-Mia Farrow scandal, TriStar decided to open “Husbands and Wives” at 865 locations — a lot of theaters back in those days, especially for an arthouse movie. As a result, “Husbands and Wives” had the highest-grossing opening weekend of a Woody Allen-directed movie EVER (not adjusted for inflation) at the North American box office.

    Both movies you've mentioned have in the cast the two parties involved in these scandals.

    Did you read the article? Opted to ignore “Imitation of Life”? Was Johnny Stompanato featured in that movie? No? He was dead, wasn't he? Oh. What about “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”? Did Elizabeth Taylor frolic with Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds in that movie? No? Oh, it was Paul Newman, wasn't it? And Burl Ives. And Judith Anderson. And Jack Carson. And Madeleine Sherwood. But no Eddie and Debbie. Oh.

    “A late quartet” (distributed by eONE, opened on November 2, 2012, with Seymour Hoffman & Walken) opened in 9 theaters with $8,364 average; the second week it was in 63 theaters (just like Cosmopolis) with an average of $2,881, that convinced eONE to open in 100 theaters for its third week. I don't think they went out of their way with Cosmopolis because of the scandal (as you've written somewhere in the comments?).”

    If you think a $2,881 per-theater average at 63 theaters would “convince” a distributor to nearly double the number of theaters for their ***box-office bomb***, then … check out the per-theater averages for Woody Allen's “To Rome with Love”: $3,861 at ****806**** locations. Any further expansions? No? “Little White Lies”: $8,551 per-theater average at three locations. Second weekend an expansion to 12 theaters, average drops to $3,586. Maximum number of theaters? 14. You'll find many more such small / nonexistent expansions when a movie averages less than $10,000 per-theater in platform releases or $5,000 in limited releases. (Officially, “limited releases” would be fewer than 600 venues; I've added Allen's film because it ended up as a very narrow “wide release.”)

    For eOne to expand a box-office bomb like “A Late Quartet” to 100 locations was a mistake, unless they got sweet deals from exhibitors. It's ***costly*** to expand small movies to dozens (or a hundred+) locations. The system is set up for the big studios and their blockbusters. Or perhaps parent company eOne Entertainment has loads of cash to spare. Or perhaps there were contractual obligations with the film's producing company.

    Just found this. Check out this “Variety” report:


    Considering their relatively high expectations — $3m-$5m per film — eOne Films must have been VERY disappointed with the box-office performances of both “Cosmopolis” and “A Late Quartet.”

    Now, PLEASE please please: Before making any more wrongheaded comments filled with either misinformation or misleading info, spend a little more time online or at your local library learning about film history so I won't have to spend MY time correcting all your mistakes.

  16. spider

    True, “Cleopatra” was #1at the box office in 1963 but it was not a big huge monumental box office hit. DOMESTIC GROSSES Adjusted for Ticket Price Inflation: http://boxofficemojo.com/alltime/adjusted.htm . And an online research tells me the Taylor-Burton Scandal broke in spring/june 1962. Didn't “Cleopatra” open on july 12nd, 1963, in the US, following much hype and rumors of its astronomical cost too?
    Allen was a 3 times Oscar winner by 1991. Other Allen's movies that were in more limited release performed better than that movie in their opening week.
    Both movies you've mentioned have in the cast the two parties involved in these scandals.
    And again one'd think eONE would have opened at least in 6-8 venues to take advantage of the attention (especially in NY) and make at least a little more money, no? (I wasn't talking about dozens of releases).
    And look at this:
    http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=weekend&id=alatequartet.htm “A late quartet” (distibuited by eONE, opened on November 2, 2012, with Seymour Hoffman & Walken) opened in 9 theaters with $8,364 average; the second week it was in 63 theaters (just like Cosmopolis) with an average of $2,881, that convinced eONE to open in 100 theaters for its third week. I don't think they went out of their way with Cosmopolis because of the scandal (as you've written somewhere in the comments?). How much promotion did “A late quartet” get?
    These scandals help publicity and advertisement, they don't “likely” help the box office in my opinion. How many heavly pubblicized movies don't do that well at the box office? When you talk about tv ratings, that may change.
    The Sandy relief concert appereance of Stewart (the one who got more attention out of this scandal) couldn't be considered close to the scandal when it comes to pubblicity in NYC?

  17. Parker

    Just a question about earlier post about On The Road, the one where you passively aggressively trashed Cosmopolis and credited its opening of more than twice On The Road's to Kristen's publicly cheating on Rob with a married father (or, in your words, the Rupert Sanders/Kristen Stewart/Rob Pattinson “to-do” - cuz sure - why not throw some blame at Rob too!!!). You noted that according to BOM, On The Road has grossed over $8m internationally. Just wondering if there's some other BOM site that I'm missing. According to the one I go to, it's grossed, $5.9m internationally (http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=intl&id=ontheroad.htm). Do you have some other source?

  18. danielle

    I do think the scandal could have helped. And then on the other hand I do think word of mouth probably helped. I read from one fan site, fans had dragged their partners to see it. The same people went and saw the film multiple times. The scandal may have even influenced the so-called rabid fans to go and see it when it was released in New York, just to prove some kind of point.

    I'm not sure what influenced ticket sales. I'm just glad people saw it. And I wish more had seen 'On The Road', but never mind! Like I've said elsewhere in a comment on another post of yours, I cannot wait for the DVD release in the UK. I made what I call a mistake, of buying 'Welcome To The Rileys' on DVD from France or Germany, and then so many months later it was released in the UK on DVD. I always find buying DVDs from within your own country, increases the sales in that country, rather significant.

    Also, once again, enjoyed this post.

  19. Liz

    Let's face it:
    1. many Cronenberg fans refused to see Cosmopolis because Rob was in it.
    2. whether Rob fans knew the above or not, many of them made plans to drive hours to go watch this movie to support Rob - because they felt Rob needed to be supported, whether for his career or personal life
    3. many Kristen fans didn't go to see On the Road because of many of these reasons
    1. Kristen isn't the leading star of this movie
    2. some of them don't want to see Kristen in this type of role yet
    3. (the Robsten fans) feel that Kristen needs to be supportive but not as much as Rob

    BOTH Cosmopolis and On the Road are superb film but for those thinking that the scandal didn't slightly help Cosmopolis or slightly hurt On the Road are in denial

  20. danielle

    Daisy Kenyon, bravo for your first comment!

  21. Yancy

    I do not believe any scandal had anything to do with what happened with Cosmopolis. Robert Pattinson has a huge fan base. If you saw the Water for Elephant premiere and the Cosmopolis premieres, fans were lined up for days.

    @larry411 just did a thorough analysis of the Cosmopolis DVD and gives it high marks. I believe that Cosmopolis's subject was a bit weird and how these indies are rolled out by the promoters have an effect as well.

    Do you not think the sex scene had anything to do with it? I believe so. The curiosity of seeing Pattinson in such a different role is what sold this film along with it being a Cronenberg film as well. I believe you stating that some scandal was the result of the opening box office is a bit facitious to say the least. That is the easy out. A simpleton's analysis. The scandal was still hot news the following weekend too. Robert was still promoting the film on Jimmy Kimmel.

    This story seems to be for hits on your site. It's sensational to say the least. It's a moron's analysis of a film's box office. Did you not see the boos of the audience during a NY Times Q & A when someone tried to even bring up the scandal? That shows that even Robert's fans were not even remotely interested in it. Robert is a hot star in Hollywood, people were curious to see the film…period.

    That scandal had little to nothing to do with its opening. There is no statistics to support what you are stating. Any audience poll that I have seen was that the audience that viewed Cosmopolis were mainly fans of Robert. The scandal had no effect.

    So, unless you can show the pollesters and their analysis that Cosmopolis's opening day success was due to some scandal, I want to see it. So, since you failed to quote any audience polls to that effect, your analysis is negated.

  22. Lynn

    LOL what are they sniffing? Cosmopolis was one of the biggest flops in Croneneberg's career. It's not hard to understand that none of the Twilight actors can open a movie. OTR promo was based heavily on the Stewart's tablod persona and that was completely wrong. In the end, not Stewart or RPatz are stars outside the Twilight bubble. That's is the ultimate truth. ALL their indies are big flops. Now please go back to the reality, will you?

  23. Georgia

    Thank you for responding. I just see the obscene media coverage as overshadowing rather than boosting. I don't believe the average, non industry, non fan, person understood there was a film in the midst of the gossip. Don't get me wrong, Cosmopolis was never going to be a blockbuster but should have done similar numbers to other limited release Cronenberg films and should have probably equaled at least its France totals in the US.

  24. Andre

    First of all, thanks everyone for writing — whether or not you agree with my statements above.


    I agree that Kristen Stewart helped to sell “On the Road” and that her presence made the movie a bigger “success” — or less of a disappointment (on opening weekend) — than it would have been otherwise, considering most of the reviews. However, I disagree that the “Scandal” hurt “On the Road.” Too far in the past…

    @Daisy Kenyon

    Points well taken, thank you. One correction: The much more commercial (in terms of narrative) “A Dangerous Method” was a *much* bigger hit than “Cosmopolis” both in North America and elsewhere. ADM earned about five times as much as “Cosmopolis.” ADM's budget — according to reports — was slightly lower than “Cosmopolis,” around $18m. True, the film didn't earn its money back at the box office, but it got close.

    I only wonder how much longer David Cronenberg will be able to get $20m financing for his films if they don't turn a profit — or at least break even. But then again, there's always the home video market. Perhaps Cronenberg's movies do really well in that regard — I haven't seen any figures, as “official” ones are hard to come by.

    And finally, glad we see eye-to-eye re: adding context to our articles — i.e., making comparisons between films / performers, etc. Thanks again for writing. (And I hope Taylor Lautner will get to star for Gus Van Sant. That should be interesting.)


    You're dead wrong about “Cleopatra” — which was HUGE, MONUMENTAL, GIGANTIC box-office hit. BUT, it was also the most expensive movie ever made, not only up to that time, but once adjusted for inflation up to our present time. (I have trouble believing the figures for Sergey Bondarchuk's “War and Peace.” I believe the Russian media exaggerated its costs. They probably learned that from Howard Hughes and his “Hell's Angels.”)

    So, would approx. $540m domestic gross be considered a hit? Yes? That's “Cleopatra” in adjusted (2012) U.S. dollars.

    As for eOne opening “Cosmopolis” at dozens of theaters in the aftermath of the scandal… Get real. They open it at four locations, “Cosmopolis” gets a solid — though hardly spectacular per-theater average — and then they expand to **63** locations the following weekend. An **unwarranted** move considering the film's good-but-not-outstanding $23,000 per-theater average. We all know what happened then.

    Now, would the scandal per se have made “Cosmopolis” a hit? Nope. (See “Husbands and Wives” remark below.) And I don't say that in the article. But I bet that it helped inflate the film's first-weekend figures to a certain extent. (See “Husbands and Wives” remark below.) Could I be wrong? I admit I could. But I believe I'm not.

    Note: Woody Allen in 1992 was *hardly* a box-office magnet. But “Husbands and Wives” had a fantastic opening for an Allen movie. But then it went downhill rather rapidly…


    Sorry, but your remarks clearly show you continue to NOT understand the meaning of the expression “Platform Release.” Since that seems to be a choice on your part, I'll respect that and I won't even try to argue some sense into your clueless statements.

  25. Andre


    Your points are well taken. Thank you for writing. Much appreciated.

  26. Andre

    Just wanted to thank everyone who posted comments — heck, I'm in a good mood, so that includes even those who disagreed with me.


    “On the Road” didn't do well in the UK. I've posted a few international box-office figures elsewhere… Here:



    The “Los Angeles Times” and “The Hollywood Reporter” called Robert Pattinson a “cuckold”? Well, if they did (I haven't seen that), stop reading them. Now, I saw TONS of tabloid/tabloidized articles viciously attacking Kristen Stewart — and without looking for them as I stay away from that kind of shit. Tons. I'm flabbergasted you missed those.


    I've never read/seen interviews in which Kristen Stewart puts down other performers' deeds or charity work. But one thing I did read: the “rape” deal. She did NOT compare “being photographed” to getting raped. At all. That's a blatant distortion of what she actually said. I actually wrote a piece about it at the time:


    As for Kristen Stewart badmouthing her *crazed* (as in, “not sane”) fans, I can understand that if she has really done so. (I haven't seen any such — direct — remarks.)

    But guess what? Robert Pattinson implies the same in his and Stewart's **brilliant** “Eclipse” commentary. You need to read between the lines, but it's there when they mention “The Fans.”


    I agree. “On the Road” will likely do much better on DVD/VOD.

    Once again, thanks everyone for writing…

  27. Andre

    Note: In response to a couple of comments, let me clarify that at Alt Film Guide we *****only***** use ratings/averages from Rotten Tomatoes' TOP CRITICS. Top. For obvious reasons.


    Thanks for writing. Glad you found my reasoning logical (or at least acceptable).


    I see nothing wrong with discussing both Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart together in an article — or many articles. Much like I see nothing wrong with discussing Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers together, or Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, or Norma Talmadge and Constance Talmadge, or Ingmar Bergman and Liv Ullmann, or Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy.

    All of those (and more) had either careers or personal lives — sometimes both — intertwined, at least for some time. People have written *books* about them as professional/off-screen partners.

    I've never, ever heard anyone complain: “How dare Garson Kanin write a whole book on Hepburn and Tracy? They're separate actors with separate minds and separate movies!” Not ever. (Though Hepburn herself was pretty pissed off at him.)

  28. kidkennedy

    You want the “monstrous jerks” to stay away and yet you have done nothing here except bait them.
    They are separate people…..separate actors with separate minds and separate movies……write about them as such. To do otherwise is to invite the most psychotic fans of all. Those in-love with their love, obsessed with their relationship.
    Not either of these movies were successful in capturing the heart of their stories from the writings of Don D or Jack K.

  29. Bonboy

    Iam not a twihard sorry but iam Kristen fan so i would comment to her movies not other her costars and dont compared them bec i dont care her costar on/of screen…fact!!!

  30. Sam

    I am disappointed that I have not been able to see On the Road because it is not playing in my city. I am anxious to see it. If it had not been for the promotion that Kristen did for On the Road it may have made less money at the box office. In fact, when Kristen first mentioned that she was going to be in the movie, she insisted that she had only had a very small part. The tabloids made it her movie, and then she stepped in to promote it. I agree that the scandal benefited Cosmopolis but may have hurt On the Road.

  31. Daisy Kenyon

    Re reading your article and comments: As you say Cosmo. received some free publicity/advertising due to said “scandal” But how it affected box office in terms of selling actual tickets, is unknowable. Differing theories like posted here-could be right-or wrong. It's all Unprovable. But I tend to think it did not have much affect on actual box office. Very slightly at most.
    Because Cosmo is a David Cronenberg film; He is well known and most definitely has an ardent following. Those folks want to see the latest DC film asap and they did. To the best of my knowledge, DC has never gone out of his way to make a hit movie for the mainstream. So why would anyone, including investors, believe much differently this time. His last film Dangerous Method has similar budget and box office to Cosmo. DM stars 3 big names who command press, they did promote it, yet it did film did not make its money back 20 million budget back. at least not with the latest numbers. DC still continues to get financed though and has another project lined up.

  32. Andre


    Thanks for writing. But please understand that I have not linked “all the fans in a negative way.” Our problem at Alt Film Guide has been with a few rabid fans. And not only “Twilight” / Robert Pattinson / Kristen Stewart fans. That's clearly explained in the article.

    You wrote: “I purposely find movies the whole cast has made.”

    May I suggest “Against the Current,” co-starring Elizabeth Reaser (Esme Cullen). You should check it out if you haven't already. Not a great movie, but an interesting one. And Reaser is really good in it.

    Thanks again for writing.

  33. Andre


    Can you read English? If you can, maybe you just forgot your glasses…
    Else, I don't know HOW you could have thought I'm blaming Kristen Stewart (or The S_____ Word) for “On the Road's” disappointing opening-weekend box-office take in North America. Or the fact that the movie has had a disappointing run internationally.

    It's fascinating that even when we write factual, neutral, or positive articles about a performer, or director or movie — there's always, and I mean *ALWAYS* — some crazed fan who totally distorts everything in their head and accuses us of poo-pooing their Beloved Icon.

  34. ellenj55

    I get your article. Very informative. But I take you to task about the fans. I'm a 63 year old grandmother , who I think was the last person on earth to read the Twilight Saga. I loved the books. Then watched the movies ans wanted to compare how true they were to the books. I loved the movies too! I discovered this British actor who is a wonderful actor. So I decided to study the author ? I bought her illustrated guide to her books. I found out some worth while info and how she created this world. It became more of a study for me, on how the films were made and all that entails. Very much a fan of the whole cast. I don't consider myself a crazy Twihard. Please don't link all the fans in a negative way. The stars are entitled to their private lives. I feel I'm only expecting a good performance for the price of my ticket. Not all of Twilight fans are crazy. It's a very small part of it. It's the comment by a few on websites that do tend to scare me. They are cowards setting behind a keyboard making the aweful comments. What I deplore are webloids making up such aweful lies about the stars. This is what makes me mad. They are owed nothing. One thing for sure I loved Bel Ami, and Cosmopolis. Rob is great in both. I have seen all of Kstews movies and find I like her too! I purposely find movies the whole cast has made. Everyone of the cast is very talented. I guess the Twilight Saga has a great love story. I guess I'm a sucker for romance. Nothing wrong with that.

  35. L

    Maybe you should footnote the fact that On The Road is not a “Kristen Stewart” film. She's in it for a brief amount of time on screen. The film is Sam Riley's and Garrett Hedlund's. Kristen extended herself in the promotion of the film because she believed in it. She's barely in it. So why are you giving her the brunt of its box office failure? Why are you not placing the “box office blame” on the men who are the stars of the film? Who are in the film the most? Yes, Stewart plays Marylou who was an intertesting person in the life of Kerouac but to say that some “so-called scandal” about someone's personal life which has nothing to do with a film she's barely in is somehow her fault is ridiculous.

  36. Georgia

    Just to add…. Not all attention is good attention. Cosmopolis' opening was scheduled well before the events in July. The build up to the opening, even with fans, ended up being diminished. You may disagree, but, I do not believe talk of the affair equated to attention for the film. The numbers at the three sites on opening weekend were significantly enhanced by post screening appearances, discussions with Cronenberg which ignited intense interest by already focused fans. Those aware of and anticipating the opening were not impacted either way by the promo. Those that could have further enhanced the numbers never had their interest piqued by the televised promo because the focus was never the film, which, as I said, was an afterthought for those trying to get a scoop. The excitement for the film was lost in the frenzy over the scandal. I do think the story for OTR is hardly finished, it opened during a crowded weekend further hindered by the pending holiday. It should do decent numbers if allowed to find its audience something the media and Eone failed to allow Cosmopolis to do.

  37. Georgia

    I will disagree about the affair helping Cosmopolis. I know of many who were asking last month if Cosmopolis was ever released in the US. When told of the August release they recall Pattinson's appearances on the Stewart or the morning shows but say they thought he was there because of the affair. They do not recall the film being discussed because, on most shows, it was an after thought. The hardcore fans , Cronenberg's and Pattinson's, were aware of the opening. Those that could of had interest piqued with the promotion were lost by the media coverage of the scandal. The poor distribution by Eone didn't help either. I live in a major city where it opened in the second week of release. There were absolutely no print or television ads and absolutely no posters, etc. The only 'advertising' was the reviews one of which was extremely positive and one that was negative. Two weeks in the past, the initial, muddied promotion had no effect. Also, obviously little thought meant in to the release locations. Many fans I know we're unable to see the film until its VOD release this past week.

  38. danielle

    You've listed some good reasons for why you compare Cosmopolis and On The Road. I think people need to accept that sometimes their films will be compared, and considering your list of reasons, you've compared them not by a random spur of the moment act.

    I also think @Freda that even if the author of this article compared these two films with a variety of films that features all these elements, readers would ignore all the other films being compared, and still focus on the comparison between Cosmopolis and On The Road.

  39. danielle

    There is only one film that I didn't particularly find interesting to watch with Kristen in. That was 'In The Land of Women'. I haven't been able to see 'Cutlass' though I'd love to. Every other movie I have enjoyed, even her relatively small part in 'Jumper', I loved the film. She picks brilliant movies, and whether she has a lead, supporting or minor role, I usually tend to love films she is in. 'On The Road' included. And I cannot wait to own it on DVD once it is released in the UK. I was wondering, do you know what the results are for OTR in the UK?

  40. danielle

    To be honest @Jen even if someone is ungrateful you shouldn't hate them. I'd understand disliking someone for allegedly being ungrateful, but to hate them? I have to in turn judge people like you that say you hate her. Hate is a strong word.

  41. Sandy Cheeks

    You are my hero. Thank you for finally speaking up!

  42. Freda Ericssen

    The main thing that puts off your readers is that you write about Stewart and Pattinson as a “package deal”. Twilight is over, they have separate careers and different fanbase (Twihards are not included 'cause they don't care about non-Twilight films). If you want hits on your page - keep on doing the same thing, if you want to avoid the fan rage - don't put them together, general public is sick of them as an on/offscreen couple. That's it.

  43. Daisy Kenyon

    “I don't see why you're so surprised someone disagreed with your comparison with the Cronenberg's movie.” says poster Spider.

    I don't think Andre is surprised or cares about someone disagreeing with him, I think his issue is that he does not want to be lambasted over it. I would imagine he, like myself, is more surprised that any article or film review online about Ms Stewart is necessarily flooded in the comments section with moralizing and severely harsh criticism about Ms. Stewart's private life and morality. Even now, there is a comment below referring to her “slutty” dress and immoral behavior.

    I think it is fair to compare and contrast any indie films, and interesting and legitimate to look at the career trajectory of all the Twilight stars as they leave the franchise and take on indie films and mainstream films. We could and should include Taylor Lautner here too but he hasn't done much compared to Stewart and Pattinson. Will be interested to see if Lautner does end up in the rumored Gus VanSant project.

  44. Bonboy

    @jen hahahaha jen poor woman!!! iam boring read hater comment, why dont you go back to your blog robsessed!!!

  45. Bonboy

    Obviously they are ugly people who's attack you and Kristen on internet!!!

  46. Adriana

    Preach it!! I admire you so much for telling it like it is and calling things by what they are! Bravo!! *claps*…We all have a right to our opinion…and we also have a right to have them respected! My sentiments EXACTLY!

  47. Mi

    You should read comments/articles written by middle aged critics/bloggers/reporters about Robert when the scandal broke.Now you can say what ”attack” means.Some of them(from The Hollywood Reporter,The Los Angeles Times) were so smart that called him ”cuckold”,I've never read that some journalist from tabloid press would have called Kristen ”wh@re”.Those journalists were defending Kristen and at the same time they insulted and ridiculed Robert, they forgot he was a victim in all this scandal.Those(mostly guys)didn't even mention Sanders in their articles,didn't say anyting about his ”talent” as director or insulted him on private level,just nothing,like he hadn't been a part of this scandal.People will continue to comment,because you write about R&K together.And you know that,you figured out how get hits.

  48. Jen

    “there isn't much I can say except that holier-than-thou moralists are some of the most venomous, most repulsive, and, really, most dangerous people on the planet.”

    And Kristen Stewart is one. I get you have never read any of her interviews because she has a constant habit of putting fellow actresses and peers down. No one is as honest, real and as non-Hollywood as she is. Everyone else is fake. Heck, she even had the audacity to devalue some of other people's charity work (when she's barely doing any). So when she turns around to be the biggest Hollywood cliche it's hard not to enjoy a little Schadenfreude. She calls her fans retards, compares being photographed to rape, and her cussing to Tourette's. She's so arrogant and self centered with zero awareness. YET she's one of the most overrated actresses of her generation and has Hollywood constantly blowing smoke up her behind with no merit for it. She still gets jobs because of her many connections (because lets be real, unless she's riding a franchise with other A lists she can't fill those seats) while other far better actresses don't. Those are very valid reasons why people hate her. People may hate cheaters but they hate overrated, hypocrite ungrateful brats more.

  49. sam

    Fair enough concerning OTR and the scandal. Now this might sound old school but I'd suggest that simple word of mouth has helped Cosmopolis. It's appealing to the arthouse crowd, the intellectuals (pseudo and otherwise) and, most importantly for Rob, it's attracting a male audience. I don't believe that 20 something male urban crowd is in anyway invested in the cheating scandal. As a NYU student, I'm hearing professors and fellow students talking about this film. In fact, I know several who have seen the film multiple times as it's the sort of movie that insists on your full attention and thoughtful analysis.

    Also - can we say it? - Cosmopolis is simply a better movie. But good or bad aside, by nature it will appeal to a small crowd. I would have thought OTR would attract a wider audience. I suspect Kristen's box office draw doesn't reach far beyond Bella.

  50. gg

    I had to drive 2 hours to see Cosmopolis. There was hardly any Promotion , the one in New York brought some attention but Pattinson was grilled about the affair at every interview he gave and could barely talk about his Movie while Stewart promoted OtR with her slutty dresses for almost a year . Nobody even hinted anything about that woman's desire to go and pick up a married dude for sex. Its some twisted society

  51. spider

    In your educative piece you fail to mention that “Cleopatra” wasn't a box office success, for years considered a flop. And the movies you mentioned were all released in the past century. Things have changed, Stewart is nowhere near the status Woody Allen or Liz Taylor had back in the day, there's a scandal every month and online piracy. All those movies weren't limited releases too.
    Wasn't Stewart at the Sandy relief concert, a highly publicized even in New York? I've seen “On the road” being mentioned in every article mentioning this scandal for 4 months now.
    Had eONE shared your opinion wouldn't have they tried to open “Cosmopolis” in more than 4 theaters? They had 3 weeks to do that.
    You fail to stress the fact that IFC chose to open “On the road” against heavy competition from limited and wide releases. “Cosmopolis” had not the same competition back when it opened in august and not the same amount of promotion. “Cosmopolis” didn't get only mixed reviews, it got some negative but some really positive ones too. These facts are less relevant than a scandal when it comes to box office numbers for indipendent movies? I don't see why you're so surprised someone disagreed with your comparison with the Cronenberg's movie.

  52. natt39

    I have morals but the difference is I have a heart and I am not judgemental like some people are.Kristen is a good actress and I enjoy her work and look forward to seeing her in future movies.And my hats off to you for speaking up against all these venom spewing people.

  53. maria

    so Cosmopolis succes in comparison with OTR was because K-Rupert story? Think again! Cosmopolis is a interesting dinamic movie, while OTR is a long,boring jazzy story. Cosmopolis has great critic reviews in Europe and US while OTR was a flop at Cannes. Looks like it ll be a big flop in US also. Not to mention Cosmo didnt have a chance of a big promo, while OTR promo was bigger than any blockbuster's

  54. Audrey

    Thanks so much for this article!!

    Enough of morons and stupid people who only know to offend and insult famous because only think all know about them thanks to tabloids.

    I don´t understand why they waste their time talking about a person they don´t like in all gossip sites. With respect we can opine about everything, we can say I don´t like Kristen Stewart in her last movie por example but why talking about her private life.

    If private life are very important for us so we shouldn´t see more films because each actor, director, etc… has got a sleketon in his closet…who care their private life?? The important is their work.

  55. L

    Regarding “item a),” there isn't much I can say except that holier-than-thou moralists are some of the most venomous, most repulsive, and, really, most dangerous people on the planet. That's no exaggeration. Take a good look at history — up to the present day — and you'll see that I'm right.

    Couldn't agree more. Have serious film goers even bothered to read the book before getting on their high horse?

  56. Connan

    Bravo! As always I enjoy reading your blog/reviews (though not always agree with your opinion on different aspects - and it's how it's supposed to be). Kristen is one of my fave actresses now, especially after OTR. It sucks that BO disappointed, I can see a lot of reasons, but somehow I think DVD sale should be good.

  57. danielle

    I enjoy reading your posts talking about Kristen as an actress and as a person. I'm a fan of hers, and just like you, I don't think there's any other actresses performances that I've enjoyed the most. I enjoy pretty much all of her roles and movies that she has chosen.

    Thank you for drawing attention to a post where you received a lot of negative comments. And thank you for giving your interpretation as to why they were so negative and angry. They usually are known for “foaming-at-the-mouth” when anyone is being positive about Kristen.

    Usually I stay away from comment boards on film or celebrity related sites for the sole reason if I comment, I'll no doubt get into an argument with the people who foam-at-the-mouth. But I plan to comment on your posts about Kristen in future. I want to help spread appreciation for your posts, and I'd like to show that there are fans out there.

  58. Luacheia99

    As usual, good reading!

    all articles!

    You made my day! LMAO

  59. Cissy

    The 4 measly days Cosmopolis promoted in New York was helped and mentioned by the Scandal according to you but the 1 million premieres Kristen attended wearing sheer outfits to get attention and news stories and using Breaking Dawn's promotion to highlight On the Road is hardly mentioned. Your bias continues to show. The scandal did not help. People do not watch movies based on actor's personal lives. What “Helped” was the promotion occurred in New York and LA and they had TV ads in New York. The big drop the following week was explained by the fact that the many new places where Cosmopolis opened did not get any real promotion or TV ads. If you looked at just the New York/LA drop, it was normal and not skewed. The skew occurred because it opened in places where it wasn't as promoted as New York/LA. Please continue to defend your obvious bias though. It's amusing to read someone so lacking in awareness.

  60. Freda Ericssen

    Guys, you are obsessed with Stewart-Pattinson thing. You are overanalyzing.

  61. Liz

    You're right. The reason they continue to comment or rather attack is because you haven't had anything bad to say about Kristen.

  62. Daisy Kenyon

    The film opened in the two cities that had numerous screenings of OTR. I think their audience already came out during the screenings.

  63. ro

    In Italy Cosmopolis was n°3 for the opening week at the box office (273 screenings, € 1.212 average), against Man in Black 3 (opening that week too with 2.4 times screenings) and Dark Shadows (in its third week); “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” (opening the same week too but with half the screenings Cosmopolis had, € 1.498 average ) was n°7. And French (and that I know of UK too) box office numbers are usually higher than italian ones, it's not surprising to me. Considering the mixed reviews, Cosmopolis did ok in my book. In 2011 “A dangerous method” opened here a couple of weeks after Venice with 121 screenings and an average of €3.624, but with better reviews.

    Were you talking about solid box office numbers? I thought we were talking about factors influencing box office numbers for limited releases.
    And again, “On the road” wasn't released in major european markets after Cannes, and european releases don't affect the award buzz in the US. Many critics over here agree that the most talked about movies during festivals should be released not long after these festivals. I still think it should have opened in the US in september after TIFF, it could have benefitted of your beloved scandal too. IFC presented Stewart as a possible candidate for a nomination, it doesn't mean it was actually into consideration.
    And again, how do you explain the fact that the opening numbers for “Cosmopolis” in the US were lower than those of , say, “A dangerous Method”(opening over there in 4 screenings with $41,988 average on november 23rd, two months after the Venice film festival)? We agree, award buzz is stronger in nov/dec, but around Christmas time it's also one of the most lucrative times for movies, hence it's filled with too much competition for a small movie that got tepid/mixed reviews. Release during this time makes your movie face the harsher comparison with better regarded movies too.
    Again, everybody heard about “On the road” way more than about “Cosmopolis”.

    What is relevant to you?
    Popularity of the source material is irrelevant.
    Good reviews or receptions at film festivals don't weight in when it comes to the expectations for awards?Numerous screenings in LA and NY and industry events don't make it clear if members of SAG, AMPAS etc…had the chance to see a movie.
    Length of promotional tour, competition and amount of press coverage don't either.
    But if people went or not to see “Cosmopolis” because they wanted to see how Pattinson would have handled the “situation” is relevant? Really, people are that stupid in your opinion? For that people watched the appereances on TV, certainly not a Cronenberg movie.
    Another thing to consider in your examination of scandals history: “Cleopatra”, “Husbands and wifes” and “Mr & Mrs Smith” all featured the COUPLE involved in a scandal. This fact wasn't the reason people's curiosity increased? That's irrelevant for you, too, I guess?
    A scandal helped “Cosmopolis” in the US (while having the worst opening for a Cronenberg movie in the US in the last years), but facts like 1)“On the road” being the movie adaptation of one of the most famous American novels and 2)strong of a heavy promo and the release of a Twilight movie a month before (that is still out in some theaters) are irrelevant.
    OK. I'm out, too.

  64. Andre


    You're absolutely right. “Cosmopolis” opened in Italy in late May. I must have looked at the “On the Road” release date instead. Sorry. Anyhow, considering that Cannes is much talked about in Italy, it's surprising that “Cosmopolis” didn't fare better at the Italian box office. One would have expected the film to have matched its box-office gross in France — or at least gotten close to it.

    You shouldn't be surprised I agreed with @MarkG. You should also have read my last reply to you more carefully. Here:

    “True, scandals alone aren't enough to guarantee a box-office hit, but they *are* more than enough to guarantee initial interest in a film — especially those that otherwise would have gone all but unnoticed except by ardent fans of the performer/director in question.”
    “Cosmopolis” had a solid opening. It plummeted after that. Bad movie? Bad Robert Pattinson? Bad David Cronenberg? Of course that's not what I'm saying. There are other factors at work and the only way to find out why the movie's per-theater average plummeted is, really, to interview Cronenberg / Pattinson fans (living in the urban centers where the film was playing) to discover why they decided NOT to pay $10 or $12 to watch the film.

    Yes, of course smaller movies are seen by movie fans. Of course festival screenings do help smaller movies get some buzz. But is that enough for solid box-office grosses? If so, shouldn't Sundance movies be released in North America at the time of the Sundance Film Festival? Berlin movies at the time of the Berlin Film Festival? Cannes movies at the time of the Cannes Film Festival? Toronto movies at the time of the Toronto Film Festival? If they aren't, it's because the buzz is much stronger around Nov./Dec., awards-season / Oscar season time. It makes sense to release a Cannes movie in France or Italy in May or June. It makes sense to release a potential Oscar contender — even if for Best Screenplay or Best Cinematography or, gasp, Best Supporting Actress (Kristen Stewart, you've heard of her…) — late in the year in North America. Ask the distributors of “Slumdog Millionaire” and other potential awards-season entries, from “Rust and Bone” to “The Impossible.”

    And please, read my article before complaining. There are lots of comparisons to other movies, including to Walter Salles' two previous road movies. The (possible) reasons for “On the Road's” success in Brazil are provided as well. Just added the info about “On the Road” opening in France at the time of the Cannes Film Festival.

    The “scandal” may have affected the lives and loves of only the Twilight crowd. But *everybody* heard about it. No one from Alaska to New Zealand could have escaped the media furor that went on for a whole month — right when “Cosmopolis” opened. An assurance of long-lasting success? Of course not. An assurance of bigger first-weekend interest? Definitely.

    I wasn't going to continue the discussion — as I said before, we'll have to agree to disagree, and I'll be writing an article about this topic in the next few days. But since I had to apologize for getting the wrong “Cosmopolis” opening date in Italy, I went ahead and responded to your other comments. But enough. Let's agree to disagree on this.

  65. Andre


    I'm not @Liz, but one suggestion: When looking at Rotten Tomatoes' score, *always* use the Top Critics score and *always* check out the averages. Those (to a certain extent, of course) reflect the likes and dislikes of the more influential news publications and websites. Among RT's top critics, “Cosmopolis” has a 50% score / 5.7/10 average (28 reviews); “On the Road” has a 42% score; 5.9/10 average (19 reviews).

  66. Andre


    If numbers don't improve for “On the Road,” there's certainly a good chance that IFC Films' planned expansion will be curtailed — or stalled. As in, no further (real) expansions. As was the case with “Cosmopolis,” what would happen is that they drop one theater in NY, while adding another in San Francisco. The following weekend they drop that one, and add one in Boston. And so on.

  67. Andre


    Trust me, NO credit is given to the public at large. Box-office flops / disappointments can — and often are — *great* movies. Box-office hits, on the other hand…
    And please note that we *only* use Rotten Tomatoes' **Top Critics** score. Those are almost always from top websites / news publications.

    I'm sorry, but I don't know about what's happening with Roger Ebert. I do hope he'll be able to resume his writing.

  68. Liz

    @ Lena

    1. OTR is included in many lists, even though it's not at the top.
    2. I don't understand how you could consider Scott a joke. You may not like him personally but he isn't the lead awards analyst for the Hollywood Reporter for nothing.
    3. Cosmopolis didn't get “stellar reviews” at Cannes. Were you around at that time? Some people liked it and some people didn't as shown by the reviews.

  69. RLiving

    No offense to your research & analysis about box office numbers & critics' opinions - I do like the way you stick to FACTS in your blog - but both OTR & Cosmopolis will always have a limited audience because both stay true to the underlying material and the directors' visions. Let's not give the “general public” too much credit for being discerning viewers. As for critics, find one or two who give you consistently good recommendations - (you & Ebert come to mind) - & don't read Rotten Tomatoes reviews (they're written by those same idiots that you work/go to school with!)

    (By the way, do you think Roger Ebert will be able to return to work after his hip fracture? Or perhaps his wife will carry on? Thanks for any info.)

  70. Campbell

    First of all I don't see a problem with the comparison. Both movie budgets are $20 Million or more and both had star studded screenings at Cannes in May. On The Road also had the benefit of a highly- publicized premiere at TIFF. Yet both movies ended up with highly disappointing box office totals..domestic and foreign.

    In terms of Cosmopolis, a David Cronenberg movie which earns less than $1 Million in the US and Canada is a huge disappointment no matter how divisive the subject matter. Cosmopolis received much more press than the usual Cronenberg fare too. Although Cosmopolis topping several influential critics year-end lists could spell good news for Robert Pattinson's attempts at a post-Twilight career and Cosmopolis' potential to expand on the home video platform.

    The bulk of On The Road's extensive media campaign happened in NY/LA so the numbers should have been at least decent but they aren't. I'm sure a rotten score on Rotten Tomatoes and so-so Metacritic didn't help. I can't say there was a lack of advertising because of newspaper ads, multiple screenings, and interviews on late night. Kristen Stewart's participation guaranteed that it received more attention than most independent movies.

    People simply didn't show up for On The Road. My question is will expansion be cancelled if the numbers remain this low? AMPAS aren't going to magically nominate On The Road when it has been missing everywhere else. It's astonishing to me that a movie which has been in development for over 30 years by Francis Ford Coppola and is based on one of the most popular American books of the last century opened to such middling numbers . I'm not seeing On The Road on any year end lists either.

    I think some in the arthouse community dismissed both Cosmopolis and On The Road early because of the Twilight stars. I would say the totals would be the same or possibly even better if they were not involved, so I don't believe a scandal benefited either film.

  71. ro

    How do you explain “Cosmopolis” is 65% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes while “On the road” is 46% rotten. “Cosmopolis” has 58/100 on Metacritic, “On the road” has 53/100. The number of reviews considered for this percentages are higher for “Cosmopolis” in both cases.

  72. ro

    Wrong, you wrote it yourself in a previous reply, “Cosmopolis” opened in Italy back on May 25th and is out on DVD now. “On the road” opened in october here. And you're right, you wrote “Cosmopolis” did decent numbers in FRANCE because of Cannes, my bad.
    Cannes is one of the three biggest film festival in Europe (quite possibly the biggest for media attention), Cannes buzz is big in other European countries beside France, like Italy, but “On the road” was released in markets like UK, Germany, Denmark, Ireland and Italy in october, it will be released in Spain next february and I can't find info for the release in other European countries (that's why I simply wrote Europe, without the patience and time necessary to write all this down). And no, you didn't simply write “Europe is not a monolitic block” repling to me. You wrote “Europe is much bigger than just France and Italy. I mean, you must have studied geography in school (??)”

    I checked Mark G's comments. But I'm surprised you'd agree, we're not talking about wide release movies, or big budget movies here. “Cosmopolis” was no “Cleopatra” or “Mr and Mrs. Smith”. Festivals don't help sell tickets for smaller movies, but scandals do? Aren't smaller movies seen mainly by movie fans, who actually waste a little time reading reviews and following film festivals news? How come other Cronenberg movies in limited release faired better in the US, yet “Cosmopolis” with Pattinson and with the “help” of the scandal, did worse numbers?
    Why there's no comparison between “On the road” and another more popular Salles's movie, like “The Motorcycle Diaries”? It had a limited release in the US too. Why choosing “Cosmopolis”? Because it had a Twilight actor too? 90% of “Cosmopolis” frames have Pattinson in it, Stewart has a supporting role in “On the road”, they don't have the same impact on their respective movie.

    The public interest for a movie like “On the road” was greater than for “Cosmopolis”, yet they drew in similar numbers, and that's not telling of something going wrong with “On the road”? “On the road” having a way longer promo tour “that totally made up any little attention the scandal may have brought to Cosmopolis) is irrelevant?
    The number of locations a movie is shown at doesn't affect the final box-office numbers (that you mentioned in your article)? Wouldn't that info (or the fact that “On the road” opened in France right after Cannes, just like Cosmoplis) give more means to judge the movie performances in France, Italy and Brazil? [Those infos about “On the road” number of screenings are avaible on its IMdb page].

    -“What DID make a difference were the mixed-to-poor notices. That dramatically hindered the film's chances for success. And the lack of awards-season recognition. Thus, those who went to see it were Kristen Stewart, Garrett Hedlund, Walter Salles fans. Not sure if fans of the novel would have been that interested, considering most of the reviews.”- Agreed, and some of that goes for “Cosmopolis” too.
    The couriosity and attention for that scandal was limited, it affected mostly Twilight fans (only a handful of which go and see other Stewart or Pattinson movies). Most people didn't care about Pattinson and Stewart, they're not Pitt&Jolie or Taylor&Burton. And that curiosity was spent with the online leaked version of both movies and with the tv appeareances of the two actors. We'ne no longer in the sixties or early 2000s. Scandals = more attention =/= more tickets sold. It's not that simple.
    Premieres and screening for “On the road” aren't long past, the general public was well aware of its release.
    You didn't actually read my comments, and again you go with veiled insults. I got that IFC hoped for award recognition, and I explained that IFC expecting it for On the road wasn't justified by the reviews the movie got, so IMO the late release was a bad move.

  73. Connan

    I'm not going to lie - I was disappointed with such soft OTR opening. There was so much buzz, so many screenings, so much anticipation - but, I guess, it wasn't enough to generate an avalanche of interest from general public.

    The long wait of this movie also contributed to eventual lack of interest. Also, I'm totally puzzled by the choice of locations this movie is getting distribution to. I understand that initial ”test” number of theaters is small, what I don't get - how they getting selected for potential second/third/etc… screenings. I live in Boston area and the only theater where (in February!) fans could watch this movie is located in Berkshire county(!!), tiny-mini town 135 miles from Boston. We have number of indie theaters here - in Cambridge, West Newton, Brookline with great selection of small indie or foreign movies - and they are not included into list. Mystery. Nobody will drive 2 hours in winter time to watch it.
    Critics slaughtering of this movie didn't help BO obviously either, that's why I never read any reviews before watching movie which picked up my interest (plot, actors involved, etc…).
    Garret, Sam and Kristen performances are so captivating in OTR (from leaked scenes what I could see so far) that OTR should be watched at least because of them, especially Kristen - she expanded her acting range dramatically, exiting her comfort zone and delivering breathtaking performance.

    Now, about theorizing and debating how THE “scandal” might have affected BO of both Cosmo and OTR. About Cosmo (JMHO of course) - there is no second opinion needed.
    After the scandal all the sympathy FLOWS worldwide for Rob. “Coincidentally”, right in time for Cosmopolis premiere. EVERYONE feels badly for him and many tune in to watch just out of morbid curiosity to see how he'll handle the “situation”. And Cosmopolis is bigger than expected. YES - he was great no doubt and the film fantastic but who would have paid attention to this indie film but fans? OTR – different scenario, time passed, nothing is forgotten yet, but everyone tired of it, momentum is lost. It's a pity that this movie didn't get attention it deserves.

    I must admit, I'm not fan of the book but I'm fan of Kristen/Garret/Sam team. So, looks like DVD or VOD are the only options left.

  74. Lena

    Even with all the 789653214 screenings where Kstew showed up almost naked, no one cares about OTR, it isn't be considering for any award, and please give me a break with Scott F, this guy is a joke. Cosmopolis had received stellar reviews in Cannes and figure in various lists (Les Cahiers du cinémà, ThePlaylist, Love Film, etc)as one of the best films of the year, capice?

  75. Liz


    Like you said, OTR premiered at many more place than Cosmopolis did, so the latter didn't get as many reviews as OTR did. Critics and people such as Scott Feinberg said “You and I usually are on the same page, but I think that COSMOPOLIS was the worst movie that I saw in 2012. And I saw BATTLESHIP. ” I like Cosmopolis but at least OTR is being considered for awards, as far down the lists as it may be. You just don't like Kristen Stewart.

  76. tina

    Cosmopolis is way way better than OTR, see RT and critic praise. OTR premiere in Cannes, TIFF, AFI and numerous screening and pimping of KS to get an award nomination , but no one cares about OTR. face it. Trying to compare Cosmopolis to OTR is laughable

  77. Andre


    I didn't assume you were an American. Alt Film Guide gets visitors from all over the world, and we're in contact with them on Twitter and Facebook and on the site itself on a daily basis. *You* used the word “Europe”; I simply said, Europe isn't a monolithic block — like many, whether in Europe or elsewhere, seem to think it is.

    And you misread my comment: True, I said “Cosmopolis” did so-so business in Italy, but not *because* of Cannes. [Correction: “Cosmopolis” opened in Italy in late May, not in October as I had earlier in this comment. My response here was due to a misreading of @ro's previous comment.]

    Here's the paragraph:
    “Cannes buzz is infinitely bigger in France — for obvious reasons — than in North America. That's why “On the Road” (and “Cosmopolis”) did better over there. The reasons “On the Road” did better in Brazil are clearly explained in the article. Elsewhere, it did so-so/mediocre business, including in Italy, where it's no. 105 for 2012 (according to Box Office Mojo, it opened there in Oct.) — or performed downright poorly.”

    Why didn't I write that “On the Road” opened in 225 locations in Italy or 357 in France? Because it's irrelevant. (Also, I didn't have that info at hand.) “Cosmopolis” opened in France in early June, right after Cannes. Does it matter if it opened at 10 locations and then expanded to 300? Or if it opened at 300? What matters is how the film performed — per-theater average — whether at 10 locations or 300. If a film does well in limited/platform release, more theaters are added. If it doesn't, the expansion is either very small or nonexistent (as was the case with “Cosmopolis” in North America). The future of “On the Road” in North America remains unclear. It depends, I believe, on how the film is going to perform this week, up to the weekend after New Year's. If per-theater averages remain flat (or drop), there will be only a minor expansion. If they get better, there should be a (probably slightly) wider expansion.

    Scandals don't sell movie tickets? Check out @Mark G.'s comments. And do a little research in film/box-office history. You'll then see how *dead wrong* you are. True, scandals alone aren't enough to guarantee a box-office hit, but they *are* more than enough to guarantee initial interest in a film — especially those that otherwise would have gone all but unnoticed except by ardent fans of the performer/director in question. @Mark G.'s comments, in fact, have given me an idea for a future post.

    As for “On the Road” getting a December release … Is it so hard to understand that they were *expecting* some awards recognition? It hasn't happened so far, and probably won't. But they were *expecting* it. Hence, the December release. What's so incomprehensible about their strategy?

    Cannes and TIFF are long in the past. So is the scandal. Could “On the Road” have done worse without any of those, and the release of “Breaking Dawn Part 2”? Possibly. Perhaps it wouldn't have made a difference. What DID make a difference were the mixed-to-poor notices. That dramatically hindered the film's chances for success. And the lack of awards-season recognition. Thus, those who went to see it were Kristen Stewart, Garrett Hedlund, Walter Salles fans. Not sure if fans of the novel would have been that interested, considering most of the reviews.

    Now, if you don't agree with my statements — and the only way to prove or disprove them would be to interview those who went to see “On the Road” last weekend — I think we should just agree to disagree on them.
    Having said that, I may use this long discussion as the basis for a future post as well. That should be interesting.

  78. ro

    @Mark G
    Then why deny or omit that the same scandal may have helped this movie (you know, Stewart's first appearance after the scandal was at TIFF for On the road) and the release of the last Twilight movie a month before? Maybe On the road would have done worse than this without those things.

  79. ro

    LOL, I'm Italian (you're another American assuming the internet is populated by only americans I guess) and I didn't write Cannes or TIFF help sell the tickets, but they get you coverage and pubblicity in Europe or in the US. Please, re-read my comments. And you were the one who wrote “Cosmopolis” did so-so at the box office in Italy only because of Cannes.
    “Why didn't you wrote that “On the road” opened in 225 screenings in Italy? Or that it opened right after Cannes in France with 357 screenings?
    By the way, scandals don't sell movie tickets either. As festivals do, it can get you attention, but that attention does not always benefit the box-office. You really think that people saw Pattinson in TV after the scandal and rushed to the movie theaters blindly, without checking out reviews or the synopsis beforehand? Come on. We're not talking about a movie like “Avengers” or “Thor”.
    Did I write that all Palme d'Or winners go on to get STRONG award buzz? No, I wrote that the release of “Amour” later, during award season, is more justified than the late release of “On the road”, that movie already got awards and critical acclaim, that “On the road” didn't have.
    People did hear about “On the road” anywhere they turned: Cannes, TIFF, the scandal, the Twilight movie promotional tour, the endless screenings in nov/dec that landed Stewart on gossip magazines etc… Why does nobody say that On the road could have done worse than this had it not been for that scandal and the relase of the twilight movie?

  80. anna

    Kristen Stewart will get an Oscar one of these days. Maybe next year. Maybe for LIE DOWN IN DARKNESS. Mark my words.

  81. merry mary

    Rob and Cosmopolis has nothing to do with Kristen on the road.
    Two different roads in two different movies. totaly different. they go on different directoins. east is west in one. west is east in another. why not go south? holy motors. ho ho ho Merry Chrismas!

  82. Mark G.

    The Richard Burton-Elizabeth Taylor scandal helped CLEOPATRA at the box office. The Woody Allen-Mia Farrow scandal helped HUSBANDS AND WIVES at the box office. The Brad Pitt-Angelina Jolie scandal helped MR. & MRS. SMITH at the box office.
    But the Kristen Stewart-Rupert Sanders-Robert Pattinson scandal didn't help COSMOPOLIS when it opened in August. Robert Pattinson's first public appearance. On the Jon Stewart TV show.
    No? That didn't help? No? No? No?
    Those rabid Twilight fans are so delusional it's pathetic.
    I've read that Robert Pattinson tries to keep his distance from them. He's smart.
    If I were Kristen Stewart I'd do the same.

  83. MyLeOr

    Why do people get so touchy when the scandal is mentioned? Should all pretend it never happened? He's not making a big deal out of it, gossiping and such. He is making a point about it. If you agree or not, that's fine. But to say move on and let's pretend it never happened, never affected their lives or careers or the box office of their films is ridiculous. I don't know if the scandal helped Cosmopolis, but maybe it did. The producers should have done more to promote the film in the United States. One scandal wasn't enough. Maybe enough for one weekend, but that movie needed more.

  84. Regine

    Am I a genius or are most people really dim?
    The comparison between On the Road and Cosmopolis makes total sense: indie movies shown at Cannes distributed by small company in US with respected directors and cast and each starring a Twilight star.
    What's so hard to understand about this?
    Maybe your problem is that you don't like the comparison. But that's your problem, not the author of this story.

  85. Lisa

    Still not understanding the comparison of the two,films and can we all please stop writing and talking about the scandal … Move on please
    I am stocked that on the road will be coming to atlanta!

  86. Andre


    Thanks for the comment. Gotta say, however, that I disagree re: “Bel Ami.” I liked the film — flawed but overall quite watchable — and I found Robert Pattinson *excellent* in it. (I'm aware that most critics would agree with you, not with me.)

  87. Andre


    Double lol: Do you know how many freaking Palme d'Or winners have gone on to earn strong Oscar buzz in the U.S.?
    In the last 15 years, three titles: “The Pianist” (2002), “The White Ribbon” (2009), and “The Tree of Life” (2012). That's it. Two of those are English-language films made by filmmakers with the word “Hollywood” attached to them (at least for part of their careers).

    Michael Haneke's name and the prestige attached to the film's veteran cast led to the Oscar buzz for “Amour.” Else, “Amour” would have gone the way of fellow recent Palme d'Or winner “Uncle Boonmee,” who, though able to recall his past lives, was all but ignored during awards season (and by North American movie audiences).

    Whether you're talking about “On the Road” or “Cosmopolis” or some other movie, Europe is much bigger than just France and Italy. I mean, you must have studied geography in school. Europe isn't a monolithic block. What's successful in one country may bomb in another. In fact, Cannes doesn't sell tickets in most territories. What's more, do you think “they” have control over when “On the Road” gets distributed? Who are “they”? “On the Road” was distributed by different entities, with different agendas, in different markets. There's no one “they.”

    TIFF is important for awards-season buzz, that's true. But it's NOT crucial for audience awareness. The Oscar buzz *itself* is. Film people follow Toronto; regular moviegoers don't. *Everyone* (well, most everyone) follows — or at least is aware of — Oscar buzz. And that grows stronger in early December, when U.S.-based critics groups such as NY and LA start handing out awards. That's why so many movies with Oscar aspirations are getting/got late November/December releases. That should be obvious. “On the Road” is no exception. Anyhow, competition in Oct./Nov. would have been fierce as well — and without the advantage of the potentially box-office boosting holiday season. Check out the box-office figures for Marion Cotillard's Oscar-buzzed Cannes entry “Rust and Bone.” It's hardly a major hit in North America.

    Now, get real. “Amour” did better than “On the Road” on opening weekend because of strong reviews / strong Oscar buzz / and lots of critics awards. That's *obvious*. “Cosmopolis” was released at the height of the Kristen Stewart / Rupert Sanders scandal. It's absurd not to see the connection. Had “On the Road” been released then, it would have benefited as well, even though Kristen Stewart was getting relentlessly attacked. But for the box-office, that doesn't matter. What matters is that more people would have heard of “On the Road” everywhere they turned.

    So it's ludicrous to say “On the Road,” released months after the scandal, was “helped way more” than a movie released at a time when Robert Pattinson was making his first post-scandal public appearances — so as to promote the David Cronenberg film. And think about it: had the scandal still been a factor this late in the game, “Breaking Dawn Part 2” would have become the highest-grossing Twilight movie ever at the domestic box office. That's not the case. At all.

  88. ro

    Lol, “Amour” win the freaking Palme d'Or at Cannes, it was obvious they'd try to get award buzz in America too and release it during award season.
    On the road has/had nowhere as close as critical acclaim as “Amour”.
    You say “Cosmopolis” did so-so in Italy and France and only because of Cannes, that's another reason that should convince you they should have released the movie right after Cannes in Europe and after TIFF in the US (this is usually the complain of some critics I follow: movies that participate in festival are then usually released too late to benefit from it). Cosmopolis was scheduled to come out in Europe in december 2012, but they changed their mind, and for the best apparently. Wasn't On the road scheduled to come out earlier in the US too? Plus isn't TIFF widely covered in the US?
    In your words: “Amour is hardly an audience-friendly flick” yet it did better than “On the road” on opening weekend in the US (with 0 big mainstream names). “Cosmopolis” is hardly an audience friendly flick too, and it did better on opening weekend in The US. “Amour” has awards and critical acclaim, Cosmopolis had Cannes, On the road lost the Cannes and TIFF train and is 46% rotten (if you claim the scandal helped Cosmopolis, it helped way more On the road, because since august the movie has benn mentioned in every single article about Stewart and in 90% of her interviews).

  89. Mardell

    I have to agree with the writer of this article, the kristen stewart circus this past summer must have helped Cosmopolis promo. At least it made me, who love film and watch a lot of films, discover Robert Pattinson who I had never seen in a film before. Same goes for Kristen Stewart. I decided to check out a few of their respective smaller films in a show of support, just because the scandal made me feel sorry for two such young actors having their personal life exposed in the media like thatand was very impressed with Stewart in Speak and Into the wild, although not as impressed as I was with Pattinson in Little Ashes, How to be and Remember me. Tried to watch Bel Ami also but to me he really sucks in that for some reason. Anyway, My point being, I was unaware of both Stewart and Pattinson pre-scandal so I do find it logical that Cosmopolis was helped by the scandal, esp considering the intensity with witch Pattinson's fans seem to support him.

  90. Andre


    Thank you for your thoughtful insights.

  91. Amy

    I think a lot of things contributed to the soft opening. Firstly, the long wait and the mixed reviews. People were anxious to see it until it was bad-mouthed by some Cannes critics, then the anticipation waned. Secondly, Kristen Stewart is a double-edged sword. She has a huge fanbase and they're not all teenagers as some seem to think. They came out to support her at screenings and even at the premiere. There were so many screenings that I think that most people who went to see her in NY and L.A. already saw it, some multiple times. However, she also has her detractors and people who refuse to see a movie with her in it. In conjunction with that, some Kerouac fans feel that the cast is too Hollywood and that goes against the spirit of the book, although I think that Kerouac would've approved of the entire cast, particularly Kristen Stewart. She's about as non-Hollywood as an international movie star can get. Thirdly, fans who probably won't travel hours or fly to other countries to see Kristen for 15-20 minutes will buy a DVD and some did buy the French version. Some fans put that DVD up to be streamed and many fans have already seen the pirated movie, unfortunately. Fourthly, the awards buzz for Garrett and Kristen didn't pay off in any nominations, like you said. There are people who felt the attention was one-sided towards Kristen and left Garrett out and they resented that, although IFC did everything for Garrett that they did for Kristen. Kristen is just the more widely known star, so they used her to promote the movie. Lastly, the locations where the movie is playing for the January release are very disappointing for the fans who were eager and willing to see the movie in the theater. Most people are going to have to travel at least 2 hours to see it, or it's not playing in their area at all, and many Kristen Stewart fans are not willing to do that for such a small part. Some fans don't like the book enough to camp out, like they did for the Twilight movies and I guess the other stars in the movie aren't compelling enough to them to take the trek. So, I think a lot of factors contributed to the low box-office. However, I think it'll do fantastic on DVD and VOD, once it's available.

  92. Andre


    Cannes buzz is infinitely bigger in France — for obvious reasons — than in North America. That's why “On the Road” (and “Cosmopolis”) did better over there. The reasons “On the Road” did better in Brazil are clearly explained in the article. Elsewhere, it did so-so/mediocre business, including in Italy, where it's no. 105 for 2012 [correction: it opened in Italy in May 2012, not Oct.] — or performed downright poorly.

    Opening “On the Road” in North America as near to Oscar time as possible was a good move. Another reason for the Dec. 21 opening day: “On the Road” now has about ten days of “holiday season” to generate extra business — Christmas and New Year's falling on a Tuesday should mean more people off work on Monday and better Sunday attendance. Whether that'll happen is unclear, but it makes perfect sense that they would have *expected* it to happen. That's also why “Amour” — another Cannes entry — opened the same day as “On the Road.” The key difference, of course, is that the hopes for Oscar buzz for “Amour” have actually paid off. Now, admittedly, it remains unclear whether or not the Academy's recent decision to move forward the deadline for the Oscar ballots negatively impacted late-year releases.


    You got your facts wrong. “Cosmopolis” didn't do “its best in foreign markets.” “Cosmopolis” performed relatively well in France, where it opened right around the time of the Cannes Film Festival. That's it. In Italy, where it also opened in May, it did just so-so — it's no. 119 for the year, with a little over $1m, and a notch below “Chernobyl Diaries” and a notch above “Silent Hill: Revelation 3D” amd about $100k below “On the Road.” Elsewhere, “Cosmopolis” bombed, too, including Canada, where it opened B.t.S. (Before the Scandal). Your comments about both “On the Road” and the use of Kristen Stewart to push it were just as off the mark.

  93. jojo

    i read the article, and still don't see the comparison. they don't star the same stars, they aren't made by the same people, they weren't funded by the same people. they both priemered at cannes and have car scenes. so did holy motors. why not throw that in there as well? so other then the fact pattinson and stewart date there is nothing these two films share.

  94. ro

    I never said I expected On the road to be a hit, I did expect it to do better than this and better than “Cosmopolis” since opening weekend, no matter the time frame of the release, tough. I'm saying that it could have done BETTER than this had it opened earlier, when there was still a little buzz after TIFF or Cannes. I've read many complaints about the fact that it's been too long of a promo tour too.
    How do you explain the fact that in other countries (where it was released earlier) the movie did better then? Isn't “On the road” considered one of the classic American novels? I didn't expect other countries to appreciate it more looking at the box office. How come Cosmopolis drew the same numbers in france and Italy, despite being more astruse and unpopular? I saw more promotion for “On the road” than I've seen for “Cosmopolis”, too. Plus that the scandal YOU mentioned in the article helped promote “On the road”, in my opinion.
    And critical acclaim doesn't automatically translate to good box office earnings. If IFC chose this time to release the movie only to try and get award buzz, considering the reviews that came out of Cannes and TIFF and the fact that this is one of the busiest and most competition-filled time of the year to release a movie, it was a bad choice IMO.

  95. Anna

    How can you say the scandal helped Cosmopolis and in the same breath say it did poorly in North America? Yes, Cosmo did its best in foreign markets, but it was released there BEFORE the scandal. In North America, where it was released AFTER the scandal, it had a strong opening and then the numbers went down dramatically. That's not exactly surprising for a hard-to-sell indie. I went to see it in a very small obscure theater in NY, where it screened for TWO weeks. The Cronenberg fans, the Pattinson fans and people who were anticipating it saw it on opening day, resulting in high numbers. That's not exactly surprising, is it? OtR IS a more popular and loved book, Salles is a director that is much easier to swallow, and the supporting cast was filled with more household names than Cosmopolis. Not to mention all the promo and paid for buzz. OtR should have done much, much better. The scandal didn't hurt it. The fact that Kristen Stewart became the selling point did. No one took her seriously as an actress and now everyone knew the kind of person she was. The scandal only added about 10% to OtR's already ensured failure.

  96. Andre


    “On the Road” wouldn't necessarily have been a hit had it opened right after Cannes — much like “Cosmopolis” bombed in Canada, even though it opened there in the spring.

    “On the Road” is hardly a commercial movie. Not as out there as “Cosmopolis,” but certainly not at all like a mainstream flick. So, IMO my comparison holds.

    And yes, you can compare how movies fared even though they opened at different times of the year — as long as you take that into account and include that information in your piece. Which I did.

    “On the Road” would have fared much better had it gotten stronger awards-season buzz from critics groups. I'm sure IFC Films was betting on some critical love for their film and/or stars, but that didn't happen. They tried. “On the Road” opened at an appropriate time.

    Having said that … it's unclear whether or not IFC Films made screeners widely available to critics, SAG voters, etc. That can make a huge difference on who gets in and who doesn't.

  97. Andre


    No. Because she wore cool shades.

  98. gg

    Screw had a small role, still she is proclaimed the Star of this Movie, why, because she took off her clothes?

  99. ro

    Pattinson & Stewart are not among the biggest names in the industry, please and LOL! and I'm saying this as a person who has enjoyed some of the movies Pattinson's been in.
    “On the road” has more big names that “Cosmopolis”. “On the road” is a more popular book than “Cosmopolis”, more people were interested in a movie adaptantion of that book, why didn't they go see this movie then???? “On the road” is more known, obviously more people would have been interested in going to see it. It doesn't seem so far streched to me, but it's quite logical.
    Cosmopolis is a wierd movie and after seeing it there's no chance for me to believe that it could have done better. Can you honestly say the same for “On the road”? You're comparing how very different movies did at the box office at different times of the year and in different circumstances, hence your statements don't hold. Can you honestly say that “On the road” couldn't do better if it was released right after Cannes or TIFF?
    Again, the scandal didn't help “Cosmopolis” at all, the movie did fine in spite of it! Pattinson's image got a big blow, while some people thought of the poor guy who was cheated on, the rest of the world was laughing at him and at the crazy twilight fans who freaked out. It robbed him of the chance to detach himself from that awful movie saga, it shifted the attention away from the US promo for Cosmopolis, all people wanted to see was his reaction to the scandal.
    You can't ignore that. Your conclusion is a simplistic and superficial way to see things, IMO.
    I stand by my opinion that choosing “Cosmopolis” for a box office comparison is scorrect. You could have chosen other indies, closer to “On the road” for this comparison. I did read about the comparison with other movies, I was referring to the inclusion of Cosmopolis in this comparison.

  100. Andre

    Dear jen,

    Stating *public* facts is not the same thing as “knocking down” someone or something.

    Did I ever mention “Cosmopolis” in “Best of 2012” lists? Well, here's one article about one of the most important of such lists:


    The “On the Road” promo was certainly bigger than the one for “Cosmpolis” — though all eyes were on Robert Pattinson when he made those two key television appearances back in August. Hey, and I remember Pattinson and David Cronenberg going to Wall Street, too…


    Also, bear in mind that Kristen Stewart's Governors Ball, Oscar Roundtables and Q&A appearances meant precious little to the public at large. TV ads, however, make a HUGE difference. How many were there for “On the Road”?

    And finally, I wasn't “praising” “On the Road” in this box-office piece. I was stating facts. And not very positive ones, either. I can't begin to understand how anyone could see those box-office facts as “praise.” As for comparisons, those are *always* necessary when you're discussing something like box-office figures. That's called: Providing Context. Else, figures are *meaningless*.

    Ah, something else: Robert Pattinson is one my favorite performers. He's charming, unaffected, capable. In my view, he deserves much more credit for his acting abilities than he has gotten so far. And I was personally very disappointed that “Bel Ami” and “Cosmopolis” performed so poorly at the North American box office.

    There. I said it. Now, call me biased. Tell me I have a pro-Robert Pattinson bias.

  101. Andre


    I know very little about the private lives of Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, but I'm glad I'm not the only one who saw the scandal as something that clearly, obviously, blatantly helped “Cosmopolis” — at least right when it came out. People who had never heard of the film, suddenly became aware it existed. How could that *not* have helped?

    Thanks for writing.

  102. Andre


    If those are final figures, “On the Road” didn't do very well at all in Scandinavia. Figures via Box Office Mojo (www.boxofficemojo.com)

    Denmark $75,151
    Finland $185,151
    Sweden $51,774

  103. Andre


    Can we agree that both “Cosmpolis” and “On the Road” were screened at Cannes, that they have “stream-of-consciousness” narratives, that they have well-respected directors and supporting players, that they received mixed reviews in North America, and that they star two of the biggest names in the business (i.e., Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson)?

    Oh, but none of that matters. What matters is that “On the Road” is a better known book than “Cosmopolis.” Oh.

    “You couldn't find more recently released indie movies to compare?”

    You couldn't have read the two-part piece before coming up with a baseless complaint?

  104. jen

    Dear Andre, no matter how much you want to try to knock down Rob or Cosmopolis both keep getting mega year end and tops so many ”Best of 2012” lists. (did you ever mention about that?..)
    On the Road promo was huge. You can't even compare with the Cosmo.
    Endless screenings with main stars (+ with the support huge names like Coppola. sure it got lots of attention)
    four major premieres, (NYC, AFI Fest,TIFF,Cannes) studios's award campaign. Governors Ball, Variety Oscars Round Table, Q&A events, talk shows,Mags, etc etc.
    I'm not a kristen stewart hater. Not at all. If you want to write about her positively, go ahead. but… sure there is a way to praise one movie without put down another or pit/compare them…
    I used to come here, but your dislike for a few Rob fans starting to affect your Rob articles. Sad.
    You're a biased. no matter how much you're pretend that you're not.

  105. lory

    If people
    can't handle the truth ..well,Hollywood life is the perfect place for their unnecessary complaints . “the scandal” was a BIG help to promote Cosmopolis and pattinson's image .The aspect of timing was perfect .”the poor guy deserve a better girl in his life “,”robpattz is the better man on this planet ..”and extreme fans showed their support watching cosmopolis -to the point of exhaustion- .I don't blame their actions,because I remember a Robert pattinson's interview on tv when he invited his fans to buy 8 tickets per person -in the meantime-Jon Stewart offered him some ice cream .”the scandal”was a big unnecessary drama ,but pattinson and his team know how to handle the situation in such a way that it works to their benefit .of course Stewart is like the sacrificial lamb . conclusion :Pattinson and Stewart are back together ,this is the best proof that the 'scandal' were no so relevant in their real lifes with exception of business.

  106. Em

    It´s kind of strange/sad that this novel turned film has been so ignored by the general American public since it is such a pivotal piece of work in American literature. Do you have any idea how the movie faired in Sweden/Scandinavia?

  107. ro

    What kind of comparison is this? This is the kind of article that makes people like me not take Pattinson or Stewart seriously.
    How can you compare “Cosmopolis” to “On the road”?
    1) Cosmopolis came out in august, not during holiday season.
    2)That lame scandal didn't help at all Cosmopolis: that is not a movie that Twilight fans would see, and they didn't, and many Cronenberg's fans, already put off by the casting of Pattinson, ran in the opposite direction after that. If that scandal helped at all, it helped “On the road”.
    3)Can we agree that “Cosmopolis” was and still is a way less popular book than “On the road”?
    4) Isn't a movie like “Cosmopolis” less accessible than “On the road”? That didn't play a role as well? Come on.
    5)Cosmopolis came out 3 months BEFORE that Breaking Dawn movie, “On the road” a little more than a month LATER. That gave “On the Road” more exposure, it had an AFI premiere a week before the twilight movie, plus Hedlund and Stewart were “campaining” for a nomination for any award, the movie had more pubblicity than your avarage indie.
    6) Cosmopolis came out in France and Italy right after Cannes, and drew in the same numbers as “On the Road”, which is surprising since, again, “On the road” is generally way more popular than the other. Maybe IFC should have released the movie sooner.
    7)”On the road” debuted in may in Cannes, and has been out for months in other countries. Sorry, but most people who wanted to see it saw it online.
    You couldn't find more recently released indie movies to compare?

  108. Andre


    >>>>what do these two films have to do with other.?

    You didn't read the article? Check it out. Then you'll Understand.

  109. Andre

    @know so little:

    a) “On the Road” hasn't “flopped.”
    b) If you think “Holy Motors” has as much in common with “On the Road” as “Cosmopolis” does, you might want to get yourself better informed about “On the Road,” “Cosmopolis,” and “Holy Motors.”

  110. Andre


    I believe there are other issues at work. Movies that have been available for download online — because they opened in other countries before debuting in North America — have fared well in the U.S. I mean, “The Impossible” has been out for quite some time in several countries, and it's a huge hit in Spain. It's North American debut wasn't outstanding, but it was decent.

  111. Andre


    Actually, if there's any bias showing, that's your own. You should be ashamed.

    After all, if you believe the scandal didn't help to raise awareness for “Cosmopolis” — right at the time the movie came out — you don't live on Planet Earth. Maybe in some other galaxy people go to movies because of arthouse filmmakers, stellar supporting casts, and Cannes reviews. But not on this planet.

    Think about it: “On the Road's” supporting cast has three Oscar nominees. The movie also boasts the renowned director of the Oscar-nominated “Central Station.” In addition to an Oscar-winning executive producer named Francis Ford Coppola. Heard of him? Despite all that — and one of the biggest names in Hollywood at the moment (Kristen Stewart, heard of her?) — “On the Road” had a soft North American debut.

    And remember, Robert Pattinson, David Cronenberg, Juliette Binoche, Paul Giamatti or no, “Cosmopolis” was NOT a success at the North American box office. Far from it. It had a solid opening weekend. That's what's stated in the article. And that's a fact.

    If you want to fool yourself, that's your call. Go back to Hollywood Life (and *please* stay there).

  112. Freda Ericssen

    The main reason for the flop is that OTR has been available for free download online for a couple of months. The movie was released in most of the countries in summer/early fall, and it appeared to be kind of lost in distribution for the US. Obviously, they hoped for award buzz but it didn't happen.

  113. Clara

    You should be embarrassed to call yourself a film blogger. You're honestly going to credit Cosmopolis' success with the media storm created after Miss Stewarts affair? Not that it was a Cronenberg movie? Not that it starred one of the biggest names in Hollywood at the moment? Not that it had stellar reviews at Cannes? Not that it had a supporting cast of Oscar winners/nominees? Your bias is showing sir and you should be ashamed. Talk about film on your film blog, not gossip. I won't be visiting your site again. I can get this info from Hollywood Life.

  114. know

    Comparison is unnecessary OTR flopped and that's it, why not compare it with holy motors?

  115. jojo

    what do these two films have to do with other.?other then having the the two main stars from them dating….nothing. why not throw in all the other indies into it as well. are you going to be comparing brad pitt and angelina jolie films as now too?