ON THE ROAD Weekend Box Office Updated: Lower Than Early Estimates

On the Road movie Garrett Hedlund Sam RileyOn the Road weekend box office figures updated

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's Garrett Hedlund; in addition to Viggo Mortensen, Amy Adams, and Kirsten Dunst in supporting roles; and Twilight's 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

Now, my previous two-part On the Road 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 foaming-at-the-mouth comments filled with ad hominem attacks against either Kristen Stewart or myself – or both. (Those 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.

[“Updated Weekend Box Office: On the Road” continues on the next page. See link below.]

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

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