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

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

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

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

Cosmopolis expansion lacked major marketing push

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

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

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

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

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

Cosmopolis at the French box office

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

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

Cosmopolis vs. other offbeat David Cronenberg movies

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

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

Cosmopolis movie cast

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

Robert Pattinson Cosmopolis movie wallpaper courtesy of dreamysim1.

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