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'Snow White and the Huntsman' Sequel: Fast Track?

Kristen Stewart Snow White
Kristen Stewart as Snow White: Snow White and the Huntsman sequel in the works?

June 9, '12: Snow White and the Huntsman sequel in the works and on a fast track? That's the growing rumor.

As early as July 2011, SWATH (and Alice in Wonderland) producer Joe Roth said that Snow White and the Huntsman was to be the first feature in a trilogy. In early April 2012, NBC Universal honcho Ron Meyer mentioned a sequel “based on” the character of the Huntsman, played by The Avengers' Chris Hemsworth. A couple of weeks later, Universal reportedly approached David Koepp to write a follow-up to the fantasy adventure tale. And that was about two weeks before Snow White and the Huntsman beat forecasts when it debuted to the tune of $56.21 million last weekend.

Now, Universal has been “in talks” with Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders to come back for a planned sequel, reports Deadline.com. A director of commercials, Sanders made his feature-film debut with SWATH. Reviews have been mixed: critics generally admired the film's visuals, but decried its screenplay and lack of dramatic cohesiveness.

Snow White and the Huntsman actors to star in SWATH sequel?

Of course, at this stage it's unclear if Rupert Sanders will return. Movie franchises have been created without needing to have their original director back, e.g., the Harry Potter movies, the Twilight movies, and the upcoming The Hunger Games' follow-up Catching Fire.

Also of interest, Deadline.com adds that purportedly “the actors in the film have options for two sequels, so that part of the equation shouldn't be too difficult.” In addition to Chris Hemsworth, the Snow White and the Huntsman actors are The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2's Kristen Stewart as Snow White, Prometheus' Charlize Theron as the Evil Queen Ravenna, and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides' Sam Claflin as Prince Charming.

Budgeted at a reported $170 million (not including marketing / distribution expenses), Snow White and the Huntsman has scored approx. $129.6 million worldwide after eight days: $82.97 million at the U.S. and Canada box office; $46.62 million in 45 territories up to June 5.

David Koepp's screenplay credits mostly consists of high-concept blockbusters, most of those not known for their quality writing. Among Koepp's movies are Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Angels & Demons, War of the Worlds, Spider-Man, Panic Room, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Carlito's Way, The Paper, Mission: Impossible, Jurassic Park, and Death Becomes Her.

Koepp's next, which he also directed, is the action thriller Premium Rush, featuring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Aaron Tveit, and Michael Shannon. Premium Rush opens in August.

Snow White and the Huntsman picture: Alex Bailey / Universal Pictures.

Snow White and the Huntsman Chris Hemsworth
Snow White and the Huntsman: Kristen Stewart star vehicle features Chris Hemsworth as the huntsman

June 13, '12, update: Snow White and the Huntsman passed the $100 million milestone at the North American box office on Monday, its 11th day out. Early estimates had Rupert Sanders' fantasy adventure starring Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, and Sam Claflin passing that milestone on Sunday, Day 10. However, Snow White and the Huntsman fell short of forecasts after suffering a steep 59 percent drop-off rate compared to its debut weekend. Why did that happen?

In all honesty, that's impossible to say without a thorough investigation, the likes of which studios don't bother conducting. The strongest possibilities that I can think of are the following:

a) There's only so much money to go around in these tough economic times. Though not exactly targeting the same demographic group as Snow White and the Huntsman, two new entries – Ridley Scott's Prometheus and the 3D animated feature Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted – seized a large chunk of that disposable cash. I mean, someone must take all those screaming kids to go see Madagascar 3's talking animals. And pay for it, too.

b) Kristen Stewart. No, I don't mean Kristen Stewart was directly responsible for the steep second-weekend drop-off rate. What I'm saying is that Stewart was the likely reason Snow White and the Huntsman overperformed on its first weekend. Early estimates / predictions had SWATH grossing anywhere between $35–$40 million; the film opened with $56.21 million.

Here's my rationale: In large part as a result of the Twilight Saga franchise, Kristen Stewart has a large and devoted fan base – mostly female (as attested by the demographic patterns of the Twilight movies) and of various age groups, though leaning young. (New Moon's opening-weekend demographics: 80 percent female, 50 percent over 21; Eclipse's: 65 percent female; 55 percent over 21.) They flock en masse to the Twilight movies on opening weekend. (Or opening day, as was the case with Eclipse, which opened on a Wednesday.)

Kristen Stewart fans: A box office power?

For various reasons, those Kristen Stewart fans have stayed away from the (at times R-rated, e.g., The Runaways, Welcome to the Rileys) low-budget, modestly (or downright poorly) marketed indie fare featuring the actress. Snow White and the Huntsman, on the other hand, is Stewart's first big-budget, non-Twilight, commercial movie. And for that reason, I believe her fans – and their moviegoing companions – have turned SWATH into a much bigger first-weekend hit than it would have been without Stewart's presence. (As per Box Office Mojo, women accounted for 53 percent of SWATH's first-weekend moviegoers, though the dark, Gothic tale skewed older than the Twilight films, as 52 percent of patrons were over 30.)

Snow White and the Huntsman is Rupert Sanders' first film, while Sam Claflin has only one other major movie to his credit: Rob Marshall's Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, which is actually a Johnny Depp-Penélope Cruz vehicle. Needless to say, neither Sanders nor Claflin could be considered a box office draw at this stage. But why should I consider Kristen Stewart and not Charlize Theron and/or Chris Hemsworth?

Snow White and the Huntsman / Chris Hemsworth / the Huntsman picture: Alex Bailey / Universal Pictures.

Charlize Theron Evil Queen Snow White and the Huntsman
Charlize Theron, Snow White and the Huntsman

Well, surely both Charlize Theron and Chris Hemsworth have their fans. But when was the last time Charlize Theron had a major personal box office hit? The answer is never. This is no put down, but a fact. No movie toplining Theron has ever earned more than $100 million at the North American box office. Not even close. Not even adjusting for inflation.

Charlize Theron at the box office

Charlize Theron's biggest personal box office hit was her Oscar-winning star turn in Patty Jenkins' Monster back in late 2003/early 2004. The story of a sex worker-turned-serial killer, the awards-season-propelled Monster raked in $34.46 million, or about $45 million today.

Theron, of course, has been featured in a handful of box office hits. But none of the three major hits (over $100m, adjusted for inflation) in which she appeared were her star vehicles. Peter Berg's Hancock ($227.94 million in 2008) was a Will Smith movie; Taylor Hackford's The Devil's Advocate ($60.94 million in 1997, about $105 million today) starred Al Pacino and Keanu Reeves; and F. Gary Gray's heist comedy The Italian Job ($106.12 million in 2003) was an ensemble piece with Mark Wahlberg, Edward Norton, and Jason Statham. A fourth hit-in-the-making, Ridley Scott's Prometheus, is another ensemble piece featuring Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Guy Pearce, Idris Elba, and others.

In truth, the overwhelming majority of Charlize Theron's movies have been either box office disappointments or downright flops in the U.S. and Canada. Those include Niki Caro's $35 million-budgeted North Country ($18.33 million in 2005), Guillermo Arriaga's Venice Film Festival entry The Burning Plain (an abysmal $200,000 in 2009), and Jason Reitman's $12 million-budgeted Young Adult ($16.31 million in 2011).

Chris Hemsworth at the box office

Chris Hemsworth, for his part, has had a single box office hit of his own: Kenneth Branagh's Thor in 2011 ($181.03 million in North America). But really, would Thor have fared any worse had, say, Liam Hemsworth been given the part or some other good-looking blond hunk? Thor, the Marvel superhero, lured moviegoers to theaters, not Chris Hemsworth.

As for Joss Whedon's superhero superblockbuster The Avengers, that's an ensemble piece if there ever was one. In addition to Chris Hemsworth, The Avengers stars Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr., Tom Hiddleston, and Jeremy Renner: a whole array of Marvel superheroes plus one supervillain. Had it not been so, The Avengers would never have been running neck and neck with Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises in terms of ticket sales.

Earlier this year, Hemsworth was the sole “name” in Drew Goddard's ensemble horror flick The Cabin in the Woods (filmed a couple of years ago). Despite generally good reviews – 86 percent approval rating, 7.3/10 average rating among Rotten Tomatoes' top critics – the Lionsgate-distributed movie with a (rumored) $30 million budget cumed at a disappointing $41.29 million in the U.S. and Canada (and an even more disappointing $21.92 million overseas).

It's also worth noting that fellow Marvel superhero Chris Evans, when not in his Captain America costume, has fared quite poorly of late at the North American box office: Captain America: The First Avenger cumed at a solid $176.65 million in 2011, but Evans' indie Puncture was a dismal flop, collecting only $69,000, thus never expanding beyond five venues. An even bigger box office disaster was the Mark Mylod-directed romantic comedy What's Your Number?, co-starring Anna Faris and Zachary Quinto. Budgeted at $20m, What's Your Number? scored a measly $14.01 million.

We'll see how Chris Hemsworth's Red Dawn will fare later this year. Although the Dan Bradley-directed war drama could also be considered an ensemble piece – including The Hunger Games' Josh Hutcherson, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen's Isabel Lucas, and others – Hemsworth is the most notable name in the cast.

Kristen Stewart movies

Of course, one could argue that the Twilight franchise doesn't consist of Kristen Stewart movies, but ensemble efforts like The Avengers or Prometheus. In a sense, that would be a correct assessment. But it would be more correct to affirm that at the very core of Catherine Hardwicke's Twilight, Chris Weitz's New Moon, David Slade's Eclipse, and Bill Condon's Breaking Dawn - Part 1 and the upcoming Breaking Dawn - Part 2 is Stewart's Bella Swan. Everything revolves around her.

True, when Twilight came out in fall 2008, Stewart was merely “the actress who plays Bella” – much like Chris Hemsworth to a certain extent remains “the actor who plays Thor.” But things have changed quite radically since then. Kristen Stewart has become a global celebrity and, quite possibly, a strong box office draw in the right role/movie: Stewart's four Twilight movies have a total domestic gross of $1.071 billion.

Note: The Twilight popularity can't be traced solely – or even mostly – to the Stephenie Meyer books. Time and again, bestsellers and literary franchises have bombed at the box office, whether because of poor page-to-screen transfers or miscast actors. Examples range from Michael Chapman / Daryl Hannah's Clan of the Cave Bear ($1.95 million in 1986) and Brian De Palma / Tom Hanks / Melanie Griffith / Bruce Willis' The Bonfire of the Vanities ($15.69 million in 1990) to Peter Jackson / Saoirse Ronan's The Lovely Bones ($44.11 million in 2009) and Chris Weitz / Nicole Kidman's The Golden Compass ($70.10 million in 2007; this $180 million production was saved by the international market: $302.12m).

Also, Andrew Adamson's The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was major domestic hit, but both of its follow-ups underperformed in North America. That has hardly been the case with the Twilight movies, whose chief constant is its cast: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, and supporting players Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Kellan Lutz, Ashley Greene, Nikki Reed, Jackson Rathbone, Dakota Fanning, et al. (Screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg is a constant as well, but Rosenberg isn't a “star attraction.” The Twilight movie series hasn't become a box office phenomenon because it's perceived as a “Melissa Rosenberg franchise.”)

Kristen Stewart movies: Major box office draw?

So, if my Snow White and the Huntsman's box office assessment – or, more accurately, speculation – is on target, that means Kristen Stewart is capable of opening commercial, non-Twilight, big-budget Hollywood movies. The Kristen Stewart star vehicle would just need to be better received for it to have stronger staying power at the domestic box office.

Had reviews (a so-so 62 percent approval rating among Rotten Tomatoes' top critics; a mediocre 48 percent approval rating overall) and word of mouth (a middling “B” CinemaScore) been more enthusiastic about Snow White and the Huntsman, I doubt it that the steep 59 percent drop-off rate would have taken place. That is the same issue plaguing the poorly received Twilight movies: their box office grosses have invariably plummeted after the first weekend. I should add that Robert Pattinson's generally dismissed Remember Me was also down 59 percent on its second weekend – in all likelihood not a coincidence. (Admittedly, my theory gets seriously challenged by Taylor Lautner's dismally received Abduction, down a relatively modest 48 percent on its second weekend.)

Remembering Julia Roberts

In 1990, 23-year-old Julia Roberts was known as Pretty Woman's “pretty woman.” Pundits began noticing that Roberts was more than a passing comet when the following year she boasted two strong opening weekends: the poorly received romantic melodrama Dying Young scored $9.72 million at 1,552 locations (approx. $18 million today), while the R-rated thriller Sleeping with the Enemy earned $13.77 million at 1,406 venues (approx. $26 million today). Reviled by critics, Dying Young went comatose shortly after its debut; Sleeping with the Enemy, on the other hand, remained alert for weeks as a result of solid word of mouth (and a just-as-solid marketing push).

Since then, Julia Roberts has usually been a reliable box office draw around the world. Even the indifferently received Mirror Mirror, released more than two decades after Pretty Woman, went on to collect a remarkable $161.47 million worldwide.

Now it could well be Kristen Stewart's turn. It all depends on the career choices she makes.

Snow White and the Huntsman / Kristen Stewart movies picture: Universal.

Snow White and the Huntsman / Charlize Theron / Evil Queen Ravenna picture: Alex Bailey / Universal Pictures.

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28 Comments to 'Snow White and the Huntsman' Sequel: Fast Track?

  1. alotmoreofmagic

    I think a point has be made about distribution here. For an actor's movie to be seen in a theater, it must first be available to the fans. In my experience, the fanbase of Kristen Stewart has people of all ages (including the teens dismissed by the media) who read scripts and are cinephiles. Some of us even know the difference between platform, limited and wide release, not because we are hard core movie enthusiasts, but because of the lessons of 'The Runaways'. It premiered in Sundance and had so much interest. We watched helplessly as film that had interest and was waited eagerly disintegrated before our very eyes because of shoddy marketing, infighting in Apparition and barely shown in theaters. It went from limited to platform release and shown in 10 cities. It was chaotic and fans had to fight for every bit of information by emailing people. It was an R rated film and made decent money , but the narrative in media was of course “Kristen Stewart cannot open a film' despite everything that happened. How is that fair ?
    WTTR (welcome to the Rileys) paid the price too as it had Apparition for a distributor originally. It was screened in competition the same year in Sundance as 'The Runaways'. If you agree Sundance is the premier festival for indies, you have to wonder about the distribution model for these films. In the end, Goldwyn was the distributor, did a shoddy job in my opinion and again the narrative in the media was 'Kristen Stewart cannot open a film outside Twilight'. I can definitely say there was interest. Not to make millions, but it could have broken even, who knows ? Point is, these two films were never given a chance.
    'On the Road' is a film I hope this does not happen to. There is so much interest and it deserves to be seen on the big screen.

  2. Bree

    I went solely because I like Kristen Stewart and a lot of my friends feel the same way. She seems different, edgey and apart and I like that. I am tired of the same types of stars coming out of hollywood. I didn't think the SWATH script was that great and the director needs a new editor. It was too long and some things may not have worked like the deer-dog-tree? pictured. I also could have gone for more romance in it. Kristen was great and with a bit better material, the movie would have exploded. Yet because of Kristen, it's holding its' own.

  3. greenjasminetea

    @jo - Day of the pure A-List star is over but there are still movie stars that audiences will go to and give a movie a try. Downey Jr. is an example of that. A certain percentage of the audiences trust him so they show up for his movies. Depp is starting push the trust that audiences have placed in him and that showed in Dark Shadows. Given the choice between seeing him do his weird shtick and seeing Avengers, audiences chose Avengers. It will be interesting to see how Lone Ranger performs for Depp. A hit or another indicator that he needs to change his game.

    But it is still a goal of actors to at least get to a point of being consistent performers because that is what helps them get projects of their choice funded and they become attractive to certain directors and producers. Brad Pitt is an example of that. His movies are not always spectacular box office but he's consistent enough that he can get funding for projects he wants to do. That's why he's A-List. For Kristen (and Rob and probably all of their peers), that's probably the goal. Neither will ever be the A-List dominant actor that existed in the 90s but they probably hope that they can get to the point of controlling their project choices to similar to Pitt's level. (Although it also helps that Pitt has a very active production company but that's another issue altogether.)

  4. jo

    @greenjasminetea true, but like i said before a lot depends on the movie. johnny depp had a huge hit with alice in wonderland, then with dark shadows not so much. people wanted to see alice in wonderland, and not to many were happy with dark shadows. the days of having an actor/actress make bank of their name alone is over. a lot has to do with the right film that people want to see, and are willing to pay for.

  5. greenjasminetea

    @An - Is Stewart a huge movie star? I would say “No, not huge, but she is a movie star.” As Zac noted, Theron has never been a box office draw. Hemsworth's star is still rising. Theron and Hemsworth were positives to the project but no one would have been questioning their box office status if the movie had failed. Only Stewart was at risk for that. Expectations were on her and this was her first PG-13 movie outside of the Twilight Saga. Her first true test of her potential and she passed it. Like a real movie star.

    And the 'new approach to an old fairy tale' angle might have been an extra selling point had there not been two other projects that came before that feature a Snow White (ABC's successful Once Upon A Time and Relativity's Mirror Mirror). If anything, the fairy tale thing was a risk due to fairy tale (specifically Snow White) fatigue. That risk pretty much took away any advantage of that angle.

    Yes, there are combined elements that helped it but the onus was on Kristen for a big percentage of that draw for the opening weekend and she came through.

  6. An Nguyen

    I do not think Kristen is a huge movie star. She has some low performing movie before Snow White. And the success of Snow White is due to a combined pieces: Theron, Hemsworth, Stewart, and the new approach to a old fairy tale.

  7. alotmoreofmagic

    There is an interview with the then 18 year old I think Kristen Stewart in Black Book Magazine immediately after Twilight. IIRC, the question she was asked was if there was any film she wanted to be made and she talked about 'An American Girl' by James Wood with so much passion. In the age where her contemporaries are 'triple threats' where everyone is singing, dancing,acting, designing and making hay while the sun shines, Kristen Stewart stands apart for me because she seems to want to do movies for the sake of them.
    I don't go to her movies because they are box office draws, but because she has made movies like 'The Yellow Handkerchief', 'The Cake Eaters', 'On the Road', 'Into the Wild', cuts her hair for The Runaways, takes pay cuts to get films made and is passionate about movie making.
    Regarding Julia Roberts, she is known as America's Sweetheart. I don't think even Kristen Stewart fans think she fits that mold personality wise or career wise. I don't know much about the younger Julia so I cannot say why she made the choices she made as an actress, but as a cinephile that is why I like Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson for that matter. They seem to make choices for the sake of what intrigues them regardless of the box office. It exposes them to criticism for box office failure, but they make it regardless. They don't seem to be in a hurry to make a lot of money and disappear like so many of their contemporaries or exploit Twilight to further other career opportunities like music. Their careers will be what they choose and one thing I can say for certain, it will certainly be interesting with bold choices and interesting co-stars regardless of box office.

  8. jo

    i think it has more to do with the type of film. fantasy films usually do well in the box office no matter who is in them. there really isn't a “bankable” actor/actress anymore. it all depends on the type of film.

  9. luacheia99

    Zac,

    Your theory is not far from the truth….

    If you ask i any board of a Twilight fan site or any blog or LJ or Thumbs page dedicated exclusively to Kristen Stewart or Robsten (The couple: Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson) they will say to you what a lot of them already said to me…

    The first draw for the first Twilight movie was indeed a rabit fan base of the books but in the moment that The couple started to do junkets, press tour and premieres around the world, even before the release of the movie, Kristen and Robert bypassed the first interess and became the actual draw for the audience.
    This is the reason why they became huge individually and Twilight became a franchise Saga…
    They are not going to see a generic Eduard and Bella, they are going to theaters to see Kristen and Robert as Bella and Eduard.

    In the last four years, Kristen Stewart became a phenomenom individually so huge as Twilight itself . It didn't happen with the actors from Harry Potter. Not at the same level… The Harry Potter's actors already knowledge this themselves and they thanked the gods for that!

    Kristen's fan base is now mostly of 20 and something and more… There are a huge number of 30 something and more around the world. Also her fan base is very international…

  10. Doja

    I'm gonna be thoroughly honest here i never blogg, goof around on forums and so on but this movie “Swath” (what a joke, swath… Haha) compelled me to. How do you come to the conclusion that something major happened to slow the sale (59% blah blah) of this movie? As if it was the economy… Haha. No, people went out and saw it (paid 13 fricken bucks that can never be taken back and 2hrs of life) and then told their friends, family, fellow bloggers how abysmal it was. It swayed back n forth from a high bugget Hollywood blockbuster to B and C flic statusk. Mainly the night and day difference from acting quality, hint hint, Charlize Theron's stellar performance as usual to that heroin addicted grundge kid Kristen who's only talent (if u can call it that) is breathing real hard instead of having lines to speak. Gotta hand it to the director for knowing the insurmountable weakness of his cast. Bottom line I've seen straight to DVD movies with better overall acting compulations. She was so bad I'd say “Thor deserves an academy award for his role in comparison to her. I known these idiot holloywood emu seacows thought they could sell a movie based on the casting of a tween idol but when your star is incapable of acting past a junior highschool level what do you expect? Now besides the fact that this pile of a movie was a hodgepodge of every fantasy movie that's been big in recent times the lack of acting, storytelling, and directing abilities continued to pull me out of the movie. By the time I left the theater (which I would of walked out on if I hadn't brought my girlfriend for her birthday) I was laughing hysterically about how dreadfully paisely that work of crap was. It's as bad as the sex pistols selling millions of records off three chord scratchy, sloppy, crass tones combine that vaguely resembles music. The great rock n roll swindle! It amazes me at how dumbed down our society is. I could serve u a plate of dookie if one of the twilight characters endorsed it. U all should feel ashamed of yourselves…

    Sincerely a guy that's seen enough feces on America's plates!

    PS: This will probably never be read because it may be deemed abusive. The only abuse is my and evey other persons who dredged threw one of the worst movies of all time only to come out pocket empty and mind unsatisfied. I'd watch that stupid “last air bender” movie a thousand times before I even consider “swath”

  11. zac

    And in case anyone is interested, this post was written at the time “Welcome to the Rileys” bombed at the domestic box office. It's a five-part post, in answer to comments from several Kristen Stewart fans. Here's the link to part 1:

    http://www.altfg.com/blog/movie/kristen-stewart-welcome-to-the-rileys-controversy/

  12. zac

    @twc22

    >>”Write a story about the success of SWATH or something unique about the film being made instead of a 'why it should have failed but didn't although it could have if Kristen hadn't been in it but then again why did it have a steep drop off rate' story.”

    I'm not sure which “Snow White and the Huntsman” article you read to reach that conclusion, but it was surely not the one I wrote.

    As for “Welcome to the Rileys” and “The Runaways,” those were platform releases. Do a little research yourself to see how those work. While at it, check out the per-theater average for both of those films.

    As for tweets “practically begging” to RT this article, I didn't write them. The editor did. I've read them. He wasn't “practically begging.” He was BEGGING, period.

  13. twc22

    Okay, Zac, I'm a little confused by your twitter message practically begging us to RT this article or send it to anyone even if they're Kristen haters…are you being paid per hit?

    I'm also tired of critics like you over analyzing everything to death. Write a story about the success of SWATH or something unique about the film being made instead of a “why it should have failed but didn't although it could have if Kristen hadn't been in it but then again why did it have a steep drop off rate” story.

    AND for your information: The Runaways and Welcome to the Rileys had MAJOR distribution problems because a majority of the small distribution companies went out of business due to the economy. Those films were playing in very few theatres as a result. I'm aware of people actually flying or driving really long distances to see those movies. You should do a little research before writing that Kristen's fans “stayed away” from those films. They can't see the effing movie if it's not in a theatre near them!

  14. greenjasminetea

    @jo - Yeah, a lot of sites like to do that but for some reason, Indiewire's really got under my skin fast. I suppose it was to provoke comments but it was not cool or fair to either one of them.

    When it comes to On The Road's performance, we'll see. I'm not going to get cocky and I hope the distributor isn't either. For those who have seen it, audience and critical reaction seem to be in agreement; although audiences seem to like it a little more than critics. Still, it has its own set of challenges. But so far, there doesn't seem to a rush to put it out and that seems like a good sign.

  15. jo

    @greenjasminetea, on the road will probably sell a lot better then cosmopolis. it's a lot easier to sell that story vs what cosmopolis was. also, i think on the road has a better distributor behind it. eone films dropped the ball big time with cosmopolis.

  16. jo

    @greenjasminetea, indiewire has a nasty habbit of taking rob and kristen, and using them as targets. they've been doing this since for a while.

  17. admin

    @greenjasminetea

    Will look into that. See what we can find…

  18. greenjasminetea

    I'm selfish in wanting to find out about Cosmopolis's situation because in a weird way, On The Road is somewhat matching Cosmopolis's European box office (although On The Road is only in 3 territories and Cosmopolis is in 6, I think). But because they are sort of matching in performance, I'm wondering how On The Road will do when it is its turn to open in North America. (Yes, I am trying to stay on topic as On The Road has Kristen in it and while she is in support, her name is being used as one of the selling points.)

  19. greenjasminetea

    Yes, the arthouse is not what it used to be. I do feel that Cosmopolis should have done better in Canada regardless of it being personal and unconventional because personal and unconventional have done okay before and this is Cronenberg after all and it didn't, so what happened? It isn't as accessible as Eastern Promises or History of Violence (A Dangerous Method had its own challenges being a period film and not being in Cronenberg's wheelhouse; it was a risk for Cronenberg to take on) but that per screen average for Cosmopolis in Canada is eye-popping. Really feel like something went wrong that has nothing to do with the movie itself. I get uptight at commenters who want to bash on Kristen's small indies that didn't do well but I also know from watching The Runaways distribution fall apart as it was happening that a decent film can get caught in a weird situation that can affect box office performance. Be interesting to see if Zac can dig up more information to shed any light on it. I do think it'll do better once it goes into limited in LA/NYC although this is the first time that EOne will be handling a film for US distribution.

    But if anything, to me, it puts in perspective the challenges of small independent films. These films have to have almost perfect conditions to be breakouts no matter who the actor is who toplines it.

  20. Andre

    @Ridley,

    I'd say Kristen Stewart has proven that she can *at least* help to open a movie — if it's the right movie, with the right marketing campaign. “Snow White and the Huntsman” was expected to gross $30-35m at first. Then upped to $40m. Then “possibly” $50m on the day it opened. Then $56m. It wasn't “word of mouth” — as the movie went downhill rather rapidly. “Word of Kristen Stewart” then that helped SWATH to open much bigger than most box-office pundits expected?

    The film is also doing quite well overseas.

  21. Ridley

    So Zac and Andre: Is there a verdict yet on SWATH? Say what you will or what, she will, SWATH was a test for Kristen Stewart as a Movie Star. She's savvy enough to know that she's gotta do this regularly in order to do OTR and Cali every year. She's been trying to break out for years. Has she convinced the industry? The last Twilight is upon us.

  22. Ugonna Wosu

    sorry, but you can't just blame this on Charlize Theron when the movie had two other people in it who are supposedly big box office draws, and frankly had bigger roles than Charlize anyway. If it didn't work, it didn't work. The movie is doing well, considering how much competition it had the week after release.

  23. As much as I love fairy tales I went just to see Charlize Theron …I was under new illusion that this was going to be a great film. Having said that, Ms. Theron does in fact steal every scene she's in …. her presence and Colleen Atwood's stunning wardrobe make the film worthwhile. And that's about it.

  24. PiggyWifey

    Main reason has nothing to do with the cast, I think. In fact, I think it was the cast that served as the first draw for many, including myself. I watched it for two reasons: curiosity, and my respect for Charlize Theron and Chris Hemsworth as actors. If it were some other actors with Kristen Stewart I would never even have bothered.

    The main reason there's a sharp drop is because the script was horrible. There were meteor-sized holes in the plot, the lines were generally terribly written, and the directing was just as bad (why ask Theron to keep screaming lines that would have been more effective when whispered?). It disappointed me so much I told my friends about it, who decided not to watch it after all. And that was just me — a single individual. Now if many people walked away from theaters with the same thought, then those bummed potential moviegoers would be multiplied even further. That's the main reason for the drop and not star power or the lack thereof, because even if you have big name draws, if the movie sucks, no one would see it after the initial week's excitement.

  25. Mirza

    Im happy that there are no more “big stars” that lure the audience and fill the box office.

    People fail to realize that the era of big movie stars is over. This is the era where the movie is above the cast and I like it that way!

    I know 15 y ago, when a Mel Gibson movie came out everyone was like “aaaa new Mel film is out” even if the movie was rubbish.

    Today we only have “stars” and no megastars.

    The box office lives now off movies and screensplays, not
    off a presence of a “mega star”.

  26. An Nguyen

    There are no big movie stars now. Big financial successes come from franchise, not movie star. You could change the cast of movies like Harry Potter, Transformers and their success would have been the same. The relationship between movie stars and franchise now is a combining one. A strong performance of Robert Downey Jr partly, not solely, created the success of Iron Man franchise.

  27. Andre

    @jo

    Point well taken. But as mentioned in the article, star power translates into being able to at least *open* a film. “Snow White and the Huntsman” far surpassed expectations. We're talking something like $15m-$20m.

    And remember, NOT every sci-fier/fantasy movie does well. In fact, many don't.

    Just this year, there have been “Mirror Mirror,” “Wrath of the Titans,” “John Carter” and “Battleship” in North America, not to mention “Men in Black III” which was a disappointment in relation to its cost. And “Dark Shadows” — vampires, no less — bombed. “Cowboys & Aliens” last year was a major flop.

    The article also mentions a couple of other fantasy films that either bombed or were disappointments in North America: “The Golden Compass” and the “Narnia” movie sequels.

    So, starring in a “fantasy” movie isn't enough. It has to be the *right star* as well. (And the right movie, of course. AND the right marketing campaign.)

  28. jo

    read your article about stewart, and once again type of film. charlize has never been in a fantasy film like snow white before. she was in promethus and that grossed a lot. chris was in comic book films they grossed a lot. same thing with stewart. she was in a fantasy film, grossed more then her indie films did. all depends on the type of film.