- Late winter domestic box office flops: Away from their hugely popular franchises, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart (Edward and Bella in The Twilight Saga), and Matt Damon (Jason Bourne in the Bourne movies) have failed to lure fans – and moviegoers in general – into theaters.
- Starring Robert Pattinson, Remember Me has turned out to be a major commercial disappointment; featuring Kristen Stewart, The Yellow Handkerchief has all but disappeared without a trace; starring Matt Damon, the costly Iraq War thriller Green Zone has had a disastrous debut.
Remember Me: Robert Pattinson melodrama disappoints at the domestic box office
March 12–14 weekend box office: The Summit Entertainment release Remember Me, Robert Pattinson’s first big-screen try-out as a human being since Twilight made him a household name, brought in $8.1 million from 2,212 North American (U.S. and Canada only) theaters, according to final studio figures found at boxofficemojo.com.
The Allen Coulter-directed romantic melodrama averaged a mediocre $3,656 per venue, or about $1,000 less than Green Zone, even though the Iraq War thriller starring the Bourne movies’ Matt Damon opened at about 50 percent more locations. (All things being equal, fewer theaters should lead to higher per-theater averages.)
One key issue: Remember Me has been plagued by mostly negative reviews, which may help to explain why it debuted at the very low end of Summit’s already modest expectations.
At no. 5 on the box office chart, it trailed Tim Burton’s mega-budget fantasy Alice in Wonderland ($62.7 million); Green Zone ($14.3 million); Jim Field Smith’s She’s Out of My League ($9.8 million), a teen comedy with no stars; and Martin Scorsese’s hold-over mystery thriller Shutter Island ($8.1 million), featuring Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo.
Where were the fans?
One can safely assume that some Robert Pattinson/Twilight Saga fans showed up at this past weekend’s screenings, but not nearly enough of them to give the $16 million “little movie” the initial boost it needed.
In fact, Remember Me actually suffered a 20 percent drop-off rate on Saturday. That’s usually not a good sign.
Besides Robert Pattinson, Remember Me features Emilie de Ravin, Pierce Brosnan, Tate Ellington, Ruby Jerins, Gregory Jbara, Kate Burton, Meghan Markle, Martha Plimpton, and Justin Grace, in addition to Oscar winner Chris Cooper (Adaptation, 2002) and nominee Lena Olin (Enemies: A Love Story, 1989).
Will Fetters was credited for the screenplay.
Remember Me performed far better internationally
Update: On weekend no. 2, the Robert Pattinson drama Remember Me suffered the second worst drop-off rate among the Top Twelve movies on the domestic box office chart: 59 percent.
Ultimately, it collected a drab $19.1 million domestically and a far better – though hardly outstanding – $37 million internationally, for a worldwide total of $56 million.
Its top international markets were the United Kingdom/Ireland ($5.5 million), France ($3.5 million), Russia/CIS ($3.5 million), Germany ($3.3 million), Italy ($3 million), Brazil ($2 million), Belgium ($1.5 million), Australia ($1.2 million), and Mexico ($1.1 million).*
Depending on Summit Entertainment’s contractual deals, that should have been enough for the low-budget drama to – at least – break even at the box office.
* Box Office Mojo’s figures for Spain are incomplete; Remember Me opened in that country with $774,000, so its total gross couldn’t have been $46,000.
Robert Pattinson & Matt Damon non-franchise appeal?
The Green Zone and Remember Me figures are disappointing for movies centered on Matt Damon and Robert Pattinson, the stars of the spectacularly successful Bourne/Ocean’s and Twilight Saga franchises, respectively. Yet that sort of comparison – Green Zone vs. The Bourne Identity, Remember Me vs. the record-breaking The Twilight Saga: New Moon – would be like sizing apples against watermelons.
From the get-go, the Bourne and Twilight Saga movies have enjoyed wide brand recognition thanks to the bestselling novels on which they’re based, while the Ocean’s movies are high-concept all-star concoctions. Besides, Green Zone and Remember Me are neither feel-good fare nor rollercoaster rides.
The former is set in what amounts to a war zone and features key American characters as politically motivated corrupt jerks – not exactly the sort of thing to whet the cinematic appetite of millions of popcorn-eating U.S. moviegoers. Remember Me, for its part, is a low-budget indie drama with a much talked about feel-dreadful Sept. 11 finale.
Something similar could be said about Udayan Prasad’s The Yellow Handkerchief (see below), a psychological indie drama that bombed domestically despite the presence of Twilight Saga costar Kristen Stewart.
Now, it remains to be seen whether Pattinson and Stewart will be able to succeed away from the Twilight realm. As for Damon, most of his recent non-Bourne, non-Ocean’s movies (The Brothers Grimm, The Good Shepherd, The Informant!, Invictus) have underperformed – with Martin Scorsese’s Best Picture Oscar winner The Departed, in which Damon is featured alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Jack Nicholson, as the lone exception.
The Yellow Handkerchief: Kristen Stewart indie about to disappear
Shot a couple of years ago, The Yellow Handkerchief is chiefly notable for its cast: Best Actor Oscar winner William Hurt (Kiss of the Spider Woman, 1985), A History of Violence leading woman Maria Bello, and Twilight Saga star Kristen Stewart.
Somewhat surprisingly – when one takes into account the Samuel Goldwyn Company’s Stewart-focused publicity – the psychological drama has brought in a paltry $143,000 after three weekends out.
Also featuring Eddie Redmayne, The Yellow Handkerchief cost a reported $15.5 million. Needless to say, the indie drama will end up very much in the red.
Update: The Yellow Handkerchief ultimately collected $318,000 at the domestic box office. International figures – if any – are unavailable.
“Remember Me: Robert Pattinson” endnotes
Unless otherwise noted, “Remember Me: Robert Pattinson Melodrama Underperforms” box office information via Box Office Mojo. Budget info – which should usually be taken with a grain of salt – via BOM and/or other sources.
Comments about Remember Me, Green Zone, The Yellow Handkerchief, and other titles being profitable or money-losers at the box office (see paragraph below) are based on the available data about their production budget, additional marketing and distribution expenses (as a general rule of thumb, around 50 percent of the production cost), and worldwide gross (as a general rule of thumb when it comes to the Hollywood studios, around 50–55 percent of the domestic gross and 40 percent of the international gross goes to the distributing/producing companies).
Bear in mind that data regarding rebates, international pre-sales, and other credits and/or contractual details that help to alleviate/split production costs and apportion revenues are oftentimes unavailable, and that reported international grosses can be incomplete (i.e., not every territory is accounted for). Also bear in mind that ancillary revenues (domestic/global television rights, home video sales, streaming, merchandising, etc.) can represent anywhere between 40–70 percent of a movie’s total take; however, these revenues and their apportionment are only infrequently made public.
Robert Pattinson Remember Me movie image: Myles Aronowitz | Summit Entertainment.
Kristen Stewart The Yellow Handkerchief movie image: The Samuel Goldwyn Company.
“Remember Me: Robert Pattinson Melodrama Underperforms” last updated in June 2022.