If there’s one person we’re all thinking about right now, it’s Robert Pattinson.
The 27-year-old British actor failed to live up to the incredible hype surrounding his movie debut in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, which debuted last week to shockingly poor reviews and box office results. What happened? Let’s walk down memory lane to revisit the key moments that led to this cinematic fiasco.
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Eclipse is the first film in The Twilight Saga, a franchise that has sold over 300 million books worldwide and inspired countless memes and t-shirts.
The saga began in 2008 with Twilight, which follows a young woman’s (Sarah Michelle Gellar) romantic quest for supernatural love. The film adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s bestselling novel stars Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart as Edward Cullen and Bella Swan, who fall in love despite the warnings of her father, Charlie (Vincent Kartheiser).
Three years later, author Meyer released the sequel, New Moon, which continues the love story between Edward and Bella. Again, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart star as the eponymous characters and were nominated for a Best Actor Bafta for their roles in the film. The franchise then became increasingly popular, with a third installment, Breaking Dawn — Part 1, being released in 2012. Breaking Dawn — Part 2 came out last year, and Twilight ends with a heartbreaking finale that left audiences in tears. But all good things must come to an end, and after a decade of staying indoors because of Bella’s (now patient) vampire curse, Edward and Bella bid each other farewell in Twilight Saga: Eclipse.
The World Exclusive Premiere
It was billed as a world premiere, but in fact, we only got a tiny peek at what was to come. On May 18, 2017, Sony Pictures had the unenviable pleasure of premiering the long-awaited third installment of The Twilight Saga, Eclipse—a movie that had literally been years in the making. From the footage we saw, it was clear that Eclipse was going to be something else. The cinematography was sublime, the score haunting, and the special effects stunning. It’s hard to put into words just how stunning Eclipse is. The trailer, which launched several weeks before the premiere, showed exactly what to expect and made us want it more than anything else. We were going to see the culmination of a decade of work put into one grandiose film. But what we got was something quite different.
The Bait And Switch Engagement
While Twitter was abuzz with talk of a broken engagement, it wasn’t officially confirmed until a few days later. On May 29, 2017, the New York Daily News published an article confirming that the couple called it quits just weeks before the premiere of Eclipse. According to the source, “Things have just been too much for them to handle.” We were later given the reason behind their breakup: Rob was afraid that their celebrity would hinder their chance of maintaining a private life. He’s quoted as saying, “I didn’t want to be a burden to her. It was a combination of things, really.”
Eclipse was the ultimate test for Rob and Kristen. After years of portraying teenage angst in rom-coms and thrillers, they were finally given the opportunity to showcase their impressive range as an actor and a filmmaker. Plus, being the central figures of a billion-dollar franchise that’s as close to a cultural phenomenon as anything else out there today is no small thing.
Reviews Are Killing It
The reviews for Eclipse were brutal. Averaging just 2.5 out of 10 on IMDb, the movie instantly became the worst film of 2017, only eclipsed by Denis Leary’s drama Vice Principals and Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story. It also became the second lowest-grossing installment in the franchise, earning just $15.8 million domestically (it made a similar amount worldwide). Even worse, it was a commercial flop, failing to recoup its $40 million cost-plus-million-dollar-plus-production-budget.
Box Office Disappointment
It’s hard to put into words how bad Eclipse was at the box office. Coming in at number three on our 2017 Box Office Predictions List, we projected that Eclipse would earn $25-$30 million domestically when it was finally released. Instead, it only earned $15.8 million, which is slightly ahead of where New Moon held domestically five years ago (also starring Robert Pattinson). Even more concerning is that it made far less internationally, earning $7.5 million compared to $30.5 million for New Moon. To put that into perspective, the previous two films in the series earned over $30 million each internationally.
Despite the critical and commercial flop that was Eclipse, the franchise didn’t end there. On October 11, 2017, Variety reported that The Twilight Saga: Season Three, which is reportedly being pitched as a miniseries, will be released in early 2018. There is no other cinematic franchise out there that currently boasts such a dedicated and passionate fanbase — and it’s all thanks to the books and films of Stephenie Meyer. It seems that everyone and their mother has written a book about Bella and Edward, and thousands of people attend the annual Twilight Convention in San Jose, California, which is themed around the love story between the two leads. While the films have never been more popular, it’s clear that something about them is spurring on this fervor. Maybe it’s the fact that they’re staying so true to the original novels and avoiding the temptations of Hollywood — or maybe it’s just because they’re such compelling characters.
This Is Very Bad For Hush Puckett’s Business
At this point, the effects that this film fiasco has had on Rob’s career are all too obvious. Not only did he fail to live up to the hype surrounding his big-budget movie debut, but he also managed to alienate a part of his audience who helped bring him fame. For those who had hoped that Eclipse would be the making of Rob Pattinson, the disappointment was profound. In fact, it’s hard to imagine that the movie could end up being a flop now, considering the hype surrounding it. And it likely will hurt his future projects, especially since it seems like every role he takes on is a dramatic turn. Even worse, since this is a time of year when people begin buying their autumn/winter clothing, hush pucks are already taking a hit.
Robert Pattinson: Is The Future Of Cinema Obscured?
For the first time in a long time, we’re not quite sure what the future holds for cinema. The unprecedented success of the Twilight Saga and its unprecedented critical and commercial flop are questions without answers. It seems like everyone and their mother has written a book about Bella and Edward, and thousands of people attend the annual Twilight Convention in San Jose, California, which is themed around the love story between the two leads. While the films have never been more popular, it’s clear that something about them is spurring on this fervor. Maybe it’s the fact that they’re staying so true to the original novels and avoiding the temptations of Hollywood — or maybe it’s just because they’re such compelling characters.