April 23, 2014

Could “Water for Elephants” be Robert Pattinson’s big break?

Water for Elephants - Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon

By Kim Palacios

hollywoodnews.com: I know what you’re thinking: Robert Pattinson is already a huge star. But, could “Water for Elephants” make him even bigger? Opinions are split on whether “The Twilight Saga” was just the beginning for Pattinson, or whether playing Edward Cullen was the beginning of the end.

According to Pattinson’s fans, the star’s acting talents surpass what can been shown through his portrayal of Edward Cullen in the “Twilight Saga” movies. The same fans believe his arrival as one of the most respected actors in Hollywood is only a matter of time.

Yet another group who enjoyed Pattinson in the “Twilight Saga” films, is more cautious, if even optimistic. “Remember Me” did not do as well as anticipated in the box office, despite Pattinson’s timely popularity. Such lackluster numbers could jeopardize Pattinson’s career if such performance becomes a trend. Add in the inevitable typecasting that will cause Pattinson to be passed over for certain roles, and the star could fail to achieve longevity.

Yet, “Water for Elephants” could save the day for Pattinson by exposing his talents to a much wider demographic. The Sarah Gruen novel continues to be a bestseller, and the audience is far more mature. Add in the fact that Oscar Winners Christoph Waltz and Reese Witherspoon may be greater draws than Pattinson in getting viewers interested in the movie, and “Water for Elephants” could be the only kind of film apt to give Pattinson the cred he deserves.

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About Kim Palacios

Kim Palacios is a San Francisco Bay Area transplant whose epicurean tendencies are matched only by her wanderlust. While not covering food, wine, and luxury travel for her column on Examiner.com, she guest writes for Travel Writers Exchange and a number of other varied-topic blogs. She is quadrilingual and holds an M.B.A. in Finance (neither of which she uses much these days). While not mourning the death of free markets and grumbling about the tax treatment of Californians, she enjoys film, and all things Twilight.

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28 Comments

  • March 12, 2011 | Permalink |

    stop with the BS already . . “beginning of the end”..”Remember Me didn’t do well”…”timely popularity”…”inevitable typecasting”..”star could fail”. okay, we heard you. now you can seat down in the last row and shut up . *kim palacios enjoys all things Twilight*…lol.. with friends like this enemies no needed.

  • March 12, 2011 | Permalink |

    Are you retarded!? Ofcourse Robert Pattinson is a “bug star”. He doesn’t do movies of popularity or to ‘gain’ status…he has said many times, it doesnt matter if it is a LARGE film or a indepentdent indie film…if HE likes the script and the director, etc, then thats when he committs to do a movie.
    The man has millions, literally million, of fans. Probably billions! Point being, the fans enjoy his work in anything he does. One movie might be better then the next in some familiar way to or for each person, but they are still all great!
    Robert Pattinson will FOR SURE be around for a very very long time!

  • March 12, 2011 | Permalink |

    @justme Thank you for your comment. I respectfully disagree. If you think I am being sensationalistic, take a look at the numbers: “Remember Me” netted $40M at the box office (in profits) compared to “Twilight’s” $314M, “New Moon”‘s $650M, and “Eclipse”‘s $630M (Source: IMDB Pro)

    The film industry’s classic profit model has been so severely jeopardized in recent years that it’s about the money, now more than ever. Why do you think there are so many sequels and remakes? Why are so many blockbusters new film renditions of old stories? Why are films only made from bestselling books? Because producers like making money so they default to proven moneymakers.

    And so is born the mega-star. Why are Julia Roberts and Sandra Bullock still playing characters in their early thirties? Because Hollywood would rather cast an actor that will definitely bring crowds in than cast an unknown actor who may be more appropriate to the original vision. Therefore, Robert Pattinson’s (and anybody’s) marketability for blockbuster films is contingent upon his ability to bring in the crowds, and therefore the dollars.

    Will Robert Pattinson be able to continue acting? Certainly. I am actually a huge fan of his (not to mention a huge fan of indie cinema) and I prefer seeing all actors I like go for better screenplays and more creative films than Hollywood blockbusters tend to offer. He is a talented actor with a promising career, but not a guaranteed one if his goal is to stay in blockbusters.

    So “Water for Elephants” could be his big break in the sense that, if he knocks it out of the park, he could be seen as more versatile than he is viewed as Edward Cullen. A final note: in Robert Pattinson’s recent Vanity Fair article, he expressed a similar sentiment as me–that he fears being typecast, and views his run on the Twilight films as a curse and a blessing for that reason.

    Thanks again for reading/commenting!

  • March 12, 2011 | Permalink |

    When you look at Robert Pattinson in Little Ashes, he was horrible. I don’t think that Twilight or Remember Me challenged him as an actor. Water for Elephants looks like a very diverse script and role. His performance could go either way. I’m hoping it does well, as I’m a fan.

  • March 12, 2011 | Permalink |

    ““Remember Me” made $40M at the box office compared to “Twilight’s” $314M, “New Moon”’s $650M, and “Eclipse”’s $630M (Source: IMDB Pro)”

    If you’re such a “huge” fan of Robert Pattinson then I suggest you do a little more fact checking and use some common sense before sitting down to write an article about him. Remember Me made $56 million (actually $58 when all countries finally report) which was over 3.5 times its’ budget. It was a profitable film which is more than many films can boast these days. It also came in on a list of one of the MOST profitable films in 2010 so by any model, Remember Me did fine. Could it have made more domestically? Sure. But the point is, the film made money and the suits in Hollywood know it. Moreover, the fact that you try and compare Remember Me to Twilight in any form whatsoever is ridiculous. You can’t look at Remember Me and say hey, it’s a failure because heck, it didn’t make as much as Twilight. That’s a moronic and completely invalid comparison and as a journalist who supposedly knows something about the film business, you’d think you’d know that.

    As for your comment about Rob being typecast, where in the world do you get that idea? British son, Viking, Wizard, Mental case, Total Geek, Lovable loser, Genius Artist, Tortured Vampire, Just a Guy, Depression-era Veterinarian, French Lothario and billionaire on an odyssey through Manhattan.

    Wow…he’s so typecast.

    I will take you at your word that you’re Pattinson fan because I think you were trying to write a generally positive article about Rob’s chances in big, bad Hollywood, but I could just as easily think this whole write up was backhanded. I hope that’s not the case and I hope in the future people who write about Rob will do more homework and think things through before pushing POST.

  • March 12, 2011 | Permalink |

    @Blaine. My statistics cite profit, not revenue. So, “Remember Me” made $40M profit. The film cost an estimated $16M to produce and box office revenues were $55.8M. That’s how I came up with my $40M. That’s how much money the producers “made” on the film, hence my use of the verb.

  • March 13, 2011 | Permalink |

    Cred he deserves???

    What a joke!

    Robert Pattinson is a bad, one note actor and he looks awful in trailers for this movie. Reese Witherspoon is too old for the role and has no chemistry with Pattinson – another stinker.

  • March 13, 2011 | Permalink |

    Rob has a bigger impact, than any other newcomer they put in a leading Role . Tell me another young Actor out there who is being followed like that. They tried to push Pettyfer in his place and he bombed ..big times. Look at the Material he has to play…some freaking DEAD 109 year old Virgin Vampire. He played that well and being Taylor in RM , this conflicted soul …I think he did great. Everybody like you are questioning this young Man’s ability ,when its clear he doesn’t shy away from challenging roles . RM was slammed because you in the States can not handle anything what has to do with 911, not because of his performance. And you just wrote that article because otherwise nobody gives a fly what you have to say

  • March 13, 2011 | Permalink |

    Besides the Twilight Saga, I feel “Little Ashes” has been Rob’s best work. It was raw and vulnerable. Of course love stories about gay men are never taken seriously. However, when one reads about the life of these men, I believe that Rob did outstanding! Salvador Dali, was just THAT WEIRD! ♥♪♫✫♥ KELZZ ♥♥♪♫✫

  • March 13, 2011 | Permalink |

    I agree somewhat with what you said Kim. However, I feel that directors want to know if he could draw his fans into seeing his other movies. 65 million is not bad numbers. It could have been better. Agreed. I felt the movie was falsly criticized by many, including the critics, because of the subject matter, but the ones who did see it thought it was not such a bad movie after all. It did grow in popularity by word of mouth after the fact and has quite a following now… Now back to being able to break out of that Edward typecasting. I think he can do it. He is very talented . My hope for him, being a big fan of his, is that he is able to get people to realize he is not Edward. Edward is a character. Let me say though, that is a positive thing (in a way) because he did so well playing Edward that people don’t want to look past that and see him as a guy who can play many other roles. Also, I respect what your saying about this being the only moive to get him creds, really I do, but your being a bit presumptuous. Let us wait and see what other roles he will play (and be successful with) before you make that kind of judgement.

  • March 13, 2011 | Permalink |

    Sorry, wrong figures. I thought Remember Me made about 50 million. That was off of box office mojo. Let me add just one more thing here, it was number ten on the top ten highest grossing films of 2010.

  • March 13, 2011 | Permalink |

    Rob is very talented and will be around for many years. Remember Me did better than many other movies by well known movie stars. Even the most well known A listers have bad movies that stink at the bo. But does anyone persecute them over and over like Rob was done for Remember Me? Hell no! There has entirely been too much emphasis put on Rob and his ability to pull in the numbers. Give him a fair chance – allow him to “trip” every now & then like other stars are given! He will most likely never be in another blockbuster type move as he has clearly indicated he is more about the director, script and feel of the move than $$’s. I am sick and tired of everyone, even so called fans like yourself, putting the death knell on every move he makes! Thank god for David Cronenberg – he sees the potential in Rob and I think we all know Cosmopolis will not be a blockbuster .

  • March 13, 2011 | Permalink |

    Kudos to Justme, Me, and Angie – I am with you! “MattS” – in reference to your “When you look at Robert Pattinson in Little Ashes, he was horrible” – You are so wrong! Did you study Salvatore Dali? Did you see his mannerism, etc? My guess is – Not! As if you would – you would see that Rob perfectly portrayed Dali. It annoys me so much when people criticize the movie or performance without actually reading the book or knowing much about the subject – as Rob even as Edward is perfect . He plays there a guy who hides his emotions/feelings inside – just like Edward in the books. Thumbs down to Kim Palacios!!

  • March 13, 2011 | Permalink |

    Robert Pattinson may end up being the Johnny Depp of his generation. His choice of characters will significantly determine his longevity and he will have to consider as Johnny Depp did whether he will play romantic leads or characters that can develop his craft and keep his career in film moving forward.

  • March 13, 2011 | Permalink |

    I see many of these statistics for Remember Me’s profits compared to those of the Twilight Saga’s and wonder why the number of theatres in which the films are shown is never mentioned. Remember Me actually did very well since it played in only a fraction of the theatres as have any of the Twilight Saga fims. This is a major consideration if the films’ profits are being cited unfairly in order to critize Robert Pattinson’s performance. I am confident that Water For Elephants will be a well-acted, excellently directed and visually beautiful film. Is it, however, possible that it will generate the billions of dollars made by the Twilight Saga franchise? Of course not; who could expect it to? Yet when it doesn’t, will that be blamed on Robert Pattinson? How unjust and how frustrating this must be for such a talented young actor.

  • March 13, 2011 | Permalink |

    I am mildly, very cautiously, optimistic about Pattinson’s talents. I was reluctant to see Remember Me and was pleasantly surprised by him. He was awful in Little Ashes. He’s awful in Twilight, but he doesn’t exactly have anything to work with, so I give him the benefit of the doubt – everything about that series is terrible. The only thing that could fix it is a new storyline.

    I just wish people would be honest! His fans love him because he’s handsome, not because he’s talented! He may have some acting skills that he could develop into something more impressive, but he will never be one of our generations great talents. I hope this film helps him become a better actor because there IS some potential there. But please stop pretending he’s some award-winning artist! He’s hot. That’s about it, so far. Hopefully, we’ll discover there’s more to him than that, but until he breaks away from this vampire fan-girl crap, he’s doomed.

    On the bright side, maybe he picked up some tips from Christoph Waltz, a true artist and the real star of this film.

  • March 13, 2011 | Permalink |

    Although the concept of profit-above-all is hardly something new to Hollywood, or the entertainment business, for that matter, reading confirmation of that fact just further disappoints me. Rob is a young man who is trying to make a living (albeit a pretty good one, to date). He should rise or fall on his performance, not on whether a film made a certain profit level for its producers. I, for one, think that the Twilight screenwriting has been abominable, particularly with regard to Rob’s character. In Eclipse, he wasn’t given much of anything to work with in terms of the script, and was actually portrayed in most scenes as the villain, with nothing to say but only reaction to being accused (falsely) of bad conduct. I thought he did an excellent job in Remember Me — if people didn’t like the film (and I’ll grant you that it was depressing, at lease for anyone who developed an attachment to Rob’s character), he shouldn’t be held accountable for that. Unfortunately, that’s the way of the world today. If something doesn’t make loads of money (or result in some massive quantity of benefit), then it is considered a failure and is disposed of. If you think about it, that applies in virtually every facet of people’s lives today, including jobs for the non-famous and even basic friendships — people are used and thrown away. I hope that Water for Elephants is a great film, both because the book was very touching, and because Rob deserves some respect. I think he’s more than earned it.

  • March 13, 2011 | Permalink |

    OMG Eventually, “Remember me” became one of the most profitable films of 2010 (number 30)!
    Robert IS a big actor, He has won a festival prize in Strassburge as the best actor.
    He showed a fine expression in early films, Now… All fine actors playing heroes-lovers, were exposed at all times to criticism. It is the fate.

  • March 13, 2011 | Permalink |

    What’s up with putting down Twilight ? That guy should be lucky he even got a part like that ! So it has crazy fans ? Do you know very many fanbases that give a crap about anything ?
    Tired of this getting away from Twilight crap. I’m happy he’s doing more mature things but Twilight has mature fans. And Remember Me wasn’t a bomb and Water for Elephants will show you that he is a star. You can do as many mature, Oscar nominated roles BUT THAT STILL DOESN’T MEAN PEOPLE GIVE A CRAP ! At least Twilight has fans care and want to support them. Instead of always putting Twilight down how about respecting the fact that they gave this actor a career and gave them fans who will support them for the rest of their career.

  • March 13, 2011 | Permalink |

    It amazes me how some people have prophetic opinions, predictions and precognitions regarding Robert Pattinson’s future. How do you know he will not become a great actor ?Robert Pattinson and his co-stars have drawn fans into the theaters spending approx 1.7 billion worldwide with “non- acting ” skills. Something some of “your A-list award winners “have
    not achieved with better quality scripts . Robert Pattinson is a young actor who deserves a chance just like a young Christoph Waltz was once given. BTW Kim great job. Yes I think Robert can act :) ,

  • March 13, 2011 | Permalink |

    Wow, folks–thanks for all the comments! Though, I’d like to clarify one thing. The intention of my article is to draw attention to the fact that “Twilight” alone isn’t enough to secure Robert Pattinson’s standing as a mega-star. Rather, after five “Twilight” movies, he will have to prove to some fans that his range extends beyond “Twilight”, and he will have to prove to movie studios that he can command great box office results, regardless of the film.

    The phrase, “Don’t hate the player, hate the game” comes to mind. Robert Pattinson can choose whether to play the game or not–either way, I will remain a faithful fan. My commentary is more on the game, which is not a reflection on Pattinson, but on Hollywood. And, it doesn’t matter how good your acting is–if producers think you can’t draw in audiences (ergo, money), your stock as a star goes down.

    A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a piece about Melissa Leo, as in the actress who just won an Oscar for “The Fighter”. I write about how she was unemployable for several years. She had been fired from “Homicide: Life on the Street” not because she couldn’t act, but because she refused to wear makeup for the part and the producers fired her for not being “pretty” enough. I don’t envy actors, who are often pressured to backburner artistic integrity to accommodate studio demands.

    Just because I am realistic about Robert Pattinson’s situation (again, he himself comments on this in the recent Vanity Fair article) doesn’t mean I love him any less. I wish him the best of luck, and I will be watching whatever he plays in, regardless.

  • March 13, 2011 | Permalink |

    Kim, Rob is OK and he will be OK)

  • March 13, 2011 | Permalink |

    Kim Palacios – in reference to your last comment – so next time be more clear what you are writing about and what your intentions are.

  • March 13, 2011 | Permalink |

    I think Rob is great, he’s like a breath of fresh air. I like that he isn’t into the big Hollywood machine thing and does what he wants to do. I think that takes a lot of courage considering the amount of pressure that must be on him.

    The Twilight fans may be fickle but he has another level of fans that appreciate him for more than Twilight. Personally I thought Twilight was very one-dimensional and there are a lot of wholes in that story. What in God’s name would a 107? whatever year old man be doing with a 17 year old girl? The writing in the books stank and the characters are wooden. So, all things considered, what did Rob have to work with? Yet he managed to make Edward as interesting as possible.

    I loved his work in Remember Me. That film made me cry, made me think. His character had a lot of depth; totally different than Edward Cullen. I can’t wait for Water for Elephants; I really like Reese W. too.

    Rob has paid his dues and will be at a point where he can do whatever he wants. Good for him! I don’t think Cosmopolis will be exactly commercial but will I go see it? Hell, yes, for both Rob and Cronenberg. I’ll happily take my husband to that one too, where as Twilight? No. I couldn’t stand the cracks.

    I don’t know if Water for Elephants will make Rob a “bigger” star, as per your question, Kim, but perhaps it will allow him to break out of the whole Edward Cullen fan base and introduce him to a different level of movie goers.

    It takes time to build up a career, even for Rob whose celebrity seemed to happen like an explosion. But look at Johnnie Depp, look at Leo Dicaprio – both whose careers have taken shifts and turns, both who were teenage idols, and both who have risen to a highly respectable status.

    I think Rob’s career will be like that too. I look forward to his future endeavours and wish him all the luck and happiness with whatever he choses.

  • March 13, 2011 | Permalink |

    Oops – holes. Not wholes. (embarrassing!)

  • March 13, 2011 | Permalink |

    This comment is to Carrie. I want to respectfully clear up something. I never said he was an award-winning actor. He has a long way to go before that happens. He does have talent and I agree with what you said about having wonderful potential in the future. He will win those prestigious awards one day. Even some actors who has been it longer than he has have not won a Oscar or Golden Globe yet(can’t think of examples right now). Let me say that even if he won one someday, that still does not make him important in Hollywood. Do you notice how actors work hard every day to keep their best work out there for the audiences to see? Sometimes it bombs and sometimes its a hit. Every actor has to start somewhere and it’s an ongoing, learning experince with every film they make. I also agree with the person who said he has paid his dues. He deserves respect for the work he does. Is his acting outstanding? No! But even veteran actors have had some really, bad box office flops because their acting stunk. Oh, by the way, I think Rob is very handsome, but that is not the only reason why I go see his movies. He is mesmerizing onscreen with any character he plays.

  • March 14, 2011 | Permalink |

    Rob Pattinson is already typecasted. Every role since Twilight, he’s played the hearttrob role. Maybe those are the only role he’s meant for or offered because of his prettiness. Until he expands his choice of roles, the only fanbase that comes out to see his movies are women.

  • March 14, 2011 | Permalink |

    the way he portrayed Dali was amazing. Rob played him spot on….Look at Zac, Shiloh, Matt, eisenberg shia …they aren’t scrutinized like Rob..they are not being followed around like that

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