How Will "Breaking Dawn Part 2" Be Affected by K Stew's Scandal?

Photo Credit: Summit Entertainment
September 5th, 2012

How Will "Breaking Dawn Part 2" Be Affected by K Stew's Scandal?

-- July 24, 2012 is a day that will live in infamy for the most ardent "Twilight" fans. It is the day that celebrity gossip magazine "Us Weekly" released photos of series star Kristen Stewart publicly canoodling with her "Snow White and the Huntsman" director Rupert Sanders. The pictures set off a firestorm of media activity, since Stewart had been dating costar Robert Pattinson for three years, while Sanders was married with children.

Instead of trying to deny the photos were real or spin the story in a different way, both Stewart and Sanders released public statements acknowledging their infidelities and apologizing profusely to their significant others. Fans of the movies were not consoled, with many taking to social media networks like Twitter to express their disdain. They just couldn't fathom that anyone would want to cheat on Pattinson, who portrays vampire heartthrob Edward Cullen in the "Twilight" films.

The final installment in the franchise, "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2," is set to be released on November 16, 2012. Box office experts are wondering exactly what kind of impact the cheating scandal will have on revenues for the film, which concludes the love story of Bella (Stewart) and Edward as they try to defend their half-vampire daughter against a group of vampires intent on destroying her.

There is no way to precisely guess how much the scandal might cost the film in ticket sales. You can take an educated guess, though, based on past box office receipts for the previous films. "Twilight" fans are some of the more passionate movie fans on earth, with many of them having read the book series by Stephenie Meyer, which the movies are based on. Even those who had never heard of the books became hooked on the series once they saw the first film. It isn't just teens and preteens hungrily watching the vampire flicks, either. Adults of all ages have fallen in love with the vampires and werewolves that populate these films.

"Breaking Dawn: Part 2" represents the fifth entry into the series, so it is unlikely that people who have invested so much in the previous four films will abandon it. As devoted as the fans are, they will likely be able to separate what happens on the screen with what has transpired off of it. Fans who have spent years waiting for the series finale are unlikely to stay home when the film is finally released.

That isn't to say that there will be absolutely no hit on the final revenue tallies due to the Stewart-Sanders affair. There may be some kind of dip in sales, but it will likely be fairly small. In fact, with a scandal like this, more people might actually be interested in seeing the film. In a business where they say "there is no such thing as bad publicity," could this scandal actually help the movie? It is not entirely out of the realm of possibility that this could realistically increase ticket sales.

Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment, the studios behind the movie, are not taking any chances. They have been very careful not to mention the scandal in any publicity releases for the film. In fact, since the compromising photos were published, they have released several new character stills in an attempt to distract from the Stewart controversy.

They have also had book writer Meyer drum up some suspense by hinting that that end of the film will not be the same as the book. This proved to be an astute strategy, as the focus was taken off of Stewart for awhile. As Twi-hards (what many fans of the series call themselves) tried to figure out what Meyer meant, it began a new frenzy-one of speculation about how the series would end.

However, there will probably be a lot of attention on Stewart and Pattinson once the publicity tour for the film begins. These tours usually start a few weeks before the official release date and feature interviews, premieres, and photo calls across the globe. Normally, Pattinson and Stewart are very chummy during these sessions. With their relationship clearly on the rocks now (both refuse to say if they will get back together), how will these photo shoots and joint interviews play out?

It is highly likely that Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment have some kind of plan in place to be sure the media attention stays on the film and not on the personal lives of the stars. With the costly budget of $131,500,000, they are unlikely to take any chances. Only time will tell what will happen, but in all likelihood, the movie is still going to do well in theaters thanks to its fervent fan base.