This week, Us Weekly reported news that has left tweens everywhere bereft and disillusioned: Kristen Stewart, 22, cheated on longtime boyfriend and Twilight co-star Robert Pattinson, 26, with her Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders, a married father who's 19 years her senior. Stewart — who plays Bella, wife to Pattinson's character Edward in the film series — confirmed the rumor with an apology for a "momentary indiscretion that jeopardized the most important thing in my life... Rob," discombobulating fans who had invested heavily in the Bella-Edward romance (see video, below). Pattinson has since moved out of the house he and Stewart shared. The breakup comes just months before Breaking Dawn — Part 2, the fifth and final installation of the Twilight series hits theaters in November. Will K-Stew's infidelity limit the film's box-office appeal?
Twilight fans won't be deterred: For some Twi-hards, Stewart's "admission of cheating will shatter the illusion" of the real-life love story behind the movie love story, says Jen Yamato at Movieline, but they "will surely return to theaters to see the final chapter of Bella and Edward's story play out." Still, Summit Entertainment, the studio behind the Twilight series, will have quite "a pickle ahead of them as they plot the PR campaign for Breaking Dawn — Part 2."
"Will scandal hurt Breaking Dawn at the box office?"
The whole scandal could boost box-office sales: "All this attention can only add fuel to the Twilight fire," entertainment analyst Robert Bock tells Celebuzz. This film is the series' swan song, and it needs all the help it can get to meet sky-high expectations. Even negative press about the affair is "keeping Breaking Dawn — Part 2 relevant, and we're still four months out."
"How Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson drama will affect Breaking Dawn – Part 2 release"
Forget the movie, a marriage and children are involved: What we really should be focusing on right now is not the movie, but the fact that Sanders is a married man with two children, says Jo Ashline at The Orange County Register. The person I have "the most compassion for" in this ordeal is Sanders' wife Liberty Ross. She is "the least known among this foursome," and, unfortunately, she will likely "bear the biggest burden as she struggles to come to terms with her husband's affair, and the future of her marriage." Box office numbers be damned.
"Kristen Stewart: From mediocre actress to homewrecker"
Watch "How could you do this, Kristen?" — one British fan's horrified reaction to the news of Stewart's infidelity, a video that has gone viral on YouTube: