Beyond 'Breaking Dawn' - Will Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart's Careers Flourish?

As the curtain closes on their Twilight careers, the question remains whether or not Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson will continue their box office domination or even come close to it.

While it's impossible to know how well their future films will fair -- both at the box office and critically -- we can look back at their previous roles outside of Twilight.

Judging Them as Actors, Not Sex Symbols

Stewart's first major role outside of the vampire world was Adventureland. This 2009 dramedy won positive reviews, and in Stewart, starred one of the newest, most popular actresses in Hollywood. It would seem like a recipe for success. Only the film was a box office dud, making less than $20 million domestically. At least the critics loved Kristen.

Roger Ebert had this to say about Stewart's performance: "What surprised me was how much I admired Kristen Stewart, who in Twilight, was playing below her grade level. Here is an actress ready to do important things." 

She had proved to the world that she could hold her own on screen, without all the fake blood, make-up and a dreamy Robert Pattinson by her side. What she wasn't able to prove was that she could carry a non-Twilight film to box office gold. Or even silver. $20 million is less than Breaking Dawn will make in one day. 

But what about Pattinson? In 2010's Remember Me, the British hunk starred as a moody New Yorker. It failed to wow critics, but managed to bring in a very respectable $56 million at the box office. Did people flock to the theater just because R-Patz was in the movie?

They certainly showed up in hordes to get his autograph. But then cameWater for Elephants, based on the extremely popular novel by the same name. Compared to Remember Me, this film had a pretty big budget ($38 million), so making around $100 million worldwide wasn't the largest of splashes, but it was impressive when compared with Stewart's numbers. Then again, when you throw in the cost of having the elephant show up at all your press events... who knows how much they really made.

 Their Future
Pattinson is well aware of how big the transition away from Twilight will be. As he explained to the Chicago Sun-Times: "It does feel like a breakup. I do love the guy — and I’m going to miss him. I prefer to think of ending this franchise like leaving school. It’s the last day of high school.” It's nice of Pattinson to make that analogy since most of his fans are high school kids anyway.

Stewart just wrapped up production on the film adaptation of Jack Kerouac's classic novel, On the Road. Again, she'll be starring in a movie based on an immensely popular (and in this case, iconic) book. Though it's not the type of film we see making boatloads of money, it should give her plenty of room to flex her acting muscle. Stewart's also set to play the fairest of them all inSnow White and the Hunstman, set to hit theaters in July 2012. And that film has summer blockbuster written all over it. 

Neither Pattinson nor Stewart have had the kind of success at the box office that their mega-franchiseTwighlight has. But perhaps it's wrong to assume they were directly responsible for turning the vampire goodness into gold. After all, the saga had a deep-rooted and fanatic fanbase before it even came to the big screen, just like Harry Potterbefore it.

That said, their popularity and stardom is unquestionable, which explains why they continue to get hired on for new roles despite their relative inability to draw in the crowds when they aren't sharing the screen. Maybe the only real solution down the line is to just cast them together from now on. Or maybe we're just too excited for Breaking Dawn to think straight.