"In general, it doesn't seem as though romantic tangles in real life have much effect on the financial performance of films," says Brush Nash of the box-office data site, The Numbers.
The most famous films linked in the public imagination to off-screen romances and affairs either were box-office hits, à la Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's Mr. & Mrs. Smith, or flops that flopped because they weren't regarded as very good, such as Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez's Gigli and Meg Ryan and Russell Crowe's Proof of Life.
Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton's Cleopatra, the most prominent of all Scarlet Letter-branded films, did suffer, image-wise, if not budget-wise, under the weight of the tabloid romance. But it also rated as a must-see, reigning as 1963's No. 1 film, and winning four Oscars.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn —Part 2, due out Nov. 16, would seem to be in unchartered waters. Instead of its on-screen couple coming together off-screen, Stewart and Pattinson are apparently breaking up. Instead of a one-off movie romance, the actors have been a duo through four previously released films. And instead of a one-off movie, Breaking Dawn—Part 2 is part of a multi-media franchise, with a, ahem, somewhat-passionate fan base.
Evie, managing editor of Twilighters Anonymous, who, befitting the name of her site, goes only by Evie, says she thinks the numbers of the aggrieved, the aforementioned weepers and yellers, are small—"although they can make a lot of noise online."
The vast majority of Twilight fans, Evie says, "clearly see the actors' lives are not related to the movie and furthermore that the actors' lives should be kept personal."
As such, Evie says, "Fans will go see the last installment. It's their last chance to see any of the story on screen."
Michelle Pan of the fan site, BellaAndEdward.com, and author of the now-prophetically titled, Bella Should Have Dumped Edward, for one, wouldn't miss it.
"Most fans like myself have been eagerly awaiting this movie for years now," she says. "The release of Breaking Dawn—Part 2 in theaters is an event that has been in the hearts of fans long before Robsten."
At least one Breaking Dawn—Part 2 actor is on record as essentially agreeing.
"I don't think anyone's really gonna give a s---," Christian Serratos, who plays Forks High student Angela Weber in the film series, told Us Weekly. "They're gonna see the movie; it's going to be awesome."