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CANNES: Robert Pattinson vs. Kristen Stewart in Battle of ‘Twilight’ Stars

After the vampire franchise, neither star has proven a box-office draw

Ever since the lineup of the Cannes Film Festival was announced last month, gossip sites have been salivating over an unlikely scenario: a red carpet run-in between Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart. The “Twilight” co-stars and former off-screen couple both will be in attendance, although they likely won’t be posing for photographs together.

Pattinson arrives on the Croisette with a pair of anticipated films: the Hollywood-set drama “Maps to the Stars,” a competition title from his “Cosmopolis” director David Cronenberg; and “The Rover,” a midnight-screening thriller set in a futuristic Australian Outback, and helmed by “Animal Kingdom’s” David Michod.

Stewart appears as a supporting character in the Olivier Assayas drama “Clouds of Sils Maria” (playing in competition); has a market screening of “Camp X-Ray,” about a guard at Guantanamo Bay who strikes an unexpected friendship with a prisoner; and is attached to the project “Equals,” a sci-fi love story with an ambitiously crafted premise from “Like Crazy” director Drake Doremus, which will be shopping for a North American distribution deal. “What really stood out about her is that she’s really willing to put herself out there and take risks and want to grow,” Doremus says.

It’s been nearly six years since the actors delivered their star-making turns as Edward and Bella in “Twilight,” a franchise based on the Stephenie Meyer book series that paved the way for a new wave of girl-power actioners on the bigscreen with the likes of “The Hunger Games” and “Divergent.” While the five “Twilight” films amassed $3.3 billion in worldwide ticket sales, they also have posed a career-challenging quagmire for their young stars, Pattinson and Stewart, as well as co-stars, Taylor Lautner and Kellan Lutz.

Post-“Twilight,” Stewart has scored only one bona fide box office hit — 2012’s “Snow White and the Huntsman,” which grossed $397 million worldwide — but stumbled with a string of underperforming indies, including “On the Road,” “The Runaways” and “Welcome to the Rileys.”

Pattinson’s last two films, 2012’s “Cosmopolis” and “Bel Ami,” each made less than $1 million domestically.

“It kind of reflects their personalities,” says Keith Simanton, the managing editor of IMDb. “Stewart had the off-‘Twilight’ hit ‘Snow White.’ When she tries to hew closer to Pattinson’s way of thinking, which is, ‘I want to be in movies that might be really difficult for me and scare me,’ she ends up with the same box office as him.”

Lautner, who tried to make a run as an action-movie star, bombed with 2011’s “Abduction.” And Lutz didn’t fare much better with the campy dud “The Legend of Hercules,” which grossed less than $20 million domestically.

Only Anna Kendrick, who played the gossipy high school student in the “Twilight” films, has a varied resume, including “Pitch Perfect,” “End of Watch,” “50/50” and “Up in the Air,” which has found the right balance of artistic credibility and commercial success.

She’s a good example of what the rest of the class at Forks High School should aspire to be when they grow up.

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