Brad Pitt’s Warring Tendencies

New movie with Marion Cotillard dogged for months by gossip and rumors

Brad Pitt seems to have a thing for war. Consider, for example, “Fury,” “Inglourious Basterds,” “World War Z,” “War Machine” (set for release in 2017), and now, “Allied,” which, beyond being set during World War II, has provoked much fighting on its own.

For months, “Allied” has been clouded by scandal, causing many to wonder how its box office numbers will fare, even during the normally celebrated holiday blockbuster season.

Will moviegoers pass over “Allied” as a result of the dark rumor mills?

Since the movie was first thrust into the spotlight in September because of the breakup of Pitt’s marriage to Angelina Jolie, some are anxiously wondering if that initial attention translates into ticket sales.

Earlier this year, Pitt’s now-estranged wife reportedly hired a private investigator who allegedly found that Pitt, 52, was having an affair with his “Allied” co-star, French actress Marion Cotillard, 40.

The seemingly rock-solid Brangelina wavered, then split formally in two after Jolie, apparently fed up with Pitt’s philandering, also accused him of child abuse and filed for divorce.

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The affair rumors and the additional gossip of Pitt’s bitter custody battle with Jolie over their six children may have darkened his publicity efforts for “Allied.” Though Pitt has been hitting red carpets to promote the film, he hasn’t been speaking much to the press about the picture — of course, all the questions would likely be about his personal life anyway.

As for rumors of their affair, both Pitt and Cotillard remain adamant that they are false. Though the onscreen couple has undeniable chemistry, the screen is where they say it ends.

Cotillard posted on Instagram of Pitt’s divorce, rumors, and the resulting scandal, “This is going to be my first and only reaction to the whirlwind news that broke 24 hours ago and that I was swept up into. I am not used to commenting on things like this nor taking them seriously but as this situation is spiraling and affecting people I love, I have to speak up.”

While speaking up, she also announced that she and longtime boyfriend Guillaume Canet are expecting their second child, and that their 5-year-old son, Marcel, is thrilled to soon be a big brother.

Canet backed Cotillard, also using Instagram to voice his concerns. In his post, translated by TIME magazine, he stated, “I also don’t usually talk about my private life, which until now I’ve always protected attentively. But the fury of the tabloids, the venal stupidity of some people calling themselves journalists, the haters who feel braver behind a keyboard, drive me to speak of the pride, love, respect and admiration I have for Marion staying as strong and intelligent in the face all these stupid and unfounded accusations.”

Will moviegoers pass over “Allied” as a result of the dark rumor mills?

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History shows that stars and previous films have may have suffered the consequences of such personal scandals. In 2012, for example, when Kristen Stewart cheated on “Twilight” heartthrob Robert Pattinson, having an affair with married director Rupert Saunders, 19 years her senior, fans were less than kind.

Though the film grossed decent profits, Stewart, already a polarizing figure for fickle female audiences, became even more divisive to many. “How could you do this, Kristen?” asked one British fan, who responded with notable anger to Stewart’s affair on YouTube.

And earlier this year, Johnny Depp’s private battles with former wife, Amber Heard, quite possibly threw box office sales for “Alice Through the Looking Glass” upside down. The film, released just after Heard was given a restraining order against Depp, met with lukewarm sales at best.

In 2010, “Alice in Wonderland” earned an amazing $1 billion. In 2016, “Looking Glass,” originally projected to earn $60 million in North America during its opening weekend, struggled to squeak by with $40 million. Beyond this, the film received terrible reviews after the negative headlines overshadowed Depp’s once-respected Hollywood stature.

Will scuttlebutt and Pitt’s failings irreparably taint “Allied,” leaving a bad taste in his fans’ mouths? Once again, time and ticket sales will tell. So far, Pitt remains one of the biggest stars in Hollywood — but Stewart and Depp could tell him how quickly that can end.

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