Jodie Foster Thinks The Beaver Will Play Better in Europe, Walks Cannes Red Carpet with Mel Gibson

beavercannes300.jpgEarlier in the day at the Cannes Film Festival without her infamous co-star and friend Mel Gibson on hand, Jodie Foster put on a brave face for press, anticipating that their dark comedy The Beaver might be better received in Europe than it was stateside where it's grossed only $311, 588 in limited release since May 6. Open minds in Cannes might also be why Gibson did in fact make a rare public appearance Tuesday night at the film's premiere.

Speaking during the day at The Beaver press conference, Foster announced that Gibson was en route but wouldn't be doing press. Via THR's Greg Kilday:

"He will be here. He won't be talking, but he will be here," Foster promised after it was explained that Gibson had a commitment that kept him in Los Angeles on Monday, but that he would be jetting into Cannes in time for the evening's festivities.

And in response to The Beaver's paltry box office returns thus far, Foster deflected the disappointment: "If you gauge your self-worth on your box office, you will be a very sorry person. I am not my box office."

Foster said as much when she spoke with Movieline about The Beaver and Gibson; she went into the project knowing it was a tough sell, and went through studio after studio until she found one that didn't demand drastic compromise to Kyle Killen's script. Still, it's hard to imagine she could have expected such severe audience apathy upon release.

In any case, The Beaver has done well in the festival milieu before. Debuting the film at SXSW was a smart move on some ways for Summit and Foster, who admitted to being nervous before world premiering in Austin. A warm reception followed, which looks to be the case in Cannes as well according to early buzz, but The Beaver still failed to attract audiences upon release. The question is, how can Foster & Co. translate film festival kudos to box office receipts now that The Beaver is making its international debut -- and is a public smile 'n' wave by Gibson, reclaiming his movie star wattage on the Croisette in black tie, the key?

[SLIDESHOW: Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster at the Cannes premiere of The Beaver]

At least Foster has her other secret weapon to whip out: Her famous charm. Dazzling the Cannes press corps. in English and French, she lightened the proceedings by citing one of her "favorite movies" -- Matt Stone and Trey Parker's Team America.

Mel Gibson Skips 'Beaver' Press Conference, Expected on Red Carpet Tonight [THR]

Read more of Movieline's coverage of Cannes 2011 here.