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July 10, 2010


Hey, Jason, the thing that bothers me is tht even the trailers don't seem that interesting! When I heard how much it cost to produce, I was dumb founded. Oh well, I guess we'll just have to wait and see, but I think you are correct on this one.


(Let's see if this comment works, lol)

I think you can pretty much relegate box office success/failure, critical success/failure and sf (quasi sf) films audience acceptance to a formula:

1. does it have a reigning star or two?
2. is as much or more money being spent on promotion as on production?
3. is it an original screenplay?
4. is it a re-make/do/imagination?
5. does it favor visual effects and empty-headed pseudo science over anything meaningful?

If the answers to all five questions are yes, way more, yes, no and yes, then the flick will be a box office success, probably universally reviled by genre fans and will get mixed critical reviews.

Shutter Island made 300 million worldwide. But Nolan's no Scorsese. I hope it's not a flop, b/c it's not good for anyone if an original story can't make a dent.

Diane and Steve: I agree with much of what you said. And one problem for this film has been the lack of effective marketing. I mean, for a $200 million movie I'm not hearing the buzz people usually have for something that big. The trailers also haven't made me want to see this film, which is a big deal since I usually like Nolan's work.

Henry: If it's truly a good movie, then yes, I hope it doesn't flop. But this is merely my prediction. We'll see how things go.

If this movie flops, I agree with you Jason - I think it will be almost entirely due to marketing. I've seen next-to-no trailers for this movie (and the ones I did see are teaser trailers that don't offer the viewer any idea of what the movie is about). Inception is no I Am Legend or Watchmen. Very few people outside of the genre will know the first thing about it.

However, can I be the first to say how excited I am that Ken Watanabe is going to be in this?

Geeze. Next to no trailers? I've seen literally multiple trailers a day for at least the past two months!

Geeze. Next to no trailers? I've seen literally multiple trailers a day for at least the past two months!

^ Helps that I don't have cable, therefore the only trailers I ever see are online advertisements, usually on streaming radio like Pandora or a network website like ABC.

The trailer looks boring and I am not a Leo Decrappio fan. I will wait for Netflix to get it. I don't like all the Christopher Nolan as* kissing either. FAIL.

Sorry, I'm going to have to disagree. If an idea is strong and pervasive enough - never mind it being mired in the entrails of genre - it will succeed. Moreover, Nolan is coming off The Dark Knight and he seems to be (and is career-wise) untouchable at the moment. It'll make bank.

I keep waiting for your follow-up ;)

The film had a decent opening at $60 million. But we'll have to wait until the next week to see if it has holding power or merely played to the SF fan base.

By way of comparison, the film Serenity opened with ticket sales of $10 million its first week against its budget of nearly $40 million. Unfortunately, Serenity's box office take dropped off sharply in following weeks, and it only ended up making just over half of its budget back (which doesn't include ads and marketing). This suggests it only played to its fan base.

At $60 million, Inception has taken in just over a quarter of its budget, but it also paid for a massive ad campaign. Still, if it can keep up these numbers then I'll be wrong. But if it drops off sharply like Serenity did, they'll be in trouble.

Anyway, I'll write more on this in a week once the trend is clear.

I don't think Inception's going to drop off. If anything, I think it's going to have better-than-average staying power.

It was advertised as "by that dude who did The Dark Knight," which was smart, given The Dark Knight was one of the most popular and beloved movies in years, but the word of mouth on Inception feels huge to me. It's still a trending topic on Twitter a week after its release. To me, it's got a Matrix vibe: stunning action and visuals, and a plot people can't stop talking about. Dreams are really tricky to do well, and I think that was a smart prediction about why it might fail to connect, but the consensus seems to be that it works.

Even if it doesn't make another U.S. dollar after this weekend (as of today, it's right around $100M), the international box office would ensure it's profitable.

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