With one week to go before the opening of the movie adaptation of Bryan Lee O'Malley's Scott Pilgrim graphic novel series, I'm sitting here with a bit of a nervous stomach about how it will perform. After seeing the movie in a preview at the San Diego Comic-Con, I can honestly say that it's a good movie, a good adaptation and I had a ton of fun watching it. We all know O'Malley is a genius when it comes to Scott Pilgrim and I'm a huge Michael Cera and Edgar Wright fan, so all should be well, right? Then why am I so nervous?
The past month has been a marketing barrage of Scott Pilgrim all over the place. Of course we all know about the huge poster on the side of the Hilton in SD and the dominance of the movie at the San Diego Comic-Con, but after this week it's gotten even wider. I saw that the movie was the sponsor of ESPN programming the other night (Baseball Tonight, I believe) and we've seen Edgar Wright and the cast all over the talk show circuits hyping the movie. In addition to the marketing hype, there have been tons of sneak preview screenings all around the country. Now don't get me wrong, I think it's great that Universal has put this much effort into promoting the movie. But the wider the exposure, the bigger opportunity for a very public criticism of it's box office performance.
The fact that it seems like everyone I know has already seen the movie in a preview worries me. Similar to Serenity, the Whedon directed Firefly movie, you may make the die-hard's happy by getting to see it early, but then they're less motivated to actually go pay and see the movie once it "officially" opens. In addition, as reviews roll in, I get excited to see the movie has an 88% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes, but then it has a 33% approval rating at FFlick. That wide gap between approval ratings worries me a lot.
Only time will tell though and in one week we'll either be celebrating how well the movie did or groaning at the lack of box office returns. It may be overstating the importance of the movie, but after the so-so performance of The Losers, Kick-Ass and last year's Watchmen, when it comes to Hollywood and the opportunity for comic book movies that aren't driven from the big 2 the opening weekend of Scott Pilgrim could end up being very important.
Meanwhile, to continue the hype, Empire Magazine has the poster art from the fake movies that appear in Scott Pilgrim showing off evil ex-boyfriend Lucas Lee in his starring roles, and many of them are quite funny, my favorite being Action Doctor and the tag line for Let's Hope There's a Heaven
So what do you think? Have you seen the movie already? Will you go see it again or would you rather go see The Expendables (I would make fun of it, but Statham!)
(No spoilers for Scott Pilgrim in the comments, that's not what this is about.)