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Inception by Christopher Nolan


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I can't wait to see this. I heard it's really confusing which is to be expected due to the subject matter of dreams and mind control. I also can't wait to download the soundtrack (Zimmer!). LOL Also, the music in the trailer is spectacular - I think it's going to be used in future trailers (like the way Requiem for a Dream is used).

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I hope it does well at the B.O. because I'm a Nolan fan, but I wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't.

'Inception' is no dream for marketers

Unusual summer bow for such a cerebral pic

By Carl DiOrio

July 8, 2010, 11:00 PM ET

Consumers may wish more original films were wedged into the usual summer mix of remakes and sequels, but marketing executives know enough to be careful what they wish for.

Case in point: Warner Bros.' soon-to-bow thriller "Inception." Directed by Christopher Nolan, the Leonardo DiCaprio starrer has stimulated prerelease buzz simply on the basis of its A-list creatives.

Which is fortunate, as the pic's cerebral mix of brain-teasing plot points and effects-driven fantasy defies easy characterization in a one-sheet tagline or even a trailer, judging from materials released to date. Its online campaign similarly is based more on tease than glimpses into the narrative.

Studio marketing always aims to raise pic awareness and stoke must-see interest among prospective patrons, goals most easily achieved when moviegoers have a sense of what to expect from a film. With early -- and solidly positive -- reviews of "Inception" trickling out, word has circulated that the movie has something to do with industrial espionage and the invasion of dreams.

Well, that clears things up.

"I have heard everything from 'awesome' to 'a bit confusing' from those who went to the screening," one industryite said after a showing of the film at the recent Cinema Expo confab in Amsterdam.

In other words, the pic seemed to play well with the audience, but even the subsequent word-of-mouth tended to be vague, albeit positive. Even the movie's name fails to conjure anything specific.

"Nobody thinks it's a bad movie," an exec from a rival studio stressed. "The question is whether it's going to be the real breakout picture that everybody seems to think or just the darling of the East and West coasts and miss the rest of the country."

There lies the rub: how to entice Middle America without a lot of complicated explication? It obviously helps that "Inception" was helmed by Batman's favorite director and stars a maturing American heartthrob.

But what's a marketing challenge like this doing in the middle of popcorn-pic season?

"We're in the moneymaking business," a Warners insider said. "So when you have a great cast and a great movie, why not go when you can do the most business? This movie will play to moviegoers 15 to 50, and you have all those people going to the movies in the summer."

The studio sought to build awareness and buzz early by select media buys. Promos keying on complexity and vagueness of the pic's plot include Verizon Wireless' "Inception: Mind Crime" game, which is promised to help moviegoers "unlock some of the secrets of the story both before and after they see the film."

Studio execs are counting heavily on core support from Nolan's and DiCaprio's fan bases. Awareness has been slow to spread, but a high percentage of those with knowledge of the film show a "definite interest" in seeing "Inception."

Execs around town offer an unusually wide range of projections for the PG-13 pic's opening weekend, at $40 million-$60 million.

Nolan's penchant for cinematic riddles has some suggesting the pic basically is a big-ticket art film. Cost estimates run upward of $160 million on "Inception," which totes a 148-minute running time.

"It's the most expensive version of 'Memento' you could ever make," an exec from a rival studio quipped. "But it is unique in the marketplace, and I credit them for that."

But the question remains: Will Warners' good -- and original -- deed go unpunished by the marketplace?

"You really haven't seen that 18- to 35-year-old crowd mobilized this summer," a marketing exec from another studio said. "So this could become the cool and hip movie to see -- kind of like 'The Matrix.'"

But Warners opened its leggy 1999 hit in March, with "Matrix" topping out at $171.5 million domestically. To do much better, Warners might have to sustain pricey pic marketing longer than usual if word-of-mouth proves as vague as prerelease buzz.

"Inception" opens wide a week from today. Disney family adventure "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" -- that session's only other wide opener -- bows two days earlier and should ring up at least $30 million through its first five days.

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It still has a metacritic score of 75 which is pretty good, but I could see it being a movie that some critics (and audiences?) start causing a backlash over.

WOW at that article. I have to say I enjoyed reading it but, man he really hates Nolan and his films--doesn't mince his words (in fact it reads a bit like a post you might write about something you dislike, :P ). Although I did hate Synecdoche, New York--but find it kinda amusing how he drops it in just because of that (I don't see much similarity in it to Nolan's work). Hrmm, To try to be fair, there's prob some truth to the comments--to me I enjoyed it more for the experience and liked that it reflected drams with things left unexplained, etc but I certainly can see why some might not.

*edit* I just realized that article was written by Rex Reed. :D Puts things in a different perspective--of course he was brilliant in Myra Breckinridge :P

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No, I still do agree with some of his points (and in general I agree with those critics who wished it had been more emotionally engaging--I think it won't play as well a second time for me cuz I already know the twists, and that's what kept me interested, not the characters). I just found it odd that a major review would use such strong words--usually critics seem to want to sound rational, even if they'd like to use words like hate. But this guy basically tears into the fact he thinks Nolan, and then throws Kaufman in there too, are utter hacks. It's just not the kinda languageI'm used to reading in major reviews--but when I realized it was Rex Reed (who seems to wish George Cukor was still making movies, and is a decent interviewer I think but not agreat critic--even if his was probably the only review of th einfamous flop movie version of Sondheim's A Little Night Music! lol)... It suddenly all made sense--cuz that'show he writes.

When you see a positive Reed quote on a movie poster it's a bit like when you see a Larry King one--it ususally means they couldn't find any others... anywhere :D Some of his early comic writing is quite funny though.

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