Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Scott Pilgrim's Epic Broad Appeal

I have not read any of the Scott Pilgrim books, something I am going to remedy soon, but even then I am incredibly excited by the trailers of the movie that have been steadily streaming into the public's eye. I am looking forward to watching the movie, much like just about anyone else that has seen the same trailers. I'm not just talking about people on other blogs, though there's no shortage of excitement there, but also of several examples much closer to home. Hit the jump to see just how EPIC the appeal of the Scott Pilgrim movie is going to be.

As several movie studios have learned the hard way, it's not enough to just make a movie based on a comic book and let the cash flow in. There's always going to be an inherited audience for them, but for it to really take off there has to be something for it to appeal to beyond the established fan base. The movies that do worst only try to aim for a certain demographic, more often than not the young adult/teenager male section of the audience, but fail to capture the imagination and attention of everyone else. The prime example of something like this would be Kick-Ass. Diametrically opposed to that, I believe, stands Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Allow me to explain.

I already stated in the opening paragraph that I'm excited about the movie, and really, being a 20-something male comic book reader, I'm a pretty easy sell to studios. The trailer was just enough to get me excited, and here I am writing a whole article about the movie. I'm doing their job for them, basically doing viral marketing at its finest and purest. I made my wife watch the trailer of it, as I do with just about any comic book/nerd movie that comes out (she humors me, thankfully). Sometimes she likes what she sees and wants to watch the movie with me (Watchmen, for example), and other times doesn't understand why I care about this stuff (Tron).

In the case of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, while she wasn't blown away by it, she did admit that it looked funny, saying that some of the fight scenes looked too silly and agreed to go see it with me. For the record, she's a big fan of animated Pixar films, the Harry Potter franchise, and stuff like Coraline or Tim Burton movies. On top of that, we are both big fans of Arrested Development, and I know she finds Michael Cera to be a funny guy. I think part of her wants to see the movie just to hold her off until they make the Arrested Development movie.

Anyway, I also caught my younger sister watching the trailer. She's the prototypical teenage girl, she loves the Twilight movies (Team Jacob, in case you are wondering), she watched Juno an unhealthy amount of times, and she cries every time she sees the ending of The Notebook. She wants to see Scott Pilgrim. Again, Michael Cera is probably a pretty strong reason why she wants to see it, but the fact that it is wrapped in a love story is probably equally important. Even if that love story involves epic video game fights. Or perhaps because of it.

Speaking of the fights, you know who else I caught watching the trailer? My father. He's pushing fifty and an action and science fiction movie junkie, he owns all the Star Wars (even the prequels), Matrix (even the sequels) and Lord of the Rings movies. It's not the only thing he watches, but clearly the ones he enjoys the most, and there he was watching the Scott Pilgrim trailer. I asked him about it, and he said that the fight scenes looked pretty creative and entertaining. He laughed at some of the silliness of it, but not enough to stop him from watching it.


So what's the lesson here? The Scott Pilgrim movie seems to have been crafted with a wide appeal in terms of demographic. When opening day hits, I think this movie stands a better chance than some of its contemporaries like Jonah Hex, The Losers, or the aforementioned Kick-Ass. It's not because of the teenage heartthrob alone, or the special effects, or romance plot, but because of the confluence of all these elements that make it more appealing to a wider audience. Have you found some non-comic acquaintances excited to see the movie? Let us know in the comments section!

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Ivan said...

Scott Pilgrim is a great read, you're missing out.

It hits VERY close to home to me, because I've been to Toronto (the comic's setting) a couple of years ago and ever since then I've made my life's goal to go back there in some capacity and stay for good.

I'll probably attend the movie during the opening weekend, which is something I never, ever, do.

Ivan said...

Also, Young Neil somehow looks spot-on, but I dislike the looks of the actor they picked to be Stephen Stills. Indifferent about Michael Cera.

Radlum said...

I am as enthusiastic as most fans of Scott Pilgrim, but I believe the exact opposite of what you said; I think Scott Pilgrim, the comic book and the movie, has a limited demographic, composed mainly of comic book geeks, video game geeks and music geeks/hipsters. The trailer looks good to me and my sister (a music geek), but when I showed it to my friends, they were either indifferent or they thought it tried too hard to be "quirky" (like some of the worst lines in Juno).
I have faith in Michael Cera and Egdar Wright, but I doubt this is going to be a box office hit (also, I can't be the only one worried that they are using all the evil exes in just one movie, I hope the plot doesn't feel too compressed).

Rick said...

It's commentary like this that makes me glad I found your website. Thanks.

Matt Duarte said...

@Ivan: Working on it. I should be getting them soon. Expect reviews.

@Radlum: There's a lot of video game geeks. And I expect this movie to be huge among the "Hot Topic" crowd.

@Rick: Glad to hear you liked the article!

twobitspecialist said...

Lol. Hot Topic crowd.

I've been hearing about this movie a lot lately. Didn't even know it was based on a comic. Now you got me intrigued, but I'll wait for the DVD because I am not paying $10 for the ticket plus the popcorn and the soda.

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