I've been doing this a long time, and I can honestly say I've rarely seen a studio work harder to get a film in front of an audience than Universal did with "Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World."
I've also rarely seen a film land with the sort of box-office indifference in the face of generally glowing reactions that "Scott Pilgrim" did, and no matter how many conversations I've had with people about what happened, I haven't heard one good theory on why it failed to connect. The film's tests all went well, people who saw it seemed to enjoy it, word of mouth was strong, reviews were great... and no one went.
I have a strong suspicion that "Pilgrim" is the sort of film that is going to build an audience slowly and surely on home video, and in a few years, people are going to wish they'd seen the film in the theater in the first place. This is the best film to tank this hard since "The Iron Giant," and I knew in '99 that one would find its audience, too.
Part of the push on home video evidently involves a redesigned bit of key art, and today when Team HitFix got together for lunch, we were talking about whether or not this might work to encourage people to give the film a chance. I'll say this... at least the new piece of key art puts the cast front and center. I hate photoshop movie posters, and I miss the heyday of paintings as one-sheets, but this cover has more to do with the movie than the original poster image did... don't you think?
Be honest... in an age where the actual physical video store is on the wane, does the cover matter anymore? Do you guys ever take a chance on a film just because you see a cover you like? And has a redesigned piece of key art ever convinced you to take a chance on something on home video that you skipped in the theater?
Recently, Edgar Wright blogged a fan-created alternate Blu-ray cover for the movie, and when I sent the link to our own Greg Ellwood today, he responded, "That should be the cover of the Criterion Collection edition":
I agree. So awesome.
"Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World" arrives on DVD and Blu-ray November 9, 2010.
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