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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Do you want to be punished?"
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March 03 2012

Marvel's 'Avengers' trailer nabs most-watched record (again). The trailer promoting Marvel's upcoming superhero flick The Avengers has earned the title of most-watched on Apple's iTunes and movie trailers apps.

Marvel Studios today said the trailer, which launched as an exclusive to iTunes on Wednesday, was viewed 13.7 million times in its first 24 hours of availability. This surpasses TDKR's 12.5 million views, which in turn beat out views for the first Avengers trailer. I guess we'll just keep trading the crown back and forth until both movies are finally out?

Dont get too excited about how many people have seen this trailer; most of those views where just me, on a repeat bucle.
Hmm. I think we're due another TDKR trailer...
I still can't believe that Joss is drawing a crowd larger than just us. It's beautiful.

Even if most of them are more excited about the premise than the writer/director.

[ edited by betweentheblinks on 2012-03-03 04:24 ]
Zing, Darkness. Nice one.

I'm very happy for Joss. Can you imagine having that kind of popular response merely about the TRAILER for your movie? Dang.

I sometimes wonder if Joss feels conflicted about the massive audience he's now seeking to appease. I keep remembering his recent interview comments. To paraphrase: "There are certain things you do in a blockbuster. You bust blocks. You want to make it good, but not too good, because then you'll be perceived as pretentious."

Does Joss feel like he's compromised his artistic vision to "bust blocks?" Does he feel like he's had to make his film "not too good" to ensure the kind of moneymaker that is expected of him? Or is this comment just the usual Jossian silliness?

I hope the latter. I hope he sees no conflict between his artistic vision and the capacity for popular appeal. Maybe I'm naive, but I think that intelligence and popularity are not mutually exclusive. Put another way, I think that any deficiency in the quality of popular culture is a problem of supply, not demand. And I like to think that Joss thinks so too.

Like others on here, I think I've been feeling sort of moved as part of Joss's fan community to see the life of the guy we like so much suddenly transformed by a single big-budget opportunity. Did we, as fans, play a role in making that opportunity available? I dunno. But I love to think so.

I hope Joss deals with his success well, and I hope we do the same.

[ edited by Squishy on 2012-03-03 06:28 ]
I hope he sees no conflict between his artistic vision and the capacity for popular appeal.

Me too. But awesome fact #29 about Joss is that I don't think he feels there's an artistic difference between making art for tens of millions (logistically, that is the audience for this movie) and art for a thousands. He talked about wrestling with accepting the offer to make TA because he didn't know if he had a story to tell -- and really, that is the only reason I think he ever makes movies or TV shows or webisodes.

So that's reason #198 I always feel confident in his storytelling hands.
@ Squishy

You implied it yourself, Joss had zero margin to impose his artistic vision; there's big money at stake and the studios could not take the risk to make another Firefly. A big studio chief said recently they prefer to make not-so-good movies rather than brilliant but finantially riskee movies.
This is why i disagree with your "naive" vision.

This is also why Joss decided at the same time to create his own production company " Bellwether Pictures"; i was afraid Joss would continue to make blockbuster and forget his alumni but i'm glad to see that's not the case at all, as proven by the cast of "Much Ado about Nothing".

The two worlds are not completely exclusive; see Chris Hemsworthin both in "The Cabin in the Wood"s and The Avengers or Clark Gregg both in MAAN and The Avengers (Agent Coulson) . That said, i don't expect Nathan Fillion to be cast in Marvels next blockbuster in a near future ;).
Eh, didn't we crash Apple.com when the first Serenity trailer hit? Now that was something. ;-)

Darkness, I wonder if they count repeated viewings once people already have the file loaded. I mean, how would they know how often we press play?
I think I'll only really consider The Avengers truly a success if it both busts blocks and has those signature Whedon moments. If it only has the signature moments, I'll still love it to bits even if the masses don't catch on. If it doesn't have the Whedonesque moments but does appeal to the masses... then I would be truly disappointed.

But if trailer viewings are any indication, this movie should at least not fail at the B.O.
I'm not too worried about him going mainstream. Yes, in terms of movies and TV shows the masses generally flock to, they're pretty much idiots (cough* Jersey Shore). But, like someone said above, popularity and intelligence are not always mutually exclusive. Inception, anyone?

I do feel like when he created Dollhouse, he did do a good job of prepping that show to go mainstream. Yes, he had a different vision than the network and ultimately had to change it to appease FOX. But at the time he thought he was going to get the post-24 time-slot and become FOX's next breakout. The lack of success of that show had more to do with FOX scheduling, and not because he sacrificed popularity for intelligence. That show could have had it all. It was "intelligent" enough as his other shows, but at the same time had enough broad appeal, and didn't have that dark cloud of prejudice hanging over it (like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly did) where people might dismiss it off the bat because it seemed to be targeted to a very niche audience. Which is far from true, I'm just saying that to the masses, cowboys in space and a high school girl slaying vampires are no Two and a Half Men!

Although, I must say I am curious how he will manage to juggle his integrity with his need to appeal the masses if he ever DOES make it big. I remember he said this about Buffy since it was more of an underground show at the time:

"I'd rather make a show that 100 people need to see, than 1,000 people want to see."
I really like that quote. "I'd rather make a show that 100 people need to see than 1.000 people want to see" really sums up the way I both watch television and want to (at some point) be able to write it. I consume TV like there's no tomorrow, but given the choice between a handful of shows I need to see and hundreds I only like to see, I'd go for the handful no question. And there really are only a handful of shows I wouldn't trade for anything else. Buffy is probably the oldest one, the most recent would be Community.

[ edited by Mitholas on 2012-03-03 15:03 ]
Oh, that's a thought *watches trailer again*
I hope he sees no conflict between his artistic vision and the capacity for popular appeal.


Seeing as his shows got greenlit so they could make the networks money, I'm sure he has no problem with it.

Yes, in terms of movies and TV shows the masses generally flock to, they're pretty much idiots (cough* Jersey Shore).


Snobbery is not something that we particulary like to see here.
I do believe Josses style and vision of superheroes as a genre gels perfectly well with what could be considered mainstream for that genre; i could be worried if he would be doing a blockbuster in many other genres; but in superheroes, i truly believe taht his artistic vision doesnt really conflict too much with what the public considers a good, enterteining movie; even if you cant compare because of the cost, i doubt marvel gave him absolute freedom for Astonishing X-Men and as long time comics reader, i can tell you i consider his run on par with the Claremont/Byrne one, wich is saing really a lot.

You dont need to show what people want to see; an inteligent creator can find the way to show people what they need and at the same time want; its not always about comercial/sold out, risky/artsitic vision. If you have to show EITHER what people need or what people want, if thats the choice, then go for need; but you dont always have to choose.

Some of the greatest works of art have been done within limited artistic choices left for the artist anyway; as John Ford once said "In Hollywood you cant do what you like, but you better like what you do." Some of the greatst and best superheroes stories of all time were also some of the most beloved and sucessfull; and they are up ther with Joss.

At the same time, i doubt you give your most ambitious movie to the guy who made Buffy; dont get me wrong, i belive Joss is a true genius, but you have to admit that, from a commercial standing point, he isnt the A-considered tipe of director you would choose to make it; eve less if you consider this is his second cinema movie; this is THE marvel movie, the one you have been building toward to in other movies. And you give it to a cult tv director that made just one theatrical movie wich didnt do too good, and evn in tv has not a mass apeal?

That doesnt happen; and if it does, i suspect it does because they know him, and trust him; and when you trust a director THAT much, you hire him because of his qualities, not to put handcufs on him; to me, the bafling nature of that move kinda gets me less nervous about the whole thing; he wont have total freedom, but i think they signed Joss because they wanted Joss; they have worked with him, they know him. And they want HIM.

I might be wrong, of course, but i still think Astonishing X-Men could work perfectly fine as a mainstream blockbuster and it is, in my opinion, a masterpiece and some of Josses best work, so go figure.
It's like Jane Espenson once said about becoming a television writer: you can't become a good tv writer if you don't love that medium. If all you want to do is change everything about how television works, you should probably stay home.

I think you can say the same thing about writing for genre. I don't think you can really write genre without being a fan of it. You can write genre that mocks certain tropes and genre clichés, but you can't do that and also create good material if you don't love genre. Have you ever heard anyone say "I hated everything about this type of story, so I wanted to write this in that genre?" I know I haven't.
I have often sold Buffy and Angel to potential new fans as the first great comic book television series; it really is a medium that he understands better than just about anybody. While I initially though he'd be a better fit for X-Men than The Avengers, I see nothing so far that indicates he's going to have any trouble putting his personal fingerprints all over an epic comic book action movie with (now) very well-known characters. As the man himself said, he's been preparing for this film for 49 years (sorry if I got the age wrong, but that's what my memory is coughing up as of this posting). For a little while I was worried that he'd take the same attitude he took when making his awesome episode of The Office, that if he's done his job you shouldn't be able to tell that he directed it, but I really doubt that'll be the case here. I think it's going to a marvelous (tah dum dum) amalgam of all we love about Joss and these kinds of movies. And it will allow him to go do whatever the hell he wants for as long as he wants to do it, which is priceless.
As I've often said, Joss did his version of Spider-Man when he made BtVS. Only with vampires!
I have to say, that last shot of Iron Man followed by the big thing is hugely reminiscent of probably the best moment in Serenity. I think Joss likes tiny things followed by big things. This is my thesis.
I can not even belay how much I'm looking forward to this movie.

Many Angels dancing on a pin.

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