Battle of Sexes Played Out in This Week's Movie Trailers

Boys Geek Out on 'Scott Pilgrim'; Manly Men Drafted by 'Expendables'

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Last week, it seems we couldn't get enough in these pages on the three movies that are, depending on your place in the demographic spectrum, the most-chatted about movies of the summer not named "Inception." Despite their August release dates, there's no shortage of marketing support (or buzz) for "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World," Eat Pray Love" and "The Expendables," as their studios seem eager to carve up the box office this weekend based on three well-defined audiences: men, women and ... well, whoever you skinny weird kids are.

'Scott Pilgrim vs. the World'
'Scott Pilgrim vs. the World'
Most of us know the conventional wisdom, that summer movies were about where the teen boys are (see: "Transformers"). Then, thanks to "Twilight" -- and the one-woman counter-programming industry known as Meryl Streep -- summertime seemingly grew more inclusive, accommodating daughters and mothers. Steven Zeitchik at the Los Angeles Times blog "24 Frames" is pretty much calling this weekend a battle of the sexes waged between Julia Roberts ("Eat Pray Love") and Sylvester Stallone ("The Expendables"). "It's as close to a laboratory environment as you can get, since the two films' subject matter and intended audience couldn't sit on further ends of the gender spectrum."

But Zeitchik's post is also an interesting look behind some of the MPAA's latest audience numbers and what they mean from a marketing perspective. According to the Hollywood trade group, the moviegoing audience is fairly evenly split, 52% female and 48% male. So it's likely that we'll continue to see more trailers for the same movie cut to appeal to each gender.

Garrison Dean of the Monocular Group created a trailer looking to skew the upcoming gender battle this weekend, exhorting the XY set to flock to the multiplex to "take back what's ours" and make "The Expendables" No. 1 at the box office.

Speaking of trailers, last week M&V contributor and Movie Marketing Madness scribe Chris Thilk looked into Hollywood's latest obsession with the extended-clip trailer. Studios have been seeding and releasing up to six different trailers for the same movie all over the internet in some kind of doctrine of mutually assured clip overkill. Chris cited the aforementioned "Scott Pilgrim" as just the latest summer movie the bombard its Comic-Con fanbase with multiple trailers.

But you have to tip your hat to the latest trailer making the rounds. I stumbled on it courtesy Cinematical, and I'll pass along its warning to you: The trailer is your time-suck of the day.

This is not just any trailer -- it's an interactive trailer. The production is a cross between a video game, an old episode of VH1 "Pop-up Video" and the DVD extras most of us never sit through. Yes, it speaks strictly to the fanbase. If you're not already eager to see the movie, directed by Edgar Wright ("Shaun of the Dead"), this trailer won't sway you. But it does show that studios can be a lot more creative than what we've come to expect from trailers (and the websites for the releases, most of which haven't had a lick of creativity in years), that all seem edited and focus-grouped by the same folks who bring us car commercials.

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