Jordan Peele’s ‘Nope’ Featurette Continues to Hide Its Cinematic Secrets
On schedule, Universal released the second (and likely last) Jordan Peele trailer Nope. The preview is more of a brief “making-of” featurette than a trailer, and oddly enough, it’s even more cryptic than the footage from CinemaCon or the recent TV spot. By coincidence or design, this is a trailer that will not traumatize the youngest Jurassic World: Dominion the viewers. This tv spot pretty much confirms that the movie is about aliens or flying saucers. Whether more happens will be open to debate until the film is screened for press.
One effect of all this “everything is a spoiler” marketing (encouraged by people perpetually online who get mad on social media if you mention that Ryan Gosling is revealed in the first five minutes of Blade Runner 2049 being a replicant), is that the nuts and bolts storytelling is considered a spoiler in terms of pre-release marketing. Conversely, the revealing of the fundamental plot beats suggests there’s more in store even if that’s not the case. Fair or Not, the Likes of Chris Nolan Interstellar and Brad Bird tomorrowland were exactly as advertised.
Maybe Nope, starring Keke Palmer, Daniel Kaluuya, Steven Yeun, Michael Wincott and Keith David, is “just” about a small town being attacked by UFOs. Peele hinted that there’s more to it than that, and I’m sure there’s plenty of third-act twists for you to check out in late July. However, the idea that we are being misled regarding the subject of the film could be an example of online discourse being confused with general public sentiment.
First, We was what its only trailer promised, a horror movie about a family attacked by murderous doppelgangers. Second, it’s incredibly difficult to get audiences to show up for an original picture, even with a big-name filmmaker like Jordan Peele at the helm. The last thing you want to do is basically scam your audience who took a chance on an original (or new for you) theatrical release.
That’s why I was so grumpy about Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway Serenity. It’s hard enough to get people to show up for an old-school erotic thriller in theaters, let alone when one of the few such films to exist in theaters turns out to be a heist. head, the entire film being a trauma-controlled video game. child. Heck, a big reason why M. Night Shyamalan is Unbreakable was so divisive in late 2000 precisely because the marketing didn’t even hint that it was a superhero origin story.
Everyone had their theory as to why Bruce Willis’ David Dunn survived that train wreck. When Samuel L. Jackson’s Elijah Price explains that he thinks Dunn is a real-life superhero, half the audience internally cheered and the other half internally booed. To imagine The sixth sense to be sold as a drama about a child with a mood disorder, then 50 Minutes to Haley Joel Osment turns to Bruce Willis and whispers, “I see dead people.” Half the public would have rolled with it and the other half would have rebelled.
To be fair, this discussion is mostly academic. get out opened with $33 million and grew to $176 million domestically and $255 million worldwide by early 2017. We opened with $71 million (second only to Avatar’s $77 million launch among opening weekends for Live Originals) and earned $175 million / $255 million in early 2019. get out cost $5 million while We cost $25 million. Even though Nope costs (speculative estimate) $40 million (to shoot with IMAX cameras is expensive), even a “disappointing” worldwide sum of $160 million would be four times the gross theatrical budget.
Box Nope open above We and potentially snag Avatar’s live opening weekend record? It seems unlikely (but not impossible), if only because of what still amounts to a slight Covid curve. I’m optimistic that it can still open high enough ($50 million) for the film to enjoy a 31-day theatrical window compared to Comcast’s current 17-day exclusivity clause. Alright, so it probably won’t be overkill Top Gun: Maverick in North America as I predicted in late April, but sometimes you have to make a “Rocky beats Apollo” bet just to feel alive.