One-Note Marketing
From the tagline "LIVE. DIE. REPEAT." to a string of trailers detailing its time-loop narrative, Warner Bros. worked hard to make sure moviegoers understood the unconventional premise of Edge of Tomorrow. The rest of the screentime in trailers and TV spots went to showing off its star, Tom Cruise, along with the scads of praise Edge of Tomorrow was pulling in. Many critics, myself included, were pleasantly surprised that Cruise had followed a lackluster sci-fi adventure (Oblivion) with a clever and downright hilarious one. It seemed a great move for WB to play up our excitement, but apparently our enthusiasm was not contagious.

Setting aside what I know about Edge of Tomorrow, I watched the trailer again to try to see what the public did. Maybe it just looked too much like so much other sci-fi with its cool tones, teeth-gritted heroes and high stakes. The trailers aimed to emphasize our excitement over the film's originality and thrills, but sidestepped our love of the movie's macabre sense of humor, which sets it apart from recent sci-fi offerings like Prometheus or World War Z. Admittedly, that's a tricky thing to sell in a 30-second spot. But I can't help but wonder if WB had shown a little less of the movie's explosions and a little more of its distinctive comedy, would it have made more of an impression?

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