Four things to keep in mind about "Inception"

by Paul William Tenny

Tracking looks good for Inception which I have a hard time believing. You can count the number of directors that can open a imovie on one hand, and Chris Nolan isn't one of them. DiCaprio has never been able to open a movie in his life, despite being such a huge name.

Combined with the wonky story, it hardly seems to add up to a blockbuster. Here's why:

  • Inception had a score of 100/100 on Rotten Tomattoes early, but it has fallen to 85 and probably will keep falling for a bit. But to give you an idea of how superficial RT scores are, Eclipse of the Twilight series has a rating of 54/100 but has made $466 million in its first 16 days in theaters. That's only ~$70 million less than Toy Story 3 in half the time, and TS3 has a rating of 99/100. It also cost three times as much to make than Eclipse did.
  • There is virtually no competition this weekend. Only one other film is opening in more than 1,000 theaters, and it looks pretty average.
  • As I noted in my intro, Nolan isn't big enough to open a movie and DiCaprio has never been able to do it.
  • Nolan has been working on the script for over a decade. It's the kind of personal pet project that never sees the light of day unless you hit the bigtime, and can cash in on your name to get a questionable project moving. That's what happened here, and when has that ever worked out well?

Everyone wants Nolan to be JJ Abrams, but he's not. Momento was good, Batman Begins was good, and Dark Knight stunk. That's not what I consider a great track record. To the contrary, I think Nolan more than anything directed a great film written by David Goyer, and has been riding that ever since. Inception wasn't written by Goyer (neither was Dark Knight) which explains why the stories don't really make any sense.

I don't know if it'll bomb -- probably not -- but I feel comfortable saying Inception will underperform this weekend, even with zero competition.

On the other hand, the movie cost $260 million including marketing, so if it isn't a massive box office hit, it's going to make a really big sucking sound. The kind you hear when careers and dreams die.

in Film


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