class=”alignleft size-thumbnail wp-image-15193″ style=”margin: 10px;” title=”Scott Pilgrim vs. The World Poster” src=”×150.jpg” alt=”” width=”220″ height=”150″ />The Edgar Wright directed adaptation of the Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World graphic novel series hits theatres this week, to a huge wave of anticipation from the Internet movie community. The comic series in question has achieved huge cult acclaim, as has helmer Wright thanks to his work with Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz.

When the first trailers were released for Scott Pilgrim, the web went into meltdown, with millions of hits accumulated in just a matter of minutes. Demand crashed servers as excited fans watched the video multiple times. For some, the wait has been almost unbearable since then and excitement has reached fever pitch. Surely, then, Scott Pilgrim is heading for huge box office success?

Well, no, probably not. Because whilst it is easy to be blinded by the furore over the release of the film seen online, from the point of view of the average mainstream movie-goer, there is very little to get excited about. We know all about the movie, we’ve followed its development, and it has been one of the most talked about films of the summer amongst us movie bloggers. The reality, however, is that those not all consumed by movie and comic fandom, those casual cinema patrons who only take in the TV and press advertising, have absolutely no idea who or what Scott Pilgrim is.

Back in April, the countdown to the release of Kick-Ass ended, and we all expected it to be the surprise hit of the year. We had followed Kick-Ass from day one, we had lived through the trials and tribulations of director Matthew vaughn as he struggled to find a distributor, and most of all we were just damn excited about the movie. The box office numbers, though reasonable, came as quite a shock to us when we realised the outside world just wasn’t interested. Many blamed the marketing campaign, but the sad truth is, the general public just didn’t understand what it was.

Kick-Ass was not a failure. It made a healthy profit by the end of its run, and a sequel appears to be in the works. It just wasn’t familiar enough to the popcorn audience. The costumes were cheap looking, the trailer looked silly, and they didn’t recognise the actors. In short, the general public didn’t get it. These were the reasons for the lack of interest, and i can’t help but worry that the same fate will befall Scott Pilgrim.

It is a cult rather than mainstream graphic novel, and there have been no TV shows or movies previously to bring the character to the attention of the masses. The trailers, though a delight to fans, are incomprehensible to someone who doesn’t know the property, and are in danger of just looking stupid. Again, there are no big name actors involved, and the lack of box office stars and a recognised franchise are not good signs for the financial success of Scott Pilgrim.

Lets face it, there is a lot of love for Michael Cera, but even though he has appeared in mainstream films like Year One,  he really wasn’t the name star of that movie, and it wasn’t exactly a glowing recommendation of any of the actors involved. Parts in Superbad and Juno probably stand him in better stead, but even those films were very much targeted at a niche market. Of the rest of the principal cast, Anna Kendrick is possibly the most recognisable after roles in Up In The Air and the Twilight movies. Mary Elizabeth Winstead has a diverse filmography, but hasn’t really headlined any major movies. Others, like Jason Schwartzman and Chris Evans are better known, but aren’t prominent in the marketing. All in all, if you mention any of these names to the average man on the street you’ll probably get a blank expression.

Failure is a strong word, and i don’t think Scott Pilgrim will actually be considered a failure any more than Kick-Ass was. I think it will have a lower opening weekend than Kick-Ass did. With a pretty low budget considering, though, it will certainly cover costs, and probably make a decent profit. I just worry that expectation is too high, and people will once again be shocked if it only enjoys very modest success financially. Based on the buzz and early reviews it is a great film, and it will be a great shame if only a small percent of cinema audiences check it out. It does have competition this weekend in theatres, with women most likely to see Eat Pray Love and men probably more drawn to Sylvester Stallone and his Expendables. This leaves only the discerning film viewers to go for Scott Pilgrim, and unfortunately they seem to be more and more of a dying breed.

I hope i am wrong, and Scott Pilgrim enjoys the numbers it deserves. It could be a surprise hit, but in a world where M Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender can receive a 7% Rotten Tomatoes rating and still make over $40m in its first weekend, i think the genius of Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim may well be overlooked, despite its infinitely better 76% rating. We shall see in a few days how it has fared on its first weekend of release, and i would welcome the chance to eat humble pie if the worldwide cinema audience prove my cynicism unfounded.

Bazmann – You can follow me on Twitter at