Mysterious Trailer Leaves Online Community Intrigued
Opening with a sequence of chilling lines, weaving through a jarring succession of dark imagery and creepy characters, and culminating with a demon-eyed Natalie Portman plucking a jet-black feather from her festering skin, Black Swan‘s mysterious debut trailer triggered an immediate flurry of Internet attention.
TIME Magazine lauds the trailer as casting Natalie Portman in a “sexier, scarier shade,” while a more skeptical Rosemary White, of CMR.com, wonders if Black Swan will be “Genius, or stupid?” Will Black Swan’s online hype come to fruition on opening night? Or will ticket lines trickle as net-surfers move on to bigger and better things?
Will “Black Swan” Fair Better than “Requiem for a Dream”?
If Darren Aronofsky’s 2000 film Requiem for a Dream is any indication, the outlook isn’t bright. With an even more enigmatic trailer and a similar nightmare vibe, Requiem for a Dream drew a great deal of media hype, and achieved immortality as an anti-drug cult-classic. But, in terms of the box office, the film fared poorly: only $3.6 million in domestic revenue, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com.
But the failure of Requiem may not condemn Black Swan, as Black Swan has one major advantage working in its favor: Requiem‘s grotesque sexual imagery earned it the notorious NC-17 rating, banning it from most mainstream theaters, whereas Black Swan sports the more presentable R-rating.
Is “Black Swan” the next “Inception”?
So, to gauge the success of Aronofsky’s present film, we may not be able to look to his past. A more comparable film-noir may be the recent box-office hit, Inception. Like Black Swan, its initial teaser was anything but straight-forward — the minute-long menagerie of dreamscapes and ominous lines created a powerful aura, but told the viewer nothing about the film.
Like Black Swan, curiosity and confusion generated a formidable online buzz, and, as Aronofsky surely hopes for his new thriller, Inception lived up to the hype, with a whopping $60 million opening, finishing first amongst new releases, according to comingsoon.net.
Blockbuster or not, Expect Critical Acclaim
Ultimately, the question will be answered by moviegoers on Dec. 1, Swan‘s debut date and the first premier of Aronofsky’s since The Wrestler in 2008, another relative flop, ranking 105th overall for its year, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com.
But in spite of the humble performance of many of Aronofsky’s recent films, they’ve all shared another longer lasting commonality: They’ve been critical successes, as much art as they are entertainment. So, with or without record-breaking gross revenue, expect Black Swan to give viewers a riveting ride.
1. Steven James Snyder, Natalie Portman, Black Swan: Aronofsky’s Female Fixation Continues, TIME NewsFeed
2. Rosemary White,”Black Swan” Trailer – Preview the New Ballet Thriller, Current-Movie-Reviews CMR
3. Requiem for a Dream, Box Office Mojo
4. Edward Douglas, Box Office Dreams Do Come True for Inception, ComingSoon.net
5. The Wrestler, Box Office Mojo