Scott Pilgrim

Take one part love story, two parts SNES references, six parts awesomeness, let it stew in the fridge for a few days, remember it, freak out and race back, and you'll find Scott Pilgrim waiting there. So why did the movie lose millions of dollars?

Image by JJ Gauthier

Just The Facts

  1. A comic boo-sorry, GRAPHIC NOVEL, about the eponymous Scott Pilgrim.
  2. Created by Bryan Lee O'Malley, an Asian-Canadian cartoonist.
  3. Seriously, Asian-Canadian. With an Irish surname. Stranger mixes have happened.

The Story

The comic encompass the life of this guy:

Twenty-three year old Scott Pilgrim, Canadian citizen, self proclaimed slacker and someone "between jobs." In the more than generous amounts of downtime he has on hand, Pilgrim regularly partakes of simulated reality interactive modules ("games" to the layman), lounging around his borrowed apartment and pretty much avoiding any responsibility whatsoever.

He also plays bass guitar for a little local band called Sex Bomb-Omb (those of you who get the reference can just come out and admit that virginity problem you have), as well has hang out with his cute Asian high-school-age girlfriend. Things are going great for Scott, if you ignore the fact that he mooches off his gay roommate, his band sucks donkey dongs and he in no way has strong feelings for his obsessed girlfriend.

And then, she arrives:

Well, not so much as arrives as she does literally roll into his dreams and steal his heart away. Her name is Ramona Flowers and she works as an American Ninja Delivery Girl, which we admit is a bitchin' job title. Smitten beyond all hope, Scott sets out to win her heart with blissful serenades, epic love poems, and chocolate so expensive it would-

Oh wait, no. Scott has to fight and defeat Ramona's Seven Evil Ex-Boyfriends, all of whom have superpowers that can kill him 10 times before he hit the ground.

Also, Super Fighting Death Robots (dibs on the band name)

The Movie

Fans were excited by the announcement of the movie--and then every subsequent piece of news that leaked about it--in a way that only geeks or meth addicts can manage. The film's Comic-Con panel almost caused a riot, and the studio was so impressed by the buzz they sank tens of millions into a massive ad campaign (on top of a budget rumored to be between $60 and $80 million). Critics gave the movie excellent reviews (on part with Inception on RottenTomatoes.com). Finally it was time for fans to turn their enthusiasm into purchased tickets...

The result? A miserable $10.5 million its first weekend, and a total box office run of less than $30 million. The film won't even make enough money to pay for its marketing campaign.

What the hell happened to all those enthusiastic fans? Many, many, many articles have been written in the last few weeks trying to explain it, but it probably comes down to the simple fact that in the world of the geek and in the age of the internet, loving something does not necessarily translate to a willingness to spend money on it.