Universal’s Long Road In Selling COWBOYS & ALIENS To The Squares

Is the title COWBOYS AND ALIENS too goofy for the movie Jon Favreau made?

I never even considered that people would find Cowboys and Aliens to be an inherently comedic concept. I think this illustrates how far into the nerd world I am, where my only reaction to the idea of Wild West gunfighters battling scifi aliens is ‘Fucking awesome.’

But the New York Times has an interesting article detailing some of the hurdles the film has to overcome with a general audience who, quite simply, find the title silly. Reporter Michael Cieply braved places like Worst Previews and MMA message boards to get some reactions after hearing an LA crowd laugh at the trailer last week. And Universal seems to be aware of the gap they have to close with general audiences.

“The trailer is the first very public step in reconciling the tone of the movie with the more immediate effect of the title on its own,” Eddie Egan, Universal’s president of marketing, told the Times.

What will be the other steps? I love some of the movies Universal has released in the last few years, but they’ve had  a hard time getting the regular public to understand what movies like Scott Pilgrim vs the World or Land of the Lost were all about. Between Cowboys & Aliens and Your Highness (which is much, much smarter than it looks) that team has some real work cut out for it. I wonder if anyone at Universal has ever raised the possibility of changing the title or something. It seems too late for that now, though.

Whatever the case with the general public I’m very excited for the film. It looks like it’s coming right in at one of my sweet spots, and I only hope that if some norm, some square, some regular movie goer stumbles upon us here at Badass Digest, we can convince them to give this movie a shot.

Here’s the trailer that earned some guffaws: