Marketing Strategy: "What Happens Last Is Remembered First?" Is FOX Aiming To Steal Thunder With "The Back-Door Approach?" *** By Lightning This Friday marks the debut of the first trailer for Bryan Singer's Superman Returns. Ironically enough, this clip is debuting a month earlier than X3's trailer (due next month), while the film comes out a month after X3's May 26th screening date. It appears that Warner Bros. is going for the "early bird" approach, in an effort to drum up as much buzz as possible for their feature. Their website is fully active, and the media has been inundated with stills from the production. In stark contrast, the other major comic book film of 2006--X-Men 3--has had no pictures released to represent it, nor has a full-fledged website been launched. Admittedly there has been very little visibility for this tentpole production--even the plot is shrouded in secrecy. It would seem that FOX is woefully behind its competitors, considering that their project hits theatres first. For many people, this signals an unmitigated disaster, and understandably so. Unlike Superman Returns or Ghost Rider, X-Men 3 has a powerful momentum going right now, and a gigantic mainstream audience. It has remained at the apex of 2006's most anticipated films for months now, all without any promotion. So it would seem that FOX would be smarter to capitalize on that anticipation. Instead, their silenced delay on releasing any offical pictures or details communicates to some that the studio is trying to hide a Catwomanesque-mess until the very last minute. However, instead of writing X3 off as a failure waiting to happen--I'd like to interject another plausible reason for FOX's delaying: Could it be that they are adopting the old adage "What happens last is remembered first" for their marketing technique? Think about it: When the trailer for Superman Returns is released there will be certain pandamonium--be it good or bad. However, when FOX strikes with their trailer next month, what will happen to that buzz? It will be diverted--and, at least temporarily, FOX will have effectively stolen its competitors' thunder. If X3's first trailer and official stills are mindblowing, the hype will reach all-time highs with an already-hungry fanbase. Do you think this could feasibly be FOX's plan?