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Comic Riffs
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Posted at 01:09 AM ET, 03/03/2012

TRAILERS OF THE WEEK: Who wins when we assemble ‘Avengers,’ ”Despicable Me 2’ and ‘Frankenweenie’?

HULK SMASH RECORDS!

“The Avengers” doesn’t open for two months yet, and already a telltale statistic is being eclipsed. Hyperventilating with adjectives, Marvel Studios has just announced that the “Avengers” trailer unveiled Wednesday is the most viewed iTunes trailer ever in a single day.

The latest trailer was viewed 13.7-million times in 24 hours, Marvel says — a figure so high even Comic Riffs is confident it wasn’t the same 600 geeks watching Avengers assemble and re-assemble nonstop, while powered for 24 hours only by Red Bull Big Gulps (is that a thing yet? Please let it not be so) and their unquenchable thirst for Robert Downey Jr.’s post-Oscar quips.

If there’s one fresh impression that struck Comic Riffs about the clip, it’s that Mark Ruffalo apparently is really going to low-key (no pun intended, but hey, it stays) his performance — all the better for contrast to all those hothead teammates who surround him, if not to his own CGI-unleashed volatility as if miffed about being the third Green-screened Hulk within a few short years. (For that last fact alone, let’s hope Ruffalo decides to stick with the franchise for another film or three. Please let it be so.)

And then there’s the least fresh impression from the trailer, which is: How is “The Avengers” not already here yet? When it comes to this film, the time between the Super Bowl trailer and the summer movie season seems to be expanding more than Stan Lee’s resume of cameos on imdb.com.

May 4. It’s not just a release date. It’s a bifrosted eternity.

MINIONS ASSEMBLE!

That’s the trick with sequels that feature cute-as-a-button creatures, isn’t it? Once the first film’s a hit, you can next just trot out your animated creations like Westminster Kennel show dogs and wait for the audience’s drooling Pavlovian love to commence.

This week — from the same guys who are giving us the Projected-To-Top-The-Box-Office-With-$50-Mill-Plus “Lorax” this weekend (proof that you can pixelate “synergy”) — we get a teaser trailer for “Despicable Me 2.” So minimal, and yet such small portions.

On one hand, all we really get is basic character animation: four minions (the Cyclopped one showing off his 3-D depth potential) singing so many “ba-na-na” syllables, it would leave even Gwen Stefani winded. And still, that’s all we really need for a film that doesn’t arrive till 2013. Were the trailer any longer, we might begin to suffer symptoms similar to Avengers Trailer Fatigue by June.

Take your time, Gru. We’ll feast on “ba-na-nas” and Tim Burton’s dark fever dreams till it’s time.

AND SPEAKING OF BURTON’s dark whimsy, we finally get a true sense of how his “Frankenweenie” will look and sound and feel. We already knew how the music would sound, of course — “Elfman” should now be a pre-loaded, Siri-prompted ringtone (is that a thing yet, too?).

“Frankenweenie,” of course, is based on the short that, according to legend, got Burton booted from the Disney stable nearly three decades ago. (“Too dark to sell” was the purported studio verdict then.) Well since, of course, the conquering Burton — not unlike Pixar’s John Lasseter — returned to Disney the conquering hero. And billions at the box office have a way of mending most fences.

Based on this trailer, you’ve got to like how Burton is returning to his roots — but with all the polish and panache and cinematic command gleaned from his dozens of films since. Plus, sign up ol’ “Beetlejuice” and “Edward Scissorhands” alum like Winona Ryder and Catherine O’Hara as voice actors, and the promise swells as much as Burton’s Macy’s parade Franken-float last Thanksgiving.

COMIC RIFFS’ WINNER OF THE WEEK: “Frankenweenie,” because it had the most to gain — and the most to lose. Not that the words “stop-motion animation” and “Tim Burton” together don’t sell some tickets, but this trailer should ramp up the film well for its Halloween-season release.

By  |  01:09 AM ET, 03/03/2012

Tags:  the avengers, despicable me 2, frankenweenie

 
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