Will Inception be Christopher Nolan's first big flop?

The early reviews of Inception all praised its complexity and smart ideas, but warned it might be too smart for dumb moviegoers. Now some people are starting to wonder if it'll make back its reported $200 million budget.

Science fiction writer Jason Sanford puts it right out there:

This film will be a major flop at the box office... My prediction is that this will be a good SF film which the critics will love, but which doesn't find a large audience because of its subject matter. Since Christopher Nolan is still Hollywood's golden boy and is working on another Batman movie, studios will overlook losing their shirts on this film. But that won't change the fact that Inception will be a flop.

Reviewers have already been comparing it to Blade Runner — and raising the possibility that it might have a similar track at the box office to Ridley Scott's masterpiece, which only gained appreciation after it was in theaters.

And then there's this post at Hollywood.com. Writer Peter Hall says that after seeing Inception, he doesn't think it's too smart for audiences. Nolan does a great job of making his complex, head-spinning, layered ideas comprehensible. But then he adds:

After seeing Inception, though, I had a conversation that blew my mind more than the movie did. A friend from my old hometown was asking what I was up to. I told him I had just gotten back from a screening of Inception. His response? "What's Inception?" It boggled my mind that he didn't know. I wanted to shove his face in the trailer like he had done something wrong, like he was a pet who had gone to the bathroom on the living room rug.

Eventually once I talked him through it, once I explained that it was the new movie from the guy who made The Dark Knight and that it starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Joesph Gordon Levitt, he recalled vaguely knowing what it was, but he had no clue what it was about. The last part didn't stand out to me - before seeing it myself I vaguely knew what it was about, but that's because I had avoided everything since the first theatrical trailer for the film - but I was kind of stunned that someone like him, a geek who is definitely more into movies that Joe Facebook, didn't instantly register that Inception was the new movie from The Dark Knight guy starring DiCaprio.

I'm getting a bit of a sinking feeling here.

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