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Fans make Lionsgate's Stallone trailer expendable

July 13, 2010 |  7:35 pm

Often the moviegoing public looks at how a studio is marketing a movie and says "We can do better." And then, sometimes, they go out and do just that.

There’s nothing painfully wrong with Lionsgate’s trailer for “The Expendables,” which you can see here. But there’s nothing especially good about it either. There’s far too much wind-up before it gets to the action shots for a movie that mainly appeals to men, and certainly far too much pseudo-patriotic mumbo jumbo. (“They must make the ultimate sacrifice for a chance to change history.")

Not so for the imaginative fan trailer above, which is starting to get some nice traction on the Web. The rave-up Andrew W.K. song, the cut-straight-to-the-testosterone pacing (and the quick cuts when it gets there) and, most of all, the good-natured battle-of-the-sexes, take-back-the-box-office conceit. Moviegoers don't necessarily shell out $10  to make a statement of masculinity. But the play to that sentiment is brilliant -- it's exactly what the movie does, after all -- and far more persuasive than the tepid, hit-all-the-right-focus-group notes.

Studios aren’t about to turn over the marketing keys to fans. But sometimes the fans take it anyway, Stallone-style. And when they do, it can be a beautiful thing.

--Steven Zeitchik

Twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT

Video: Fan trailer for "The Expendables"

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