The marketing team for Speed Racer (Warner Bros. 5.9) is facing an ironic challenge. It’s basically “a kid’s movie,” as a critic friend recently confided, but the tracking, according to Fantasy Moguls’ Steve Mason, says the biggest interest levels so far are with the over-25 crowd who grew up on the animated versions in various media.

There is therefore “every reason for Warner Bros to be concerned” about the Wachowski Brothers latest, Mason writes. Total awareness is at 77%, but un-aided awareness is sitting at a mere 5% and definite interest is only at 29% — certainly an issue of concern. As Mason points out, even 20th Century Fox’s What Happens in Vegas, another 5.9 opener that feels to me like a whatever thing, is doing better on this score.
Kids never show up on tracking very strongly, of course, but Speed Racer is a very costly event picture that’s kicking off the summer season. It needs to generate a lot more interest among younger males over the next two weeks or the crestfall factor will be huge.
I for one am fascinated by the visual textures in this thing and therefore consider it a must-see, but I don’t count very much in the big scheme. The target audience is going to pay to see this thing or not based on the ads and trailers alone…or not.