I re-watched half of Rocky last night — hadn’t seen it since ’76. I’d forgotten that it expends over a half-hour of pure character-and-milieu exploration (i.e., the audience getting to know Rocky Balboa‘s grim, probably-no-exit life) before the inciting incident happens — before Apollo Creed decides he’d like to fight an unknown “eye-talian.” In the old days (i.e., the ’90s and before) inciting incidents happened somewhere between page 20 and 26. I haven’t done a study or poll but I’ll bet that in these ADD times inciting incidents are happening a bit earlier. Man on Fire‘s inciting incident (i.e., the kidnapping of Dakota Fanning) happens around the 45-minute mark.