JJ Abrams and the Cloverfield Monster Mystery Box

The Cloverfield Paradox released with one of the most audacious marketing stunts in cinema history. However, instead of changing the game, all it did was show the flaws in J.J. Abrams‘ industry-dominating mystery box theory.

The mystery box has become the Abrams punchline, an iconic, occasionally-mocked summation of his ethos towards storytelling and the practicalities of movie releasing in general. The basic idea was popularised by the filmmaker himself during a 2007 TED talk: the anticipation and suspense of a work – the used example was a literal mystery box Abrams got as a child – is as important as the work itself. As such, nearly all of his films and ...

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