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The teaser on YouTube as well as on Apple Trailers shows many short scenes quickly. It especially repeats a drive along a long snow covered road towards a white house. Seeing that the original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Män som hatar kvinnor) came out in 2009 and the book in 2005

The teaser (based on Apple's site) was posted on 6/02/11
The official trailer came about three months after on 09/22/11
The movie releases on 12/21/11

What is the unique selling point for this teaser within those three months before the trailer was released? That is, how is Columbia Pictures using these elements in the teaser to get in proper recognition in the marketplace of its genre?

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They're depending mostly on the fame of the books, and the familiarity of the scenes from the previous Swedish film adaptations. The quick cuts touch on key characters, locations, and scenes from the film, which will be recognizable to fans. Then it wraps by revealing what the movie is for those who are unfamiliar with it.

But I get the feeling you're asking more about why they released the teaser so early. It was purely to build buzz. This is a normal part of movie marketing. In this case, they pushed out a super early teaser that could be shown during the big summer movie season. This establishes that the movie is coming in the popular consciousness, along with providing a time for the movie's release. This means that a few months later, when the more fleshed-out trailer is released, they aren't selling you on the film from nothing, you'll remember that tantalizing hint of an interesting movie you glimpsed in the original teaser.

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It's possible they are relying a lot on the name of the series, as it did have a nice bit of word of mouth, as well as just trying to show something different as is the tone of the movie. Having watched the Swedish ones myself without reading the books, just knowing this movie is going to be made + the cast has already sold me. Which is another point to bring up; Daniel Craig is becoming a movie-selling actor due to his great performances in not-so acclaimed movies.

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