Here are my observations:
* You may remember that I was very unimpressed by the 5-minutes of footage they screened at Comic Con. They even mentioned that director Kenneth Branagh was upset that Marvel screened the footage in 3D, since it was far from finished (many people ragged on the horrible nature of the 3D conversion). I came out of the presentation tonight very impressed with the Thor footage, and I’m now even more excited to see Thor than I am Captain America.
* I’ve been under the belief that Thor would pose the biggest marketing challenge for Marvel as the Asgard wardrobe could be easily mocked. I was shocked at just how accessible the footage we saw was to non comic book or fantasy viewers. That said, most of the footage we screened took place on Earth (aside from the first scene and a closing shot) — so that might be why. I have also talked with some people (like Alex from FirstShowing) who were put off by the jokes and interactions on the Earth segments. I personally think they nailed the right balance of trying to appease comic book fans and have the story appeal to wide audiences.
* When movie studios present early footage to press or fans, it is usually footage from the first or third acts, the beginning or the end of the movie. Any screenwriter will tell you that the first and third acts are easier to write than the middle. Act two is the hardest, and is usually where a lot of movies fall apart. The fact that Marvel chose to screen 20 minutes from the middle of the movie probably means something. Either they feel they nailed act two or they are nervous about the Asgard footage of the first act of the movie.