Forbes Magazine says "Star Trek Into Darkness" was the worst marketed film of the summer.
J.J. Abrams' 'mystery box' approach was well-intentioned but back-fired. And though the film did well, it didn't do great.
I was not stunned by the Enterprise-crashing-into-a-planet movie poster design.
Nice to get the story from a non-fan/geek website. Abrams will probably learn from his mistakes this time around and apply a more creative marketing strategy for "Star Wars Episode VII". Maybe he will have less control over the marketing of that film.
Very correct assessment, I'd say.
As much as I liked the movie (my favorite of the all the Trek movies), and as much as my non-Trek fan family members liked the movie, it was indeed not well-marketed and very oddly titled and teased given its story and theme. Walking out after seeing it the first time, I was surprised at how fun, light, and often quite humorous it was, with some heartfelt character moments that one wouldn't have expected from how it was being sold.
The payoff for it being Khan wasn't that big for all mystery. Khan was obviously important to the story, and very well played by Cumberbatch given the character's motivations this time. But using Khan was not for kick-ass evil purposes. He didn't drive the movie with glee like Khan in TWOK.
To the extent there was fan service in using the character, Khan created a neat link between the two Kirks. The adventure with Khan Prime was responsible for restoring a middle-aged Kirk Prime's confidence and sense of purpose. The conflict surrounding Cumby's Khan was responsible for a young Kirk realizing he had to grow up and have a sense of purpose. This movie was about Kirk growing into the chair, after all.
It also made no sense that the villain's name and plot points were kept such a secret (well, poorly kept secret), yet widely staggered release dates meant that by the time it opened in the United States, the cat was out of the bag on all the surprises, anyway.