Made for $108 million, "The Martian" received a publicity booster earlier in the week when NASA announced it had found evidence of water on the surface of Mars - a cosmically fortuitous tie-in for a movie that celebrates NASA ingenuity.

What's the meaning of "a cosmically fortuitous tie-in"?

Is it just a pun? Can I just interpret it as a lucky or serendipitous connection or coincidence?

Tie-in has more than two meanings, and I'm not sure which one is more relevant.

1) A connection or association:

2) A book, film, or other product produced to take advantage of a related work in another medium

In addition to this, I have a poor grasp of how 'cosmically' and 'fortuitous' are combined and make a sense.

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Tie-in means A commercial/non-commercial connection or association.

Cosmic is used to describe things related with the universe as defined in Merriam-Webster:

of or relating to the universe or outer space

Fortuitous means:

happening by chance

having or showing good luck

"A cosmically fortutious tie-in" means the Nasa's announcement (there could be water in Mars, which is cosmically related) is a lucky coincidence/event that can help boost ticket sales of the movie (which shows good luck for the movie).

  • 1
    'Cosmic' also has the slang meaning of exceptional, via 'out of this world!'. The writer could have said "Incredibly fortuitous...", but chose the space-related word because of the context. – JHCL Oct 12 '15 at 9:43
  • @JHCL I agree with you. It can mean immeasurably big as in "This was disaster on a cosmic scale". But the meaning is also related with "the universe". – user140086 Oct 12 '15 at 9:49
  • Tie-in has a specifically commercial sense as a slang term. From Kipfer & Chapman, Dictionary of American Slang, fourth edition (2007): "tie-in n 1 A connection : I wonder if there's any tie-in with organized crime (1934+) 2 An item sold because of the existence of another item : The book is a movie tie-in (1943+)." This mercantile aspect of the word tie-in heightens the notion that the recent scientific evidence of water on Mars was commercially serendipitous for the movie's makers. – Sven Yargs Oct 13 '15 at 0:18
  • @SvenYargs You don't agree that commercially serendipitous can be expressed in a more concrete way that it can help boost ticket sales? – user140086 Oct 13 '15 at 4:29
  • I was writing in support of your interpretation, but offering a dictionary definition that (I think) makes the commercial overtones of "tie-in" more evident than does the definition you use at the beginning of your answer: "Tie-in means A connection or association." I'm tempted to upvote your answer anyway, but I think it would be stronger with that sense of commercial connection/association made explicit at the outset. – Sven Yargs Oct 13 '15 at 5:06

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