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Etwas wird einige Zeit brauchen.

Etwas wird einige Zeit in Anspruch nehmen.

I've always wondered how these two phrasings compare to express the idea of "take {~~~ time}". Does the latter sound more formal? Any difference to take note of?

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Brauchen is a quite ordinary verb and would typically be avoided in writing (in favour of benötigen), but nevertheless frequently used in conversation.

In your context (a process and its duration is described) both variants are fine, but in the case where a person is involved, which has to devote some of his/her time, only in Anspruch nehmen works, as in:

Vielen Dank, dass ich Ihre Zeit in Anspruch nehmen dufte.

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