Movie marketing can be the most fickle of beasts; if a distributor gets it wrong, they’re going to have a flop on their hands, and though that isn’t necessarily the case with all of these films – in fact, often quite the contrary – these horrendously awkward posters certainly did little to help their cause.
Whether perceived as racist, inappropriately placed where young eyes can see them, or flat-out, undeniably offensive, these movie posters were horribly thought out, though perhaps in their own way did garner the films more publicity through the ensuing outrage. When that’s a salacious horror film, it just might work, but when it’s a well-to-do rom-com, not so much.
Here are 10 unbearably awkward movie posters for your disgust and/or amusement…
10. ‘Couples Retreat’ Whitewashed For UK Audiences
It’s most often said that movie posters are simplified for US audiences, while European posters tend to be more arty and challenging. However, the UK poster for Couples Retreat (on the left) took the odd step of removing the movie’s fourth couple – who happen to be black – in what Universal called an attempt to “simplify” the apparently overly busy image.
The poster caused widespread outrage, and as a result, Universal returned to the US poster campaign, but really, from a business perspective, what sense did their whitewash really make?
Ok, your film features a black couple, so surely you want them on the poster, as it’s more likely to draw in black people and increase ticket sales, no? Even if it being racist is up for debate, it’s simply head-smackingly idiotic from a business perspective.
This article was first posted on September 3, 2013