Movie posters have one aim – to sell a film. Whether it’s something new to audiences or the next installment in a beloved franchise, the poster, like any great movie trailer, needs to entice the audience to pay their good money to come and see it. And yet somehow, for all the millions spent in marketing, sometimes movie posters get it wrong.
Sometimes they’re plan dull; The new Captain America: The Winter Soldier teaser poster is a prime example – his battered shield. Well you know what? After the events of World War Two and the battle for humanity in The Avengers, I’m expecting Steve Rogers to go through the ringer a bit. So this poster doesn’t excite me at all…that being said…his shield is an iconic image, so you could argue that by sticking it on a poster, you’ll immediately get the interest of millions of people.
Sometimes, the poster designs are riddled with idiotic errors. Here at Whatculture, we recently ran an article 12 Dumb Mistakes You Won’t Believe Made It Onto Movie Posters. Posters have everything from sequences that have nothing to do with the film to physical actions by characters that would defy the laws of physics. Seriously, the people who come up with these posters made a lot of money! Considering their only job is to help sell the film, you would think they’d do a better job at it. For me, there has to be something in the poster that makes me want to find out more about the film, whether it is an image or a tagline that sticks in your head (or both). That is when marketing works.
Sometimes a little too well. As you’ll see from at least one example on this list, the poster was far superior to the film itself!
As a rule, the poster should also reflect something of what the film is about. Like a trailer, its your first glimpse of the film. Get it wrong and you may never get to the cinema. So sit back and relax as I take you through eleven posters that really know how to sell a film. Not every film listed was great, but there’s no denying the power behind the marketing that came before it!
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