When you’re selling a movie, you can have the biggest posters, flashiest trailers and as many Happy Meal toys as you want, but if the title sucks, then no one will go watch it. A simple, memorable title made up of a couple of easy to say words is the best. Nothing offensive, nothing too long or complicated. And try to get it to link into the film; that helps.
Sometimes a mistake is made and the title must be changed (like Neighbourhood Watch to The Watch following a tragic incident in America). Sometimes, however, changes can be made that are plain ridiculous. These aren’t where the title has changed in the adaptation from the source material (Wiseguys to Goodfellas), or when a previous title existed just for production sakes, (Teenage Sex Comedy That Can Be Made For Under $10 Million That Your Reader Will Love But The Executive Will Hate to American Pie). No, these ridiculous changes are made late in the day by marketing execs with dollar signs for eyes. Here’s some of the worst and most bemusing.
A lot of entries on this list are incredibly recent, mainly due to the increased risk in non-franchised movies. When a film doesn’t have a built in audience, it has to be as widely appealing as possible, with a title designed to put off the smallest minority.
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