12 Films Ruined By Their Marketing

Even great films can be undone by bad marketing...

Alien Covenant Xenomorph
20th Century Fox

No matter how much glitz and glamor you throw at it, when you come right down to it, filmmaking is a business. Sure, the director may be in it to properly express her/his creative vision, the writer may be in it to have their voice be heard, or the actor may be in it to embody the human experience in an entirely revolutionary fashion. But studios? They're in it for the money.

They are a stone-cold business, funding various projects and looking for returns. The money has to work out so that the studio can continue to fund films so that the artists can continue to create them and so on and so forth. Thus, an exceedingly necessary part of the filmmaking process is the marketing campaign.

Back in the good old days, films would just hit the theatres and audiences would flock to them simply because they were films and people were starved for entertainment. But fast forward a century or two, and there's a handful of films hitting the box office each week.

In order to get butts in the seats, studios go all in on marketing. The posters, the trailers, the pre-release press announcements; they do it all. But sometimes, marketing can act as a hindrance to a film rather than a help. Whether through spoiling key moments, misrepresenting the film, or setting up false expectations, marketing can do serious damage to a film and the way it is received.

12. The Grey

Alien Covenant Xenomorph
Open Road Films

Released right in the middle of the Neeson-aissance, the advertising for this 2011 film looked to capitalize on the actor's new-found image as an action star.

All of the marketing material, from posters to trailers, centered on one image from the film: a battered Liam Neeson with broken bottles tied to his knuckles, getting to ready to fight a pack of wolves. It was a thrilling image that promised another surefire thriller from the thespian-cum-hero.

Thus, you can imagine the immense disappointment audiences experienced when they realized there was no wolf fight to be found in the film.

Though the film certainly had a fair share of thrilling moments, it was much more of an intimate meditation on the lengths a man will go to for the sake of survival than it was your standard, by-the-numbers thriller. After Neeson and company crash land in Alaska, they are hunted down by a pack of wolves, but Neeson doesn't face them until the final minutes of the film.

And then, just as we are finally getting to the moment everyone was so easily sold on, the film ends. Audiences never got to see a wolf fight and were (justifiably) pretty furious about it.


A film enthusiast and writer, who'll explain to you why Jingle All The Way is a classic any day of the week.