I’ve written on here before about just how craptacularly tired I am of “character posters” that are released to theaters in advance of new movies coming out. I suppose my biggest problem with them is that I don’t understand what purpose they are supposed to serve, especially when they’re for the next huge blockbuster franchise movie.
Take for example the three posters released last week to promote next year’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Is there any reason at all for these posters to exist other than to hopefully take up space in the local multiplex? I certainly can’t think of one.
I suppose for me it gets to the heart of just what a movie poster is supposed to do, and there are a number of answer to that, none of which these posters really does.
First, a poster can be used to either induce or expand awareness of an upcoming movie. We’ve all had those moments when we’re walking down the halls of a theater and seen a poster and said “Hey, what’s that? I didn’t know that was going to be a movie,” or “Hey, that looks interesting, wonder what it could be”. But in the case of BvS:DOJ, is there really ANYONE who is going to have any interest in seeing this movie that doesn’t already know about it? No. So we can just go ahead and strike that one off the list.
Okay, then maybe the purpose is to give those who see them more information about or more of a feel for what the movie is about. So do they do that? Not that I can see. Sure, they show us that Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman are going to be in the movie and they show us what they look like. But again, with all of the buzz the movie has already generated, with all of the casting news and pictures that have already been released, and with the trailer already showing us all three of them in action, there’s nothing at all new or exciting about the information being delivered on that front with these posters.
Another purpose of a movie poster can be to gin up more excitement about a movie, perhaps by way of spotlighting a particular image or scene from the movie or by promising action or thrills or romance or… well, you get the idea.All these posters seem to promise is more dirt or rock or debris – which the predecessor to this movie certainly delivered – or whatever that is supposed to be that is flying or falling around the characters.
But really the biggest problem with these posters is that they do absolutely nothing to distinguish themselves or the movie they’re trying to promote from every other poster lining the multiple’s hallways. There’s absolutely nothing about them that makes them anything other than generic. Of course, maybe that is the message that Warner Brother is trying to get across. Maybe they’re just trying to ptomote this film as action movie comfort food. Maybe the ultimate message is “Hey, you know that movie you’ve seen over and over again? Well here’s another one just like it!”
If that’s the case, then I guess I’m wrong, and these posters do succeed after all.