Creative director Lee Steffen recently took to Twitter to share some patterns and trends he discovered in movie posters. In fact, almost every movie has been marketed as one of these 10 "types" of movies. It's simultaneously fascinating and disheartening to witness. Once you see a movie as "yellow," you may never look at it the same way again. As much as movies are new and interesting stories, they're also mostly derivatives of each other. At least their marketing campaigns definitely are.
I mean, come on...
Even if the movies themselves look different from each other (The Bourne Identity is different from Tron: Legacy is different from Brave), somehow all their posters look exactly the same. Rough. But this homogeneity can't apply to every genre of movie. Can it?
Oh, it can!
The "headless woman" is a horrible and super common movie poster trope, and the disembodied, sexy legs are an unfortunate subcategory of it. Do we blame The Graduate for this? I think we might have to blame The Graduate. These movies are comedies and thrillers and rom-coms, but they all have one thing in common: sexy legs.
Blurry cops are so blurry. They're also so blue and gray. If you're a cop and you're not running down a street at a pace so fast even a camera can't capture you clearly, are you even a cop? I'd also like to point out the similarities in the fonts used on these posters. You swap all the titles and put any of them on any of these posters, and I would believe it was correct.
I don't know about you, but I've never in real life seen two people turn their backs to lean on each other. It's just not done. I don't know who the first person to suggest this was, but they should be in jail. It's so cheesy.
Ah yes, the black back. This usually indicates a troubled hero. My favorite one in this collage is the Puss in Boots poster in the top row. It was clearly designed to mock this type of poster, and it did so perfectly. I hope when they make the movie about my life, this isn't what my poster looks like. If it is, that means I must have gone through some stuff.
There ware so many "red dress" movies that my computer was too small to screenshot all of them. There are all different types of movies that employ the red dress trope, as you can see, from Amélie to There's Something About Mary to Resident Evil. The red dress is universal.
If it's not blue and orange, it's black and orange. Some of these posters manage to fit two tropes into one. Take a look at Season of the Witch down there at the bottom. Black and orange and the black back. That's what we call a twofer.
Oh my god, the "moody misty" movies. These posters evoke such a strong feeling of hate in my body. I don't know what it is about them. I'm sure some of them are good movies. But that saccharine, dramatic, soap-opera-like filter is, suffice it to say, not my favorite genre of movie... or movie poster.
I (or eye) always think of Requiem for a Dream when I think of eye movie posters, but it's true that it is a whole sub-genre unto itself. Pair these with the sexy legs, the black backs, and the red dresses, and pretty soon, we'll have ourselves a whole person!
There's no doubt that yellow is an eye-catching color, so I am not surprised at how often it's used to promote movies. And I like yellow! It's my favorite color. That being said, it's clearly no longer a creative choice.
OK, there's one more...
There are...so many of these. And Tom Cruise isn't slowing down anytime soon, so I doubt we're done. Listen, if you design movie posters, you have a tough job. There are so many movies out there and I'm sure there are "proven" concepts that work. But creativity isn't dead! Unless, of course, it's a Tom Cruise movie. 'Cause that profile sells.