Movie Marketing

Chris Pratt in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

It was inevitable I guess. We used to get full trailers and artistic posters for upcoming movies, but those days are gone and have been replaced by teasers and amateur Photoshop retreads. And now the next target of over-zealous studio marketers appears to be the “clip.” Typically a clip is an uninterrupted thirty to sixty seconds from a scene in the movie — an action beat, a setup and punchline or a big character moment — something to offer a taste of the film beyond a trailer edited to hit the sweet spots. Marvel’s upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy is the studio’s biggest risk since the first Thor film in that its characters are a bit outside the typical superhero realm readily accepted by audiences. So yes, any marketing that reaches eyeballs is a good thing. But calling something a clip when it’s actually nothing more than a new teaser featuring a few seconds of new footage and a whole lot of what we’ve already seen? That’s just rude. Keep reading to check out a brief new look at Guardians of the Galaxy that debuted on MTV last night.

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The Raid 2 knife fight

Not to get all hyperbolic on your behind, but the best action movie in decades opens this week and you should probably go see it. Sure The Raid 2 features a mildly convoluted plot and runs an incredible 150 minutes long, but if you’re even slightly aroused by spectacularly choreographed, excitingly executed, and beautifully-shot action/fight scenes then this is the movie for you. There are 10-15 such scenes (I’ve seen it twice and still lose count as I lose myself in the cinematic spectacle) in the film, each of them worthy of being the “end fight” in most other movies, and I’m already excited to see it again this weekend. As part of the promotion for the film and to show the level of action that didn’t make the cut, director Gareth Evans has released a four minute gunfight scene that was cut from the film before its release. Check it out below in all its well-crafted and bloody glory, and rest assured that had it remained in the film it would have been the weakest action sequence of the bunch.

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If there was one flaw in the Jackass series, it’d be a lack of narrative coherence. Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa seeks to right this past mistake by weaving a story out of its pranks, pratfalls, and general bodily harm; a story of a doddering old man (Johnny Knoxville) with a tendency to end up in the exact same painful situations we’ve seen in all those other Jackass movies. Yet the first official clip from Jackass: Bad Grandpa demonstrates that Knoxville being launched through a window while wearing old man makeup is no different from Knoxville being launched through a window without wearing old man makeup. He makes a scene beforehand (leering at some poor woman who doesn’t deserve any of this), goes through a pane of glass and then gets to do a little yelling afterward.

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clip girl most likely

Girl Most Likely, the Kristen Wiig film that premiered last year at TIFF as Imogene, has been shrouded in a bit of mystery since its festival debut. Aside from a trailer that popped up a couple months ago, the film’s marketing department has been fairly quiet. But with Girl Most Likely hitting theaters this Friday, they’ve stepped up their game by releasing some new clips and a slew of stills all at once. The film, directed by Shari Springer Bergman and Robert Pulcini, centers on Imogene Duncan (Wiig), a troubled woman who is forced to move back in with her estranged mother (Annette Bening) after suffering a nervous breakdown. In her grand return to her childhood home, Imogene quickly realizes that things aren’t quite how she left them; namely that a boarder (Darren Criss) is renting out her old bedroom and mom is currently dating a “CIA agent” named George Bush (Matt Dillon). Check out the clips below.

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Michael Bay‘s wacky true-life passion project, Pain & Gain, is finally set to explode on to our theater screens in a mess of steroids, sweat, tank tops, fire, blood, and greyhounds later this month, and if you’re still unconvinced that this thing is going to be some sort of insane masterpiece, we’ve got a batch of new stills for you to eyeball. This new gallery includes plenty we’ve seen before – Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson looking swoll (as the kids say), Anthony Mackie looking ever-so-slightly dubious, Rebel Wilson looking like she’s having the best time ever, and Tony Shalhoub getting the crap kicked out of him – but it also comes complete with some new stuff, like said greyhound. Seriously, if you came up with a harebrained scheme to knock over a rich guy, wouldn’t you celebrate by buying a new purebred pup? Of course you would. After the break, soak up some roid-laced rays with a fresh look at Pain & Gain and its inherent nuttiness.

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The Wolverine Motion Poster

Here comes the rain again indeed. If there was any doubt that James Mangold‘s The Wolverine wasn’t going to be a seriously emo(tional?) outing for Hugh Jackman‘s eponymous mutant, please direct your eyes to the above motion poster from the new X-Men film. Lighten up, Wolvie, good God. At least Logan’s got his bone claws all shined up nice? Want to see the motion poster actually, uh, in motion? Just give the poster a click! The Wolverine opens on July 26, 2013. [Facebook]

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Pacific Rim - Striker Eureka

UPDATED! With one more! There is something to be said for swiftly-unraveling movie virals that roll out with speed and punch – mainly, that they are the precise type of virals that other, similar campaigns should aspire to be. Just yesterday, the first few bits of marketing mayhem from Guillermo del Toro‘s Pacific Rim began rolling out, and they now show no sign of abating. While we met just one of the massive, fighting robots yesterday via blueprint – “Gipsy Danger” is her (?) name – today we get no less than three more giant blueprints for new Jaegers. Today we get to meet “Striker Eureka,” “Coyote Tango,” “Crimson Typhoon,” and an apparently unnamed Jaeger. And, yes, they all look amazing. Check out Coyote, Crimson, and, uhm, the other one after the break. And, please, don’t try to make these at home. Also, can someone get to work on a Jaeger Name Generator? Until then, just call me “Giraffe Havoc.”

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Pacific Rim Jaeger

Earlier this morning, our own Cole Abaius alerted us to the just-launching viral campaign for Guillermo del Toro‘s Pacific Rim, and while the creative marketing looked to be getting us pumped for something happening in just under two weeks, we haven’t had to wait that long to see a whole new piece of mech from the film. Up top is our first detailed look at one of the fighting robots – “a Jaeger” – from the upcoming film. Not impressed? Perhaps you should look down to the tiny little man standing at this Jaeger’s feet. Yup, that’s your size comparison. Giant, fighting robots that battle aliens and link up via neural bridge with unexpected hero fighter pilots. I’m sorry, what other movie were you looking forward to next summer? Pacific Rim opens on July 12, 2013. [Wired, via ComingSoon]

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“Lindsay Lohan as Elizabeth Taylor.” That will just never get old. From the moment Lifetime’s “biopic” (term used incredibly loosely) of the tumultuous relationship between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, now known simply as Liz & Dick, was announced, we’ve had a bit of field day with the project here at FSR. Well, more specifically, I’ve had a field day with it. Is it even remotely possible that this film will be good? (The answer, according to the recent glut of reviews of the film, is a resounding “no.”) That question out of the way, is it even remotely possible that this film will become a modern camp classic? (Sight unseen, we’re going with a big old “yes.”) One hint (beyond all those smashing, in every sense of the word, reviews)? Just look at the marketing on this thing! Specifically, look at some of the stills that Lifetime has released in support of the project! From the first official still, to a closer look at the film’s two stars in character, to one of the worst movie posters we’ve ever had the good fortune to post, not a single frame of Liz & Dick has managed to convince us that the film is a good idea. With the film’s television premiere just days away, why not spend some quality Black Friday time looking back (and looking forward to the film) with a nice, juicy gallery of Liz & Dick stills. So much more satisfying than stuffing. Check out 14 photos from Liz & Dick […]

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Evil Dead Poster

Most terrifying film ever? That’s a pretty bold claim to make, and it also signals (like the recent trailer did) that this is not your daddy’s Evil Dead. The film looks to be almost old school in its lack of humor and dedication to pure terror and practical effects. Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell are on as producers, and they’ve given their blessing to director Fede Alvarez to craft something as terrifying as possible. But most terrifying ever? We’ll find out when it opens on April 12, 2013. [Yahoo! Movies]

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Stoker poster

Three of the leading South Korean film directors are set to make their English language debuts next year, and while we’re incredibly excited to see all three succeed we’d be lying if we said we weren’t a little bit nervous too. First out of the gate will be Kim Jee-woon’s The Last Stand in January, and last to hit theaters will be Bong Joon-ho’s Snow Piercer late in the year. Nestled in between those two is the March release of Park Chan-wook‘s Stoker. But judging by the recent trailer debut and this newly released poster I don’t think we need to worry anymore that Hollywood has squashed Park’s creativity and talents. In a world where most poster “designs” are simply photoshop jobs appealing to the lowest common denominator Park and Fox Searchlight have opted instead to go with true art. Check out the full poster below.

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Seven Psychopaths

In theaters this weekend is Martin McDonagh’s Seven Psychopaths, best known to us as that one movie with all of those crazy-fun actors we’ve always wanted to see brought together on-screen. It’s got a solid helping of Colin Farrell, a strong dash of Christopher Walken and Sam Rockwell, a pinch of Woody Harrelson and just enough Tom Waits to make it interesting. Not to be overlooked are co-stars Abbie Cornish and Olga Kurylenko, neither of which have any problem standing toe-to-toe with their funnymen costars. Still, star power isn’t what it used to be and there’s a Liam Neeson movie in theaters, so the folks at CBS Films have had to get creative to bring Seven Psychopaths into the conversation for a wider audience. In doing so, they’ve crafted a compelling social media campaign, as evidence by their brightly colored Facebook Page and gone above and beyond with art for the film, showing the prevalence of alternate art and its potential usefulness for studio film. But before we get to the art, we’ve got a nice little exclusive from the studio — another new marketing trend that works well for such a film — a remixed trailer.

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A Liar

Everybody knows the name Monty Python, but most people can’t name the individual members of the legendary British comedians. For the record they’re John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin and Graham Chapman. And yes, I forgot Terry Jones at first, too. Like most comedy troupes formed in 1960s England, Monty Python isn’t as whole as they once were. No, don’t go Googling to see if Terry Jones is still alive. He is. I checked. But Graham Chapman is not. He died twenty three years ago from throat cancer, but audio recordings he made in 1986 meant to be narration for his autobiography have been put to celebratory use in the new, factually loose, humorous but sadness tinged animated film, A Liar’s Autobiography. Three directors, multiple animators and several members of Python came together to create this loving tribute to a very special dead man. (It focuses on his life before he died of course.) Check below for four more images from the new film, and be sure to tune into EPIX on November 2nd for the film’s premiere.

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OmniCorp Logo

OmniCorp, the cuddliest weapons manufacturer, wants to know what you’ll buy for a dollar. They’ve just released this glossy sales video to celebrate their full system lines, including drones that can keep a watchful eye over your neighborhood, a massive tank-busting defense vehicle, and they’re even teasing a new program where human resources meet robotics. Personally, I’m glad we’ve got them in our corner to keep us safe. Check out the video for yourself:

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Two TV spots, new pictures, and banners from The Dark Knight Rises? What else could you ask for in about a day’s time? To make that month and a half wait we have left until the film finally opens a little more tolerable, there’s plenty to chew on and savor here. In usual Christopher Nolan cult fan fashion, it’ll be interesting to see how the fandom dissects the meaning of Joseph Gordon-Levitt “kneeling,” what secret Bruce Wayne and Miranda Tate are “talking” about, or what Selina Kyle is really looking at. These new pictures and posters (courtesy of Empire) don’t give us the answers we need, but some message boards out there will most likely come up with countless theories over the matter. First up, here’s a slew of gritty pics, all featuring nothing but gumdrop smiles and a much needed reminder of Nolan’s undying love for “happy” characters:

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After killing several police officers and District Attorney Harvey Dent, it’s time that the unknown vigilante known as The Batman be brought to justice. With Harvey Dent Day approaching, and you know, a new documentary called The Dark Knight Rises hitting theaters, Christopher Nolan and Police Commissioner James Gordon are renewing efforts to find the murderous man in black. This website has a ton of police files detailing the crimes as well as how you can help out. Primarily, they’re asking for people to search for evidence of graffiti in support of Batman in cities around the world. Addresses are given. If all the evidence is recovered, they’ll release a new video online (which is expected to be the trailer that will play ahead of The Avengers this weekend). Good to see Warners and company are having fun with the viral marketing again. Hopefully, with all of his resources, billionaire Bruce Wayne will be able to aid the effort.

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The Dark Knight Rises finally breaks into theaters on July 20th (shortly followed by it getting away in a school bus with everyone’s money). The advertising so far hasn’t been nearly the effort put in for the second film, which makes sense considering that everyone on the planet will see it even without a dime put into television ads. However, the final trailer for the film is about to be seen by millions. According to NolanFans.com, Christopher Nolan‘s forthcoming Batman flick is utilizing Marvel again by playing the trailer before The Avengers. Just as they did with Inception before Iron Man 2 and as they did with The Dark Knight before Iron Man. Superheroes love hanging with other superheroes. It’s true. Of course, the trailer will no doubt be online right around the same time (just in case…you weren’t…planning on going to see The Avengers…for some reason).

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It’s a mystery why Tim Burton gets stuck in the black and white world from time to time because he’s one of the few filmmakers who can make primary colors creepy. Apparently the marketing department for Dark Shadows is pretty good at it too. With Johnny Depp, Eva Green, Michelle Pfeiffer, Chloe Moretz and more popping boldly into the foreground, these posters are a reminder of the idiosyncrasy inherent in some of Burton’s filmmaking: vibrant grays and disturbing, bright colors. Check them out for yourself:

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Director Tony Kaye‘s debut was 1998’s stunning tour de force, American History X. The film stars Edward Norton as a recovering skinhead trying to set things right in the present while remembering his misdeeds of the past, and if you haven’t seen it I can’t recommend enough that you stop reading and seek it out immediately. It’s an incredibly affecting film anchored by a tremendous performance from Norton. Sadly, Edward Furlong also stars. Kaye and Norton had a very public falling out during the film’s post-production, and the director seemingly vanished into thin air in the decade-plus since. Except he’s actually been making films at a steady pace. You just most likely haven’t seen them. Now thirteen years after reportedly trying to remove his name from American History X (and replace it with Humpty Dumpty) Kaye’s latest film looks to return him to the limelight. The critically acclaimed indie Detachment stars Adrien Brody as a man who chooses to avoid personal connections as the ones he was born with begin slipping away. A dead mother, a father falling into dementia…he avoids intimacy to avoid the pain, until his latest teaching assignment finds him forming an unexpected bond. Check out the clip below, and head over to the film’s official site for more info.

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Everything You Need to Know About Product Placement

Not long ago, the team here at FSR took a look at the wild world of product placement in movies over a series of Culture Warrior articles, sponsored by Doritos. One great point that our own Cole Abaius made in his essay, A Word About Product Placement in Movies (Brought to You Buy Doritos) is that product placement impacts moviegoers in different ways. Some of us are more acutely aware of when we’re being sold to. Others simply don’t mind. What we can all agree on, however, is that product placement is alive and well and very much in existence. As explained by this cool new infographic from the folks at Online MBA Advice, the history of product placement is rich, the future is bright and most of us don’t seem to mind.

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published: 11.26.2014
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