You know that feel? When you go to a movie suspecting one thing, and yet you get something else? Maybe you thought you were seeing a thriller, and it ended up being a slow-paced drama. or maybe you thought you were signing up for a horror movie, and it ended up being some cheesy sci-fi fest. The point is, this is not our faults. In most of those examples, it is safe to say someone saw a trailer for these films, and was ultimately given the wrong idea about the film from the very advertisement they are using to sell it. I have fallen for this many times. So much so. it inspired this piece. Here are five films that were completely marketed wrong, and most people ended up hating the movies as a result.
The Medieval Times scenes was pretty f*cking spectacular, though.
First things first. I love this film, so don’t take this as a list where I am making digs at any of these films, because that is just not the case. I am simply pointing out how this particular film was marketed, and how that was the single reason most people hated it, when it really was a brilliant film. The problem was that this movie dropped at Jim Carey’s apex. He had just gotten off In Living Color, and had a massive hit on his hands with Ace Venture, so naturally, everyone assumed the next Carey movie will cash in on his pure physical comedy and such.
That was NOT the case.
What we ended up getting was a FAR DARKER character than most people suspected, and a wholly dark and unsettling film (but still, a brilliant and riotous performance from Carey, and a performance that deserves far more credit than it gets). But people came to see it thinking they were getting “kooky” Carey, and the reality is, they were getting batshit crazy Carey. and that fact alone was enough to scare some people off, which is a shame, because as far as black comedies go, this film is one of my faves. The spider across the scene face is just so…so…badass.
This is how you turn on an Xbox One.
Again, a movie billed completely wrong. But thankfully, I know some people who know some people who know some people, so I had the script for The Watch, and knew just what to expect. I also really liked the casting. I thought the energy when these guys got together was pretty f*cking funny, and the casting of Richard Ayoeda (from the IT Crowd) was extra awesome. I also know that it was directed by Lonely Island alumni Akiva Schafer, who directed Hot Rod, which is one of the greatest comedy movies ever made. So I knew I would enjoy the movie, regardless of how out there it ended up getting.
But most people didn’t feel that way.
You see, as much as it seemed like you were seeing a movie about a bunch of funny dudes trying to keep their neighborhood safe, you aren’t. You are seeing a movie about aliens trying to take over the world. That ended up being way too much of a leap for most people to feel comfortable with. Me, I am insane and knew what I was signing up for when I saw it, so I dug it. But like I said before, most didn’t. I say give it another shot. The chemistry between the actors and the fun they are having merits a viewing, atleast once.
Such a visually delicious film.
I loved the movie Sunshine. I think it has some of the best Sci-Fi shots of the current generation. And again, the cast is top notch. But the problem people encounter with Sunshine is a polarizing one. About 3/4ths into the movie, this film goes from being about a group of scientists and specialists who are on their way to “fix the sun”, to a horror/slasher movie. This put a great deal of people off on the film, and many said they had felt “betrayed” and would not have gone and seen the movie had it marketed itself properly.
Well, then, they did the right thing in this case. They marketed their film in such a way where they knew how to get you in the door, even if they knew the end would turn you off. I, for one, loved the film, regardless. Yes, the murderer on the ship may seem out of place, but dude watched everyone he love died, and got stranded. I think with ANY space movie, those are some risks we run. And also, who are we to say a movie is not allowed to switch up its pacing? It was an original and interesting twist, but one that pissed many people off because no one saw it coming.
That aspect just makes me like it more.
Bridge to Terabithia
” Don’t get too attached, buddy. I totes die in about 45 minutes.”
Oh man, this case of marketing is just evil. Make a trailer for a movie that looks like it very well may be the next Neverending Story for the new generation. Get everybody hyped up about how it will be an AWESOME FILM FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY. Now, smart people who read books know better. Terabithia is, well, a Shakespearean tragedy for kids. It really is. But if you watched the trailer, you did NOT get that impression. You saw kids fighting trolls and you assumed (making an ass out of u) that this would be some sort of spiritual successor to the Harry Potter series. And BOY were you wrong.
Long and the short (spoilers here) the little girl in the movie just kind of ups and dies.
Yeah, REALLY. And while it may hint that the other kid will carry her soul and keep her spirit alive in their imaginary land of Terabithia, it is an imaginary world, and in the real world, the little girl is dead. And that is petty much how the movie ends, give or take a monologue or two. A movie like this set the tone for that weep and cheese fest: The Odd Life of Timothy Green.
Yeah, I know it looks like it would be badass, but it is far more cerebral than badass, be warned.
A cerebral movie about advertising and consumerism, yet if you watched the trailer for this film a few years back, it CLEARLY looked like a Matrix style movie, with action scenes and mind bending imagery. And if that is what you sat down, hoping to watch, boy, that sure WASN’T what you got.
Again, Branded is not a terrible movie, but the idea itself wasn’t flushed out enough to even BE a movie, and when you add to that a trailer that makes it look like giant mascots are taking over the world, and one man will have to take them down, you really make a perfect storm of crappy advertising (ironic for a movie ABOUT crappy advertising). Branded is FAR more cerebral then it hinted at in its trailers, and for that reason, they reached out to the wrong kind of audience. You brought in the summer action crowd, who booed the tedium of the film. But if they aimed for the brainy crowd, they would have done far better, because those souls are more apt to appreciate what they were trying to say with the (ambitious ) film.
Love it or hate it, though, I can safely say it will not what you are expecting. And is DEFINITELY not the movie the trailer is leading you to believe.
They look alike and both lack so much good looks and charisma, you start thinking they are related.
A great movie, no doubt (and the last time I will like either lead, Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart), but a movie that was REALLY sold wrong. The reality is this was just after SUPERBAD exploded, and because it was directed by the same guy who had directed SUPERBAD, they hoped they could bring in a whole SUPERBAD audience, which would have assured them some awesome numbers. Problem was, it was nothing like SUPERBAD.
I mean, it was all the same teen-angst, but the jokes took a backseat to the honesty of the story. The flaws about everyone that get slowly revealed the more time you spend with them. The idea that the person you love just doesn’t want you as badly as you want him or her. I mean, there are a ton of tough lessons to be learned here, and the movie teaches those lessons with grace and honesty, but everyone wanted more jokes about “the p in the v”, so this film floundered as a result of that, which is a shame, because it really is quite good.
And Kristen Wiig is in it, so you know it has to be good.
I’d SO slow dance with this woman.
This just leads me to wonder how well any of these films would have done had they been marketed right. The good thing about all of this is movies like these earn “cult film” status over time, and I would rather have made a cult film than some movie Hollywood eats up, so maybe some of these movies PLANNED it this way.
Or maybe they were just marketed poorly. Yes, pretty sure it’s that one.
Also, I wanted to take a moment to show you a poster for the new action movie I am making. It is called: Manniversary.
It’s a horror/action hybrid we are DELIBERATELY marketing wrong.