Rant: So THIS is Why New Line Cinema Went Under!
This will probably the one-and-only time you'll ever hear me talk about Sex and the City, but that's because it's a worthwhile discussion. We all know that New Line Cinema "went under" or, should we say, fell apart back in February, and in turn was folded in under Warner Brothers. Leading up to that official announcement, I kept speculating about its demise, including a specific article back in December titled Is This The Death of New Line Cinema?. In it, I claimed their terrible marketing was why their films have continued to fail and yet again we have another prime example of their incompetence. Although this new marketing campaign for the Sex and the City movie might actually be handled by Warner Brothers by now, I'm utterly confused by their idiocy when it comes to poster design! The movie will still succeed - but can they seriously be this blind?
My rant today originates with a German Sex and the City: The Movie poster that originally popped up on IMPAwards.com. I'm a big poster fanatic, at least when they're designed well, and have so far been immensely unimpressed with the designs for Sex and the City. The posters should be sparkly and eye-catching, sure, but they should also look good! Thank about all those Sex and the City fans who want something nice to hang on their wall!
The teaser poster is an all-out disaster, of epic proportions - I mean, who said it was a good idea to make the entire poster, including Sarah Jessica Parker, black and white? Except for the color pink? Seriously? And just the other day we posted the final domestic poster that has recently been arriving at movie theaters. Now let's compare these latest two posters side-by-side.
The poster on the left is the official domestic version that's being sent to movie theaters around the country. The one on the right is a new German version that hardly anyone will probably see. I don't think I even need to tell you that the one on the right is vastly better than the official one on the left. Not only is Parker insanely out of focus on the original poster (you should see it full-size!), but the dress is terrible and the tilted angle is confusing and annoying. And since when is featuring only Sarah Jessica Parker on the poster the entire selling point of the movie? Isn't the essence of the show entirely about most women being able to connect with one of the main four characters?
The German poster is so much better and I'm amazed no one saw this. Right down to the typography of the logo - I think it's way easier to read when put together all on one line. Despite Parker's dresses are atrocious in absolutely every poster they put out (and probably every frame of the movie, too), the dresses the other three girls have on are all fabulous. And despite its still got that quirky angle, this one is a lot easier to look at - especially because fans can connect with the entire cast instead of just Parker. Everything last thing about that German poster on the right is pretty much perfect for this movie - so why isn't it the official domestic poster?!
These sorts of decisions made by marketing at New Line Cinema are the exact reasons why I feel like they've released consistent flops and eventually failed entirely. I know Hollywood studios sometimes make odd creative decisions, and often times I respect them, but any regular citizen can see that the poster on the right is superior to the one on the left in every way. Not only would it do a better job marketing the movie, but fans, who are essential to the real success of a movie, would be much happier with the one on the right up on their walls.
Now before anyone goes off on a rant about how Sex and the City is the cause of New Line's demise, that's not what I am getting at here… at all! In fact, I think the Sex and the City movie is going to be one of the most successful films this summer. Just because you might hate the show doesn't mean millions of women don't love it and won't flock in droves to see it on opening day. You just wait and see! My rant here really has to do with poor marketing decisions on a whole. It's almost an accident that this German poster was leaked out because it gave me the opportunity to see how idiotic some people in marketing are and point out their poor choices.
As much as I know I won't have much of an effect on the marketing choices of major Hollywood studios, the least I can is still fight for movies that I think deserve better treatment. How do these marketing decisions get made in the first place? Who really sits there and compares these two posters and ends up choosing the one on the left? Is it that hard to put a little bit of concern an emphasis into the design of marketing materials? Especially when their are rabid fans involved? At least now I have a better understanding of why New Line Cinema went under - their marketing department was one of the worst in Hollywood!