Rant: This Poster for Richard Kelly's The Box is Awful!

April 6, 2009
Source: MySpace

Richard Kelly's The Box

Everyone knows I love a good poster, and we've seen a few good ones recently. But this one, for Richard Kelly's The Box, is pure crap. I don't know how this got approved, but it's painful to even look at. Before I go any further, The Box is based on Richard Matheson's short story "Button, Button" about a mysterious box that ends up in the possession of a married couple. If they press the button, they receive $1 million, but by doing so, they will cause the death of another person somewhere in the world. It's a great concept, and in Richard Kelly's hands could be awesome, I just hope this isn't the start of bad marketing campaign.

So, I've got to explain why I don't like this poster. First off, why the hell is Cameron Diaz the selling point? They really couldn't come up with any other viable ideas than to have her GIANT face plastered on the poster with a big red scar on it? I actually like that imagery at the bottom with the mysterious man holding the box, but it's so small that no one will notice. Plus, I really just don't like looking at Diaz's face.

The Box Poster

Norma (Cameron Diaz) and Arthur Lewis (James Marsden), a suburban couple with a young child, receive a wooden box as a gift, which bears fatal and irrevocable consequences. A mysterious stranger delivers the message that the box promises to bestow upon its owner $1 million with the press of a button. But, pressing this button will simultaneously cause the death of another human somewhere in the world; someone they don't know. With just 24 hours of receiving the box, Norma and Arthur find themselves in the cross-hairs of a startling moral dilemma and must face the true nature of their humanity.

The Box is both written and directed by Richard Kelly, of Donnie Darko and Southland Tales previously. The story is based on Richard Matheson's short story "Button, Button", which was also adapted in a "Twilight Zone" episode. Warner Brothers will debut The Box in theaters everywhere on October 30th.

Find more posts: Hype, Opinions, Posters



Worth writing four paragraphs?

sumonesumtime on Apr 6, 2009


yeah 4 paragraphs

Nerdherdfan999 on Apr 6, 2009


I could skip it. Donnie Darko was decent but I HATED Southland Tales. Even The Rock's performance irked me and I like to watch The Rock. And I can't stand Cameron Diaz. The concept sounds decent but will definitely need more to sell me.

Due on Maple Street on Apr 6, 2009


I'm excited. The Arcade Fire wrote the score for this! It is a bad trailer thought. At best its bland, uninteresting, and uninspired. It looks like a movie box to a cheap horror thriller or something.

Timothy on Apr 6, 2009


We know that you don't like Cameron Diaz, Alex. I actually think the poster is decent. Yes, it could've been a little more creative. But (as you said) the imagery at the bottom with the mysterious man holding the box is interesting. And the fact that Ms Diaz's face is covering the poster is no shock with her films make what all studios want... MONEY. Plus, it's only the first Poster. I'm sure a few more will pop-up by late October.

TheGuyInThePJs on Apr 6, 2009


GAHHH!!! When are people going to wake up and realize Kelly is a HACK who got lucky once, because he was able to resonate a note with the easy-to-impress Emo demographic. Remove the pretentious self-contemplation, and Donnie Darko is no more than a half-hour Twilight Zone episode. For God sakes, 'The Box' WAS a Twilight Zone episode! Don't encourage him, or he'll end up like M. Night Shayalaman, convinced that people would be frightened by breeze.

Mr. BabyMan on Apr 6, 2009


So it's not a good poster just because it has Cameron Diaz's face on it and you don't like her? Really? That's the criteria now for judging a good poster? I agree with you on the size of her face almost completely covering the entire thing, and the fact that her name seems to be the main selling point (for now). But not liking a certain actress shouldn't have an effect on whether a poster is well-done or not.

Daniel on Apr 6, 2009


spot on at first i thought you were talking about the man because thats all i could see in the snipit but then i saw the whole thing and was like wtf the whole picture could just be the mysteryman and it would have been much better

neonblue on Apr 6, 2009


i like the poster. don't mind diaz. ur right though, a teaser poster focusing on the image of the man w/ the box would've been uber-cool. but maybe they don't have a budget for an extensive marketing roll out that included multiple posters?

R. on Apr 6, 2009


#7 - Good god, did you guys even read what I had to say? No, it's NOT about Cameron Diaz, it's about how HUGE her head is and how the poster has that ugly red dash going right through her face. Very ugly, especially the choice to go with Cameron over James Marsden or even Frank Langella. It's just a poorly designed, lop-sided (up and downwards I mean) poster that is truly awful look at. Sorry if you don't agree with me!

Alex Billington on Apr 6, 2009


Ahhh.. it hurts to just look at.. damn..

CSpuppydog on Apr 6, 2009


Not a big fan of the poster either. This movie has a cool concept, but with Richard Kelly directing, it's gonna blow. Southland Tales was one of the most god-awful movies I've ever had the privilege of shutting off halfway through.

Chuck Norris on Apr 6, 2009


Yeah well, at least it doesn't show off that Joker-like smile of hers, which is o.k.

DuirMan on Apr 6, 2009


This looks a lot like the From Hell poster... I still think the movie will be good, but can we make a rule that stops posters from using the floating heads?!?!?

JackGi on Apr 6, 2009


The plot of the movie revolves around an accident that scars Diaz for life. If you ever bothered to read the blurbs for the movie or did a little investigating into the plots instead of copy/pasting them from other websites, you might learn something.

Stylist Mick on Apr 7, 2009


Saying the man with the box is too small for people to notice is as ignorant as saying an eye is too small on the human head. It's all about placement. If you check, most of the visual lines in the poster point to the man, not Diaz (i.e. the red slash, hery shirt's collar, her jawline). Diaz is simply a background to emotion in the viewer, she looks a bit afraid and suspicious. The man is in the best position in the frame. He's placed very carefully two-thirds down the poster. Ever heard of the rule of thirds? Golden section? You don't know enough about design to critique this poster. Maybe you shouldn't criticize what you do not understand.

Cameron on Apr 7, 2009


Yall are crazy. Southland tales was a dope movie. The rock and his hand movements were creepy as hell.

REAL6 on Apr 7, 2009


I really like this poster, doesnt look over photoshoped or pasted together... Alex, you say you aren't talking about Cameron just her head but then in ur very next paragraph you start going on about how she shouldn't be on the poster - keep to what ur trying to say dude!!

dom on Apr 7, 2009


Alex, you call this awful? Have you seen "My best friend's girl" poster, that was insulting:)

dexter on Apr 7, 2009


Maybe it will make more sense after watching the movie.

Madigan on Apr 7, 2009


cameron diaz's face ruined it for me, i agree it is crap

harrison on Apr 7, 2009


man she was banging in "The Mask"

DoomCanoe on Apr 7, 2009


Uh, where's James Marsden on this poster? Its not like she's married to herself. Wouldn't it be fantastic if that one person in the world turned out to be Ashton Kutcher?

WhatISmynameanyway? on Apr 7, 2009


Looks like a very cheap video game boxshot art.

Fisherr on Apr 7, 2009


I need to see a trailer, but so far, I don't see this being much of a hard hit at the box office.

Nick Sears on Apr 7, 2009


The poster could be worse. The poster could have been Angelina Jolie's face looking like she's going to eat a little boy (The Changeling).

Travis on Apr 7, 2009


Diaz is saving the planet, I've seen her show on MTV where her and a group of friends fly round the world having a holiday in other people's misery, how can you dislike her she's beautiful and talented! He heh. Posters ok. I liked Donnie Darko, haven't watched Southland Tales yet, it looks good though.

Crapola on Apr 7, 2009


meh... looks like poop.

RoyMunson on Apr 7, 2009


I think it's supposed to evoke the vibe of the movie (70s, 80s) but a simple picture of the domed box is more intriguing than this. The tagline is also kind of a spoiler. Richard Kelly is the real deal and proves it with this movie.

Fuelbot on Apr 7, 2009


Yea Southland Tales i thought was a great movie, plus that music video bit with Justin Timberlake was great. Plus the whole movie just warped your brain into a pile of confused shit. And the poster for this film isnt bad but neither is it great, i dont mind it and i like the huge red streak.

Nikhil Hariharan on Apr 7, 2009


Maybe the red paint is foreshadowing: If they press the red button, Cameron Diaz dies!

AbercrombieAndBitch on Apr 7, 2009


Good or Bad.... any Poster that creates 30+ comments has done it's JOB.

TheGuyInThePJs on Apr 7, 2009


Alex, the poster may be unimaginative, but looking at Diaz's face is not at all painful or unpleasant. The studios heads are obviously capitalizing on her top-billing status to grab people's attention. Frank Langella is a gifted actor, but I doubt the people who sat through Frost/Nixon will care for this. As for Marsden, he's been in a couple of films with decent box office revenue, but is far from a star. Diaz is the cash cow here. And by the majority of the comments above, her face is no turn-off.

Leo on Apr 7, 2009


I a Richard Kelly fan, Donny Darko and Southland Tales are amazing! Yeah I said it SOUTHLAND TALES was GOOD, to me...sorry for the caps but I liked it. but this poster isn't that great but it looks like a good concept, with a good cast so Here's hoping!

Xerxex on Apr 7, 2009


uh...i don't think it's best to have the titular "box" be hardly visible with cameron diaz's face the largest thing on the poster because i want this film to be given a fair chance. I mean, the marketing people must be familiar with the slang term meaning of "box", people might make inappropriate conclusions and jokes about what "the box" is referring to.

Nicholson on Apr 7, 2009


Yeah, I agree that is a very generic-looking "photoshop" poster.

Sean Kelly on Apr 7, 2009


There are gonna be some disppointed people coming out of a theatre who were promised Cameron Diaz's Box. Instead they'll get Richard Kelly's steaming poo. Poster good or poster bad, movie will be boring.

ScottyR on Apr 7, 2009


I have seen plenty worse posters than this. I think a movie like this is hard to market on a poster, but I agree, there could have been better options. It looks run of the mill and knowing Kelly's prior creativity, I am sure he could have found something better and more mature than this.

Ryan on Apr 8, 2009


I agree, this poster is shit. It doesn't make me interested in the movie for a second.

Syphous on Apr 8, 2009


Saying the man with the box is too small for people to notice is as ignorant as saying an eye is too small on the human head.

Paul on Apr 9, 2009


The poster is fine. Cameron's breakdown of the graphic design of the poster is spot on. There is so little intellect and/or thought given to the criticisms of the poster that it's laughable. This isn't the best movie poster I've ever seen but it's DAMN effective, as well as uses it's main star as a drawing power interest for casual viewers. Because here's a newsflash: more people will stop and see what Cameron Diaz's face is doing on a poster than they will Marsden or Langella...FAR more. Pass by a window with this poster up, people will take a second or third look as they do. That's why Cameron Diaz has her face up there. The red slash draws your eye down to both the mysterious character, the box he's holding, AND the movie title. The red stands out more than Cameron's face. That's well thought-out design. Using Cameron Diaz's face as a monotone background was good planning as well. Seriously, the ONLY reason 95% of you dislike the poster is because you dislike Cameron Diaz. Having Marsden's face just as big would not improve the poster in any way, shape or form. Yet that suggestion is given. That says all you need to know.

Moi on Jun 20, 2009

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