You know, it wasn’t long ago that a certain friend confided in me about one of the rejection notices he received from an agent for his novel, where the agent admitted more or less that they just didn’t know how to sell it.
After seeing the posters around town in the last few weeks, I’m wondering if this is happening with Thor.
I think this is just a really terrible ad, and not just because there’s a nose being labeled ‘God’. Is anyone not already familiar with the subject matter going to honestly be intrigued by some dude’s face in red lighting? Even being familiar with the subject, I’m still left with a distinct lack of intrigue. I don’t think you want to make any movie poster be just someone’s face unless it’s a really, really well known face. Chris Hemsworth just doesn’t have the recognition factor of a Stallone or Willis.
Prior to this, another poster was released that I suppose was meant to have more nerd appeal, but instead just seemed sort of… artsy?
Again, it underwhelmed. It did show a tantalizing glimpse of Hemsworth sporting the duds of the Odinson, but the minimalist approach seemed more suited to… well, the stage… or dare I even say a somber, historical Shakespearean adaptation? Was this Kenneth Branagh’s doing, or just a marketing department trying to deliver what they thought the director might like?
Then again, it might just be a cliche I was unaware of until now.
By the way, for having such a famous director at the helm, you sure don’t see his name attached to the movie anywhere except in the fine print. Did he become embarrassed with the film, or is the studio just at a loss for how to leverage his presence?
Looking into some of the other poster campaigns starts to get downright weird. How’s this one?
I guess if nothing else, this gives us an idea of the straw they finally grasped at: “FROM THE STUDIO THAT BROUGHT YOU ‘IRON MAN'”. I mean, again, as long as they’re all placed together. Put any of these on a bus stop kiosk by themselves and its going to be a heaping helping of “huh?”. But together, they still give next to no clue of what this is about. Iron Man showed the casual observer a cool lookin’ robot guy, if I remember rightly. So, seriously, what was so wrong with a poster like this?
Now this, in my opinion, is what should be on the fucking bus stops. This is the post Lord of the Rings era, folks, where the average citizen grew to accept that a dude in medieval armor can be fucking badass. And THIS dude, who is quite obviously labeled ‘THOR’, looks badass. He is wrecking shit. Even if it turns out to be false advertising (and from the trailers, at least some amount of shit does seem to be getting wrecked), this is all you need to know to get your ass into a theater. It’s benefiting from both the Iron Man blurb and the Iron Man styling. It might not be very innovative in its arrangement of elements (and floating heads), but it works.
Anyhow, the trailers are out, and probably more people are tuning into those than making judgements based on the poster images. Maybe that’s part of the reason for that half-assed red toned borefest making it to the streets of Los Angeles (and beyond?), maybe posters are becoming a lost and forgotten part of marketing. But hey, if you’re not planning to draw anyone in with the posters anyhow, you could have at least greenlit this one, which alas never made it beyond a limited run for the cast and crew:
It would have at least been fun to run it in indie circulars and see how many hipsters it could trick into seeing a big studio comic book movie.