The Quorum

The curious case of the missing poster.

Faithful readers of The Quorum know that we are obsessed with movie posters. It’s always fascinating to see how studios distill moving pictures into a still image. From teasers to character posters, these images give a sneak peek into what’s to come. Frequently they are stunning works of art that leave us wanting more. Occasionally they are head scratchers that leave us wanting less. 

Not only are we obsessed with the posters themselves, but we’re also fascinated by the timing of their release. In most cases, a poster is released the day before a film trailer. They tend to go hand-in-hand. Combined, they represent the launch of a film’s campaign. 

Rarely do we get a trailer without a poster. That, however, has happened twice in recent weeks. We got the first trailer for DON’T WORRY DARLINGS in early May, yet Warner Bros. didn’t release the poster until today. And, it’s just a teaser poster. While it’s undoubtedly evocative, it’s perhaps overly coy. The title is placed in very small type at the bottom in the form of a hashtag, and you would have no way of knowing that the film stars Florence Pugh and Harry Styles. 

To be clear, we’re not being critical. We love a good teaser. It’s just this kind of one-sheet typically gets released before the trailer. 

The other example of a trailer without a poster is VENGEANCE. Focus gave us a trailer for the film a month ago ahead of its premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival. Variety praised B.J. Novak’s directorial debut as “the arrival of a potentially major filmmaker.” And yet, a month after the trailer and a week after its festival debut, there is no poster. 

Unlike DARLINGS, which opens in September, VENGEANCE is only five weeks away from release. 

Could it be that the lack of a poster is hurting the film? At the moment, awareness for the film is at 14%. That’s surprisingly low for a movie with a trailer and several reviews. It’s also surprising given that Focus clearly believes in the film. They wouldn’t take it to Tribeca and subject it to early reviews if they didn’t.

It’s important to note that posters serve an important function. They create awareness by lining the hallways of your local theater. Part of the fun of going to the movies is stopping to look at all of the one-sheets on the way to your screening. The absence of a poster can suppress awareness. 

In all likelihood, a poster for VENGEANCE is just around the corner. Will it increase awareness for the film? Stay tuned. 

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