Hollywood movie-poster design cliches

Jackomatic's "15 Over-Used Movie Poster Clichés" is a gallery of damning thumnails showing the enormous uniformity of Hollywood's marketing machine, a place where everything looks pretty much like everything else, always. My goodness, that's a LOT of women in red dresses.

15 Over-Used Movie Poster Clichés (via Wil Wheaton)

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  1. Kinda hard to tell, but those red-dress movie posters seem to start around the 30s; and there are 160 of those posters. So, about 2 movie posters per year with a woman in a red dress? I guess that's a cliche....

  2. Actually the point is that if the movie being advertised is a romantic comedy the cliche is that the poster will usually feature the female lead in a red dress. Although I think they're fudging a little--Who Framed Roger Rabbit? ain't a romantic comedy, and neither are some of the other films in that particular composite. They could have just as easily said women in red dresses are a cliche.

    Now that they brought it up, though, I would absolutely go see a romantic comedy if the poster had the male lead in a red dress.

  3. Right, although I'm questioning how much of a cliche it actually is. According to this list:


    ... there are at least 390 romcoms since 1989 (I ignored the first entry, since it was such a chronological outlier). That's about 16.25 of them per year. Since that red dress collage included movies that were not romantic comedies, I'm going to make a ballpark assumption that my previous estimate is correct, that we have 2 movies per year with a woman in a red dress on the poster. That's about 12%.

    On the surface, yeah, it does seem like the red dress thing is a bit of a cliche, but I'm not sure that it's a statistical home run, either (Seriously — I'm not sure. It's been a while since I've done any Poisson-Monte-Carlo-5-Sigma-blah-blah-whatever, but I'm at least a little more than vaguely aware of how this stuff works.).

    There's certainly a trend going on here, although this sort of format for presenting information creates a huge confirmation bias, too.

    lol, as would I.

  4. Yeah, this is one of those things where while I do think it's good to point out, it gets problematic when you zoom in our out.

    Zoom in, of course Puss in Boots will use that poster - it's intentionally riffing on the cliche. Zoom out - why didn't he do ones about how all (insert color not depicted) background movie posters are the same?

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