The 2012 movie season is coming to a close and that means it’s once again time to
make fun of look at the worst movie posters Hollywood had to offer this year.
There were well over 1500 movie posters produced for over 250 films in the span of 365 days, and while some great ones made our list of 13 Best Movie Posters of 2012, others didn’t do so well.
Just like our Best and Worst Movie Posters of 2011, we’ve managed to find the ones we thought deserved to be at the bottom of the movie poster garbage pile, in ranking from bad to worst.
Alex Cross was a badly written, poorly constructed movie, so it comes as no surprise that it would have a poorly constructed movie poster to go with it.
Tyler Perry doesn’t look upset, determined or threatening in this poster and Matthew Fox showing up in the middle of it – as if he was ripped into the poster – makes no sense to us at all.
Both actors are holding guns here, but instead of being full of bullet holes, the title has been sliced through – a technique that was heavily overused by the industry this year.
A forgettable poster for an even more forgettable movie.
The Brendan Fraser-less sequel to Journey to the Center of the Earth was a mildly fun family romp, but you couldn’t tell it from this poster.
Everyone in this poster (including the giant iguana) is running from the Photoshop artist who created it. True, this Jules Verne-inspired world is one of make-believe and fantastical surroundings, but just about everything in this image has been overdone.
It seems the artist was trying to tell the entire story of the movie in one poster – erupting volcano, sunken city, running from monsters, the pretty girl, the curious young boy and the hero.
Let’s discuss the hero, Dwayne Johnson. Movie poster designers think audiences aren’t going to notice when they take an image and use it over and over again in different surroundings – like this other poster for Journey 2. Here’s a tip for all of them: we do notice. “Believe the impossible” indeed.
We know what you’re thinking: “How can a movie that made $1.5 billion worldwide have a poster listed in the worst list?” The answer: Because this Japanese poster for The Avengers is pretty bad.
The American movie posters for the film, while not Top 10 worthy, were still very good and promoted the film well. This one seems like Marvel asked the artist to put every character from the movie and their alter-egos onto one movie poster.
We’re glad the film did so well overseas, but we’re pretty sure its success wasn’t due to this uninspired mess of an image.
For some reason the studio changed the name of the film to Black & White for the Asian market, which isn’t that big of a deal except it has nothing to do with the film (might as well have called it Mac & Cheese).
Instead of looking like two friends fighting over the same girl, Chris Pine and Tom Hardy have their guns pointed at Reese Witherspoon (or is it Whiterspoon?) as if they want to shoot her.
Lackluster, uninspired and cheap Photoshop skills aside, misspelling the lead actress’s name on any promotional material is a big oversight, and how it went all the way to press without anyone catching it is inexcusable.
Nurse 3D is a thriller/horror story about Abby Russell (Paz de la Huerta) who works as a nurse at a hospital during the day, but at night she lures cheating men into her dungeon to kill them.
Why someone decided this story needed the 3D treatment is beyond our comprehension, but it’s obviously something Hollywood doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.
Here’s what audiences can tell about the movie just from the poster to the left: It will have nudity (enough that it overflows onto the poster), it will have sexy women, and it will have lots and lots of blood.
Here’s the kicker about this film – it was actually inspired by the poster and not the other way around. Lionsgate Chief Marketing officer Tim Palen actually took a series of photos with women all naked and covered in blood and someone thought: “Hey, let’s make this into a movie!”
Like most audiences, we don’t mind movies starring attractive women, but using nudity/gore as the focal point on a poster to promote the movie is a bit much for our taste.
At first glance, this poster for G.I. Joe: Retaliation looks pretty cool – but then you look again and start to notice how ridiculous and familiar it is.
Seven months ago, Paramount released this poster for the movie (click the link to view it), which featured the exact same image of Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson) and mirror images of Lady Jaye (Adrianne Palicki) and Snake Eyes (Ray Park).
Reusing images of characters in the same pose (just reversed) instead of creating new poses is just a lazy way to make a poster.
However, this time around they did replaced COBRA Commander with the COBRA the logo, added (what we suspect is) a previously-used image of Duke (Channing Tatum) and tossed in one COBRA operative, Storm Shadow (Byung-hun Lee).
*Side Note: We know female action stars are supposed to be more beautiful than badass but is it possible to have them look like they do more than Pilates and a spinning class to prep for battle?
Where to begin with this hapless poster for the bad romance “comedy” based off the best-selling self-help book What to Expect When You’re Expecting? Let’s start with the bottom of the poster.
To help this film make money, the studio knew it needed for guys to come watch it with their wives or girlfriends. To appeal to the potential male audience, they cast Chris Rock as a father who is part of a “Dads Group” and used them all as comedic relief.
It was really a bait and switch tactic by the studio, as most of the scenes from the film involving the dads group were in the trailer and in this poster. The only good thing about this scene on the poster is it’s all real – real actors on a real background with no Photoshop magic applied.
Now look at the women on the top – there’s more Photoshop work here than on the cover of Cosmopolitan. The viewer is supposed to think all of the women will be in the same scene together, but the truth is, none of these images come from the same scene at all.
One day, maybe artists and studios will learn that their audiences can tell when something has been overly produced in Photoshop.
Most movie posters are supposed to help tell the viewer what the movie is about – some little nugget about its characters or storyline. This Japanese poster for the action film Lockout does none of those.
Going directly from the images on the poster, one would think that maybe the movie is a psychological drama about getting into the mind of a serial killer or about some guy in a coma who is lost in the maze of his own mind.
Looking just at this poster you would have no idea the movie is actually about a space prison being overrun by the prisoners and a tough-as-nails former CIA agent going in to rescue the President’s daughter.
Without the title of the film or even a recognizable face for viewers to associate with, this poster becomes flat and confusing.
Almost everything about this poster for Bad Ass is laughable – especially Danny Trejo’s overly-Photoshopped face. Even though this is a low-budget action film, that doesn’t mean the viewer should be left with questions about the film.
Why does Trejo have a bloody bat when the bus behind him is on fire?
Did he beat the bus to death and blow it up with a Louisville Slugger?
Why does Trejo look like a little boy if he’s supposed to be an old man?
Now, put him in one of those motorized scooters with a minigun attached to it and spent bullet casings laying all around his feet and THEN we would think he’s truly bad ass. Right now, he just looks like he missed his medication.
This poster for A Good Day to Die Hard (a.k.a Die Hard 5) is a great example of how less is not always more.
Just about every movie fan can recognize Bruce Willis and know about his association with the the Die Hard films, so it’s not a big deal to just have his face on the poster. But shouldn’t the title of the movie be somewhere on there as well?
Live Free or Die Hard (a.k.a. Die Hard 4) took some lumps for “cleaning up” the franchise by removing curse words from the now famous phrase, “Yippie ki-yay mother f**ker!”. However, to bastardize the quote with the word Russia is beyond forgivable – even if it does have something to do with the plot of the film.
It’s a clean photo with clean lettering, but the two don’t belong together on a movie poster.
Miley Cyrus’ jump from TV to the big screen hasn’t been very successful to date and this poster for the horribly bad comedy So Undercover isn’t helping one bit.
Without even watching the movie, no one is going to believe that Cyrus is anyone’s new secret weapon, and pasting in a badge and handcuffs doesn’t make it any more believable.
In making the posters for this film the studio used the same trick the retail industry uses in its catalogs by changing the color of the Cyrus’ outfit to use in different images – like they did HERE with her blouse and shoes.
Bad movie. Bad poster.
Not only does this poster for Thankskilling 3 belong in the Top 10 worst [fill in the blank] of 2012, but so does the movie. If you aren’t familiar with the Thankskilling series, here’s a brief recap:
Thankskilling 2 was so bad that every copy of the film has been destroyed except one which the evil “fowl”-mouthed Turkie and his sidekick Nibla are hunting down so they can use it to take over the world.
Virtually every character in the film is a puppet (not a Muppet, thank God), including (from left to right): Yomi, Rhonda Worm and her bisexual space worm partner Muff, who are dead set on stopping Turkie, Flowis the gansta rapping grandmother and Frankenturkey.
Not since Jennifer Lopez’s hitman in Gigli has the phrase “gobble gobble” ever been used so poorly.
By looking at this poster for The Babymakers we guess the viewer is supposed to think that Olivia Munn is hungry, Jay Chandrasekhar is surprised, Paul Schneider is tired and Kevin Heffernan is a creepy pervert – none of which make any sense, except for maybe Heffernan’s expression.
This poster tops our worst of 2012 for two reasons – sperm and word gags referencing sperm.
No one is ever going to buy this poster and hang it up in their house or room. We seriously doubt if it would even make it to the walls of a college frat house or dorm room.
It isn’t funny.
It isn’t interesting.
It isn’t appealing.
It is, however, appalling.
That’s it for our list of the Worst Movie Posters of 2012, but there are plenty more that could have made the list.
Do you agree with our list or are there some you would add or remove?
Tell us which ones you liked the best this year and which ones you thought were really bad.
Be sure to check out our list of the 13 Best Movie Posters of 2012 as well.
Follow me on Twitter – @MoviePaul.