Provocative Posters

So what if it contains a swastika, a gun and what appears to be a clenched fist? The new poster for Columbia Pictures’ “Higher Learning” might come as a relief to some exhibitors.

The poster, featuring a collection of the aforementioned images along with a peace sign and two intertwined male symbols, replaces a teaser sheet that included a graffiti-covered brick wall with enough racial, religious and sexual epithets to put a blush on Andrew Dice Clay. Variety hears that some theater owners and operators in New York were more than a little put off by the graphic art, which started showing up just in time for the holidays.

To further aggravate exhibs, the teaser poster for the John Singleton film became something of a hot item among teenagers and began disappearing from theaters.

Marc Shmuger, exec VP of marketing for Columbia TriStar, said he’s heard no complaints about the posters, which in any case were intended only for “pinpointed places” (read: urban theaters) and magazine ads. He said the main one-sheet is the new poster featuring the symbol sculpture, which exhibs can choose to use in tandem with the old poster or as a replacement.

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