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Movie posters get territorial

Global Impact: Studios tweak one-shots to play to particular markets

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but overseas, a twist is worth a few more, as studios entice international moviegoers to head to the local megaplex. Variety looks at what strategies the majors have taken in various markets to promote everything from family movies like “The Smurfs” to upcoming actioners like “G.I. Joe: Retaliation.”


Marvel and Disney’s main group-shot poster of the heroes in “The Avengers” was the same worldwide, except in Japan, where the burning Quinjet in the sky is replaced with the more dragon-like flying creatures of the villainous Chitauri to better appeal to local auds.

Because “The Avengers” is the same name of the iconic British TV show of the 1960s, featuring the adventures of John Steed and Emma Peel, Marvel and Disney changed the name of its superhero pic to “Avengers Assemble” in the U.K.


To give Japanese auds more of a sense of Denzel Washington’s pilot role in “Flight,” Paramount placed the thesp in a stormier setting with his imperiled jetliner in the background.


Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson may be a big name in the U.S., but the action star still pales in popularity when it comes to Bruce Willis. In many versions of the overseas posters for the “G.I. Joe” sequel, Willis is presented as the main star, as is seen in these one-shots from Brazil, Russia and Japan.


The international posters for “Ted” amped up the cruder aspects of the film’s foul-mouthed bear, with him bending over for auds in the Netherlands, the Japanese poster running with the country’s love for cute animated characters in silly poses and even putting ears on the title logo, while the Hungarian ad omitted Mark Wahlberg from the urinal shot entirely.


While the film is set in New York City, Sony introduced its CG Smurfs to global audiences by placing them in various worldwide settings, including Shanghai and on the Great Wall, in China, where auds may not have been too familiar with the blue characters.

Global Impact Report
Movie posters get territorial | Hollywood takes global view | Hollywood eyes new emerging markets | Stars, scripts help films go global | U.S. comedies succeeding globally

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