With another year drawing to a close, it is time to look back at the year of films, in terms of its marketing. This year had its fair share of creative campaigns and even great posters that utilized either a simplistic approach or an intricate design.
And then, there are those that did not get the memo, when the marketing just failed to be an effective movie poster. Whether by bad Photoshop scheming or by cringe-worthy attempts to get into fads, these movie posters highlight the failed lengths to market themselves.
Here are the ten worst movie posters of 2019:
While it is far from the worst designed movie poster of the year, it is certainly the laziest of them all. First of all, the backdrop looks like a screenshot of the trailer itself, showing Adam DeVine’s shocked face, which may be the point… but it’s a little hard to tell. Then, the poster just slaps the title and its stars over the photo.
Finally, the marketing campaign’s overuse of the “You had me at ‘hello’” line from Jerry Maguire, only confuses the movie’s overall premise.
There are many complaints that movie posters overdo Photoshop airbrushing on their stars. That seems apparent this year, with the overuse of this tool on the poster for Bombshell, highlighting main leads Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, and Margot Robbie as the women embroiled in the Roger Ailes’ scandal.
While the three actresses’ facial transformation does make them uncannily resemble their real-life counterparts, they look like plastic figurines from Team America: World Police in this poster. Sorry, not their fault. Blame it on overdone Photoshop.
8 The Addams Family
Another thing notable this year is the overabundance of character posters. 2019 had its share of groaners, from Black and Blue to The Lion King. But nothing is more desperate than the series of character posters for The Addams Family.
Though it is expected for animated movies, the decision-makers here took the most grating approach with teen slang and aggravating puns in their taglines. The cringiest one belongs to the Uncle Fester with the tagline, “It’s Gonna Be Lit”. No please.
7 Corporate Animals
Back to overwhelmingly bad Photoshop work, while the poster for black comedy Corporate Animals does not display that many noticeable errors, a closer look will show how illogically placed (or pasted) the characters are in this poster.
The lighting for Jessica Williams and Karan Soni is slightly confusing since no light bounces from inside a cave. And the placement of Ed Helms and Demi Moore make them appear gigantic. The final nail of the coffin is the poster’s “subtle” tagline.
6 The Current War
This period drama showcasing the rivalry between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse was slated to release in 2017. But when the Weinstein scandal took place, it was delayed until a formal US release occured on October 2019.
The desperate salvage attempts to release this movie are easily conveyed in this poster. While the first poster is bad enough, the deliberately pasted faces of its marquee stars and the way they mesh transparently onto a light bulb-powered map of America is widely perplexing.
5 10 Minutes Gone
Just a one-second glimpse of this poster for a direct-to-video actioner already had this labeled as a bad movie poster. Looking more closely, this Brazilian poster for the Michael Chiklis/Bruce Willis movie has many marks of a lazy poster, from the unnecessary placement of flying money, explosions below, and ashy debris that is not well edited.
The cherry on top is a heavily Photoshopped Bruce Willis who looks more like a shaved John Malkovich with a thick forehead than himself. Not surprising with other efforts on display.
4 Spider-Man: Far from Home
Even movies from the MCU are not excused from badly rendered movie posters, most especially Spider-Man movies. Fans already cringed at the work done in the final poster for Spider-Man: Homecoming, and in 2019, Marvel did it again with Far from Home and this basic but appalling poster.
The design of Nick Fury, Peter Parker and Mysterio emerging from the Spider-Man insignia is confusing enough since it seems like they’ve emerged from a spider-shaped portal. Fury’s phoned-in placement is a head-scratcher at worst.
3 Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase
Not even the year 2019 saved some movies from bad font choices. Take for example Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase, where the poster incorporated a Calibri-like serif for the title and a Futura font for its tagline and release date.
But that is nothing compared to its amateur poster work: the copy-and-paste insertion of Sophia Lillis over a blue-tinted house background and the random mean girls standing in a perspective-less field. This is really too bad since the movie is pretty good.
Not many people know about this movie about an aged man who falls for a virtual reality companion named Auggie. Yes, that is her name. But judging by its atrocious poster, no one ever will know about this sci-fi drama.
The placement of Richard Kind’s face leering over Auggie sends uneasy vibes. And his dual placement from top to bottom only makes the movie’s premise more confusing. The best recommendation for those who love Richard Kind is, never speak of Auggie’s poster.
1 6 Underground
And now, the crowning achievement of the worst movie poster belongs to a Michael Bay movie. Just the poor quality of this poster is a treasure trove for those who love to nitpick on movie posters. First off is the bad tagline, “They Say No One Can Save The World. Meet No One.” The movie centers on six fugitives who feigned their deaths and assumed new identities with a numerical designation. Why go with “Meet No One” to make that point?
The second offense is the awkward placement of the actors. Melanie Laurent seemed relaxed over the carnage. Corey Hawkins is about to be hit by Dave Franco’s car. And Ryan Reynolds seems to be looking worriedly at nowhere in specific. And finally are the Michael Bay-isms. The hot sports car (with a weirdly long engine), the helicopter hovering, the gun-wielding, and the explosions in the back. This poster is so bad it is fun to nitpick at.
NEXT: The 10 Best Original Star Wars: A New Hope Movie Posters