Tomorrowland, starring George Clooney and released by Walt Disney Pictures, comes out Friday, May 22.
The film is inspired by the section of the Disneyland theme park Tomorrowland. Based on this fact alone, the movie sounds totally awesome. Tomorrowland looks like this:
Which is why I don’t understand why Tomorrowland the movie’s poster looks like this:
*BTW, most of the current posters omit the flashy “T” logo.
Based on Tomorrowland’s marketing material, I have no idea what Tomorrowland is about. The poster pictures George and a kid, standing in a field. From this poster, I assume Disney is marketing Tomorrowland at thinking people, such as the people who willingly saw Interstellar or Gravity. When I actually think Disney wants to market to Everyone With Money.
If you actually do some searches for Tomorrowland, you can see some pretty cool stuff. Stuff that might make you, you know, excited to see the movie. The Japanese poster seems pretty focused:
I don’t even know Japanese and this poster tells me more about this movie than the poster of a field. I know it looks like a cheesy VHS cover, but it engages me. I feel suspense, innovation, opportunity, but also fear. I want to know more about this weird girl in the background. I want to know what the people in the foreground are looking at.
In the other poster, I just want to know if George got lost on the way to Oz.
Disney traveled this road before. In 2012, they released the sci-fi epic John Carter following a similarly minimalist marketing campaign:
From these ads, NO ONE KNEW WHAT JOHN CARTER WAS ABOUT. They featured a very normal sounding name juxtaposed over very unusual looking shit. The posters made no sense. So nobody saw the movie. Even though John Carter was actually awesome, and featured stuff like this:
Simply calling the movie John Carter OF MARS might have saved this movie from box office infamy.
John Carter was based on Edgar Rice Burrough’s series of novels and short stories. Disney thought they would have an action-adventure franchise with John Carter. Director Andrew Stanton planned a sequel, but because the movie underperformed so badly at the box office, Disney killed all future projects. Now the only place we can see Taylor Kitsch rugged and topless is on Friday Night Lights reruns.
As always, I want science fiction movies [not containing both the words “star” and “wars”] to do well, for the future of science fiction movies. Tomorrowland has a great director, great potential, and a great premise. Let’s hope the not- so- great marketing campaign doesn’t stand in the way of Tomorrowland going the way of Space Mountain and not Submarine Voyage (or John Carter).