Best Poster: Terminator: Salvation
Released rather recently, this is a rather nifty video poster. But, even taken as a pure visual, the final image is striking and would still be the best poster of 2008. Click on the poster for a taste of the future of marketing. Everything released from this film thus far indicates that this is not a cheap cash-in, but a real attempt to restart the franchise.
Worst Poster: The Dark Knight
Sorry sports fans, the copious Batman-centric posters from this Batman sequel failed to produce a single keeper (the single flaw in an otherwise perfect advertising campaign). But the worst offender ironically became the main posters. With its visual center of attention being a giant wheel, and Batman stuck in a silly stretched out pose, this pales even in comparison to the Batman Begins artwork (specifically the Batman plummeting downward shot).
Even goofier was the second main poster, which had Batman triumphantly standing outside an apparently bombed building that has a flaming bat-signal in the middle. Bad enough that the poster needed to have cheese ball writing on the top ("Welcome to a world without rules"), but the image by itself seems to indicate that Batman is responsible for the destruction in the background (burning bat insignia = gang tagging sign). The Joker-centric posters were deliciously disturbing, but no one was able to get an artistic handle on the main character.
As we wind down 2008, we will take a moment to mention two films that began and ended the year, that managed separate but wholly fantastical feats never before seen in the film world thus far. Let us take a moment to reward this special brand of excellence.
Freestyle Releasing. If you've never heard of them, you will now never forget them. For whatever reason, Freestyle Releasing decided to launch Delgo on 2160 screens, but they decided not to do that thing... that thing were you tell people that your movie is coming out... oh, yeah, advertising! So, without advertising and with no built-in awareness, Delgo was unleashed into theaters on December 12th, 2008, to the deafening sounds of... nothing. Silence would be too kind a term. The opening weekend tally- $511,920.00. By far the worst opening for a wide (1000+ screens) in the history of modern box office.
Distinguished Awfulness - One Missed Call.
It wasn't any worse than the usual 'bad Asian remake/knock off of bad Asian horror' genre picture (as opposed to good Asian remakes like Dark Water). But this first major release of 2008 (1/4/08) did manage the astounding feat of securing a ZERO (0%) positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Zero out of seventy-two reviews. Ladies and gentlemen, in my ten years or so of following Rotten Tomatoes, I have never, ever seen such a monument to mediocrity. And that's really what it is. If the film had been spectacularly awful, surely someone would have enjoyed the gonzo stupidity and given it a pity B-/C+. If it had been noteworthy in any way, surely some critic would have given it a positive review just to increase exposure for their website. But, no, it was just there, lifeless and pointless and completely unworthy of merit or notice.
Let's do the math. Per screen average - $237 per screen/theater (not that anyone was showing this on multiple screens). Per screen per day average - $79.00. Toss in five showings a day (it's a short film): $15.80 per showing. National average movie ticket price: $6.88 per ticket. So, using those numbers, we can surmise that each showing of Delgo over that opening weekend had 2.3 people in the theater. Fine, let's acknowledge cheaper matinee and kids prices and round it up to three. On the opening weekend of Delgo, the average screening was attending by three people. Wow.
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