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Analysing Movie Posters and Movie Magazine Covers

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Scott Goodwin

on 11 November 2013

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Transcript of Analysing Movie Posters and Movie Magazine Covers

Analysing Comedy Movie Posters and Movie Magazine Covers
From left-to-right – Tallahassee (played by Woody Harrelson), Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Wichita (Emma Stone), and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin).
Despite the genre of a zombie film typically being popular with a male audience; the two male, two female ratio of the main cast members suggests that the film is aimed at both a male and female audience. There are contradicting elements in this poster – some which argue that this film is aimed at a mainly male audience, whilst other elements suggest that the target audience is both male and female. For example, Emma Stone’s direct gaze has slightly seductive connotations which would suggest a male target audience; however the simple fact that Emma Stone is wielding a chainsaw suggests that she plays a tough character, which subverts from the stereotypical ‘damsel in distress’ role in most films, and this would be popular with a female audience as well as a male audience.
The colours are very desaturated and grey-toned, and this would suggest elements of a male target audience, as men stereotypically don’t like bright colours, and tend to like quite dark, neutral or natural colours (eg- black, white, grey, brown etc). It also has connotations of the horror genre, as horror films are known to be dark and gloomy with little colour and light, in order to create tension and a frightening atmosphere. The text ‘ZOMBIELAND’ is quite a bright tone of red-orange, and is styled like a theme park entrance, which has connotations of a mixed male-female target audience, as rollercoasters and rides are generally popular with both genders.
Generally, the costumes for each character are stereotypical for the type of character each actor and actress plays. Woody Harrelson plays a typical pistol-firing Texan, who isn’t too bright, but is tough as steel – and his character wears a leather jacket and cowboy hat; both of which are stereotypically ‘Texan’ and manly. Jesse Eisenberg’s character is quite a nerdy teenager/young adult who is quite socially awkward and shy, and therefore he wears stereotypical clothes for a nerdy/geeky young adult; a hooded jacket, buttoned-up collared shirt and an undershirt. Emma Stone’s character is quite a clever, scheming young adult, who often uses her looks and seductive eyes to distract men whilst her little sister steals something from them. Her clothes and wavy hair over one eye hint at her seductive nature, as her skinny jeans

Anchorman 2, The Legend Continues (Entertainment Weekly Magazine)
Target Audience:
Males & Females 16-60
Predominant colours: Whites, blues, oranges, maroons and browns. Aside from the blues – the colours aren’t particularly stereotypical to either a male audience or female audience.
All-male cast, therefore the film is likely to be targeted towards a mainly male audience.
Quite dated clothes (1970s/80s?) and hairstyles deliberately, due to the film being based in the past. Varying facial expressions – although some are serious, others are humorous, and this is appropriate as the film is a comedy. The ridiculous fur and leather coat on Will Ferrell’s character ‘Ron Burgundy’ and the extravagant red leather jacket on Paul Rudd’s character ‘Brian Fantana’ again have connotations of the comedy genre.
Anchorage Text:
The only text relating to the film, is the film title – ‘Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues’ and a short sub-heading ‘Deep inside Ron Burgundy!’. The sub-heading contains an innuendo which suggests that the film is tailored to a predominantly male audience as, stereotypically – men like the odd bit of immature, slapstick comedy.
Other articles:
The other articles appear to be mostly targeted at a mainly male audience, for example the image of ‘Sofia Vegara in Machete Kills’ which shows her wearing an Austin Powers-esque machinegun bra. However the article with Jennifer Lawrence pictured in ‘Hunger Games, Catching Fire’ could be aimed at both a male and female audience, as the film is not known to be a stereotypical male or female film, and unlike the photo attached to the article on the film ‘Machete Kills’, Jennifer Lawrence is not scantily-clad to attract a male audience. There are also no stereotypical male or female colours in the image. The article on Leonardo DiCaprio is most likely to be aimed at a female audience in particular, as DiCaprio is known to be popular with female audiences, because he is often well groomed and smartly dressed and typically, women find him attractive.

Hot Fuzz
Nicholas Angel (played by Simon Pegg), and Danny Butterman (played by Nick Frost)
The male duo on the poster suggests this film’s target audience is a predominantly male audience, especially as there are no females on the poster itself.
Predominantly fiery orange, black and white; all of which are colours associated with the male gender – as men stereotypically like the simplicity of black and white. Fiery orange is also associated with the action genre, as it represents an explosion (like the one behind the duo), and the action genre is typically associated with the male gender, therefore linking the fiery orange with a mainly male audience.
Both are wearing police uniforms with bullet-resistant and stab-proof vests, and aviator sunglasses. Both ‘Nicholas’ and ‘Danny’ have toothpicks in their mouths and also have quite neat, short hair, brushed neatly to one side.
Nicholas Angel is holding a handgun in his left hand and a shotgun in his right, whilst Danny Butterman is carrying a shotgun in both hands. This again supports the suggestion of a mainly male audience, as guns and weapons are usually associated with males.
Extra Info:
This poster is a direct reference to the film ‘Bad Boys II’ which is also mentioned in the film, “You ‘aint seen Bad Boys II?”. The poster is almost an identical copy to the poster for Bad Boys II, with Simon Pegg in a very similar pose to Will Smith, and with Nick Frost (who plays a ‘side-kick’ role), closely behind Pegg, just like Martin Lawrence behind Will Smith. This suggests that as well as having an audience whom enjoy comedy films, they are also incorporating an audience who like ‘classic’ action films, like Bad Boys II, Die Hard, Point Break etc. – which suggests that Hot Fuzz is not only targeted at a teenage/early 20s & 30s audience, but also an older audience of 40s/50s, as they would be likely to understand all the references and stereotypical action conventions used in the film.

The World's End
[Left to right] Steven Prince (played by Paddy Considine), Sam Chamberlain (Rosamund Pike), Andy Knightley (Nick Frost), Gary King (Simon Pegg), Oliver Chamberlain (Martin Freeman), Peter Page (Eddie Marsan)
Predominantly male cast – five males and one female, suggests that the target audience for the film is mainly a male audience. Female cast member is stereotypically the love interest of one of the five male characters; although the fact that Rosamund Pike is holding a barstool-leg in quite a defiant and powerful manor, suggests that she defies the stereotype of a helpless ‘Damsel in distress’

Predominantly blue, which is stereotypically a male colour, but there are also many fiery oranges – which could be considered a ‘manly colour’ since it is the colour of the fireball behind the characters, but typically, orange is neither stereotypical for men or women. Most of the male cast are wearing black or brown clothes, and these dark colours are also stereotypically associated with the male gender, as these colours are not too bright and quite saturated.

The male characters are wearing stereotypically manly clothes, for example – the brown leather jacket on ‘Steven Prince’; the suit and beige jacket on ‘Andy Knightley’; the Mod-styled black trench coat, black skinny-fit trousers and black shirt of ‘Gary King’; the smart suit and tie of ‘Oliver Chamberlain’; and the dark suit and shirt of ‘Peter Page’.

Barstools, pint of beer – all of which is pub related; stereotypically very manly, suggests once again, a mainly male audience.

Extra Info:
The release date for the film is during the summer holidays, which suggests that they aim to target many school and college students from ages 15 and above. This date is a good release date for the film, as they also know that many working adults try to take time off and use their holidays during summer, therefore making it easier for adults to see the film. The cast are also all aged around 40 years old, suggesting that as well as a mainly teenage/young audience (of 15-30 year olds), they are also targeting up to the ages 40 and above – attempting to get an all-round audience from 15-60 years old.

The props both create subversions and conformities to the characters’ stereotypes. Tallahassee wields a shotgun, which is a stereotypical weapon associated with Texans and cowboys and this shows conformity to the stereotype of Texans. Whilst Columbus; a nerdy/geeky young adult, is also possessing a shotgun, which subverts from the stereotype of geeky young adults as being passive cowards – always the subject of violence and never the violent person. As mentioned before, Wichita also subverts from the stereotype of a damsel in distress, as she possesses a chainsaw; whilst Little Rock also subverts from her stereotype of a little girl (usually associated with disliking violence, liking bright colours like pink and purple, and not usually seen as tough) however, Little Rock is wielding a spade in a menacing way, ready to bash zombies on the head.
Extra Info:
Despite most elements in this poster having connotations of the horror genre, the tagline ‘This place is so dead’ quite clearly suggests that the film is also a comedy; and this can be gathered from the dark humour which stands out when considering the double-meaning in the text.
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