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5 High Potential Movies That Suffered From Bad Marketing

So, a couple of weeks ago, we did a blog on movies with the best marketing campaigns. Unfortunately, such movies are in the minority and most movies, even the decent ones, tend to suffer from bad marketing. Often, in a bid to make the movie appealing to as many people as possible, filmmakers tend to misrepresent a movie or worse- sell it to the wrong audience. Sadly, there is no dearth of great movies that have fallen victim to some really bad marketing choices.



So, let’s cut straight to the chase and take a look at these 5 awesome movies that suffered because of poor marketing.


1. The Last Action Hero (1993)

Released in 1993, The Last Action Hero was intended to be a fun parody. But while the movie performed exceptionally well as a fun parody, the marketing team thought to milk Arnold Schwarzenegger’s previous work in gritty action movies. The result- a confused audience that didn't know whether the movie was a genuine action movie or a parody of action movies!



The biggest disappointment from the movie must have emanated from its publicity of everyone’s favorite action hero again beating the antagonists black and blue. However, in reality, the movie was a kid-friendly action flick with almost non-existent blood and gore.


2. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)

After the movie Beauty and the Beast was unexpectedly nominated for Best Picture, Jeffrey Katzenberg, the then Disney chairman thought that the studio could get even more traction if it came up with a similar story but more suited to adults.



Therefore, he brought on board the entire directorial and musical team behind Beauty and the Beast to create The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The movie checked off all boxes to get into the Oscars- historical fiction, egalitarian racial themes, and highbrow source material. Unfortunately, the marketing team behind the movie thought that their only job was to sell the movie and not sell it honestly. Thus, while the TV spots for the movie showcased only the lighthearted scenes from the earlier part of the movie, the gruesome storyline was definitely an unwelcome shock for children as well as their parents.


3. Bicentennial Man (1999)

Robin Williams had always been amazing in comic roles, which was precisely why Bicentennial Man was marketed as a comedy flick. However, the movie is clearly a sci-fi drama.



Moreover, the movie had major issues in its storyline with regard to subjects such as the nature of humanity, sexuality, conformity, and mortality. But most viewers felt that the dialogue wasn’t as serious as it should have been while discussing subjects like these.


4. Contagion (2011)

People love movies with an apocalyptic storyline, which is precisely why Contagion was advertised as one. However, the movie follows an episodic style of storytelling and comes across as more of a documentary.



The movie was based on the SARS epidemic and it’s somewhat spooky to see how much of what’s shown in the movie has come to pass in the post-COVID-19 world. The awkward marketing that went behind the movie ensured that it didn’t get the due recognition that it rightfully deserved. Thankfully, the public perception around the movie has begun to shift and it has been enjoying a surge in popularity since 2020.


5. Crimson Peak (2015)

Honestly, Crimson Peak is one of the best dark fantasy movies out there. But despite being directed by the incredibly talented Guillermo del Toro, it has remained terribly underrated. The reason- it combined fantasy and horror to create a horror flick that fans hadn’t geared up for.



The movie, which was a period drama, created some scary and spooky-looking ghosts. But they eventually end up looking more charming. Sadly, the fans were expecting a horror movie that would leave them terrified.


Wrapping Up

And that was a wrap of some of the best movies that suffered due to bad marketing. Regardless of their storyline or star cast, movies depend a lot on advertising like any other project. But just like in most other fields, only a few movie projects get the right advertisement. The result is a never-ending list of amazing movies that could have made it big only if they were marketed right.


We’ll be back with more awesome content for you. Till then, stay tuned!


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