Reaching an audience in the home video market is much different than reaching the theatrical audience. That often means the key art that’s used for home video releases is changed significantly from the one-sheets that were available during the theatrical marketing cycle. What I’m going to try and do is see what those changes are and what they mean for the appeal being made.
The theatrical one-sheets were exercises in minimalism, focusing on the puns inherent in the title and the premise. So it was all about putting a sausage in a bun with copy like “A hero will rise” and “Get your fill.”
The home video cover, though, is more intent on selling the ensemble cast. The yellow that was used as the background on the theatrical posters is here as the backdrop to the cast list and title treatment, with all the different characters arrayed around it. “There’s no preparing for this” we’re told here. So gone are the double entendres and puns in favor of a more straightforward pitch that only hints at the outrageousness waiting for the audience instead of making it more or less explicit.
A period drama of restrained emotions was the main point of the theatrical one-sheet, which placed Logan Lerman and Sarah Gadon across from each other on a window seat. They’re looking at each other with an obvious sense of attraction but it’s all inside, with the backdrop and clothing setting the time and place of the story.
That restrained emotion is gone in the home video box art. This time Lerman and Gadon are seen through a window that’s obscured by condensation. So their faces aren’t completely visible, both because of the water on the window and the fact that they’re kissing on the other side of the glass. We still get a sense of this being set some time in the past due to the clothing that’s visible, particularly the hat she’s wearing, and the same note about this being based on a Philip Roth novel is around the title, but overall this is more explicit about selling it as a romance rather than a period drama.
Morris From America
An odd case of the exact same key art being used. It’s the same shot of Craig Robinson and Markees Christmas, the same title treatment and the same “Nothing rhymes with Germany” tagline. Nice to see them sticking with what works. Either that or the studio didn’t have the budget to go back to the drawing board and come up with something new.