Key Art, Key Changes: Sing, Assassin’s Creed, Live By Night, Miss Sloane

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.

Sing

There never was a real theatrical one-sheet for the latest Illumination animated feature, instead opting for a teaser and a bunch of character posters. So this home video art is the first time all the main characters have actually been assembled in one official bit of key art, showing all the different contestants who are vying for stardom. It also notably promotes the additional value of containing three new mini movies.

Assassin’s Creed

No big deviation from what came before here. It’s the same split image of Fassbender in the two different settings the movie takes place in that was used in the theatrical campaign.

Live By Night

It’s the same image that was used on the theatrical one-sheet but things have been rearranged a bit. Gone are the images of the rest of the cast as well as the tagline that explains some of Joe’s character. It’s questionable whether or not that singular image of Affleck is enough to get people’s interest when most everyone passed on it in theaters.

Miss Sloane

The home video release keeps the black-and-white capital building but makes the photo of star Jessica Chastain more straight-ahead, even though it retains the motif of her looming over the government building.

Key Art, Key Changes: Fences, Collateral Beauty, Passengers

Fences

It’s a different image being used but it’s the same idea. The theatrical poster featured Washington and Davis looking off into the distance like they’re sitting on a bench in the backyard or something and was in black-and-white. For the home video release they’re shown in more of a loving embrace, the two laughing and smiling. That’s a slightly different pitch to the audience than was originally made, presenting more of a story about the couple’s relationship than just them being together.

Collateral Beauty

Same image, same pitch to the audience. Obviously didn’t feel like it was going to get any better than making the most of the all-star cast that was assembled.

Passengers

The top-half of the DVD art uses the same image that was on the theatrical poster of Lawrence and Pratt staring at the camera, separated by a beam of light. But this one adds on an additional element at the bottom showing the two of them standing at the end of a ramp, holding hands and looking out into vastness of space. It’s more similar to an international poster but makes the same basic appeal to the audience, that this is a sci-fi romance between two very good-looking people.

Key Art, Key Changes: Arrival, Billy Lynn, Edge of Seventeen, Bleed for This

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.

Arrival

No big change here, just the same key art that was used theatrically. I always thought that poster, with the big floating heads, looked like a DVD cover anyway so this just makes sense. The only addition is the positive blurb at the bottom of the design.

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

Actually quite different from the theatrical campaign. Where that focused on the spectacle and the big event Lynn was facing – literally putting us behind him to view the dancers and fireworks from his perspective – this is much more straightforward. The four-stripe design shows Lynn amidst all the fireworks and fanfare at the top and in the midst of battle just below the title. Kristen Stewart, who wasn’t on the first poster at all and barely popped up in the trailer, now gets real estate all to herself.

The Edge of Seventeen

Woody Harrelson’s performance as a put-upon teacher two whom Hailee Steinfeld’s character confides received a good amount of praise when the movie was released. And while he was a big part of the trailers he wasn’t on the poster. That’s corrected here, as the home video release uses an image of the two talking to each other across his desk. It also touts the movie as being “One of the best reviewed comedies of all time,” which is quite the claim.

Bleed For This

It’s not a huge change from the theatrical poster. That same key art showing Teller and his costars walking toward the camera is used at the top of the DVD box while the bottom half is a shot from the conclusion of one of the fights from the movie. That seems to be designed to make sure the audience not only knows that it’s a movie about boxing but also that it has an inspirational and happy ending.

Key Art, Key Changes: Trolls

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.

Trolls

Where the theatrical poster campaign was more concerned with the brand, the home video artwork brings the focus to all the characters. So where for the most part the tiny little characters were hidden away during the theatrical marketing, now they’re front and center, looking happy and ready to welcome young viewers into their world. It’s not a huge change but may show that the studio decided it needed to pay more attention to the colorful cast to get people’s attention.

Loving

Quite a change from the theatrical poster, the DVD box art still features Edgerton and Negga as the Lovings, holding hands and standing close to one another. But while that’s similar to how the story was sold on the theatrical poster, the home video art raises the stakes by putting the police in the background, walking toward the couple. That makes it clear just what the two were up against and what they faced just to be in love and be married and is a solid addition, especially since it resists the urge to use big floating heads but keeps the perspective pulled back a bit.

Frank & Lola

No big changes here, just a shift of the title treatment from the bottom of the design to the top. It’s the same image and copy, which isn’t surprising given the small nature of the movie.

Key Art, Key Changes: Masterminds, Queen of Katwe

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.

Queen of Katwe

The home video box takes a big part of the theatrical key art – the images of Wyong’o, Oyelowo and Nalwanga all clustered together and looking in different directions – and removes the soft orange light it was originally tinged with. Instead they’re presented in more natural light, though the bright orange sky behind them still evokes wide open spaces, something that’s reinforced by the lake and landscape in the lower part of the art. That lower section is also different. Where originally it featured Nalwanga walking along a series of chess pieces, this one has her and Oyelowo actually playing chess on the shore of the lake, a more overt message to the audience that this is about the game. So it takes the best part of the original artwork and changes other elements to make things a bit more explicit for the audience.

Masterminds

The theatrical poster for this comedy, along with other elements of the campaign, took pains to include the presence of Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones, both of whom were on the tip of everyone’s tongues in the wake of Ghostbusters. Now that buzz has apparently cooled off (despite continued outstanding work from both on “SNL”) because they’re cut off of the home video box art. That box art otherwise simply reuses the images from the previous one-sheet, with photos of Galifianakis, Wilson, Wiig and Sudeikis that show them in character and offer a one-word description of that character. Nothing original here, but the omission of those other two actresses is notable, whether it’s because time has passed or the smaller real estate would have just been too cramped with them here.

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

A straight-up repurposing of one of the posters, thankfully the one that kinda sorta features Colbie Smulders as well as Tom Cruise, though only the side of her left cheek is seen as she’s facing away from the camera. It’s the exact same image, just cropped a bit differently for the box art aspect ratio.

Key Art, Key Changes: The Girl On the Train, Keeping Up With the Joneses

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.

Keeping Up With the Joneses

The theatrical key art didn’t seem to know how to sell this comedy about the everyday couple (Zach Galifianakis and Isla Fisher) whose lives are upended when a pair of spies (Jon Hamm and Gal Gadot) move in across the street. So it just showed the two couples as being diametrically opposed, looking in different directions, separated by the title treatment and carrying the tools appropriate to their trades. The home video box art uses many of the same photos – the exact same photos – just shakes up the layout. So instead of a solid blue background that tells us nothing additional about the story, they’re now placed in front of an exploding house in the background, which at least shows a small bit of the upset and suburban mayhem that the story is all about.

The Girl On the Train

Nothing new going on here. The home video release uses the same key art of star Emily Blunt peering out from behind a railroad track that was used for the theatrical campaign.

Key Art, Key Changes: The Birth of A Nation, Deepwater Horizon

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 Birth of A Nation

The studio decided to stick with what worked, if not to turn out audiences than at least to get people talking now that it’s time to sell it to the home video audience. So it uses the same artwork of an American flag that’s made of images of slaves running toward their oppressors, pitchforks and shovels in hand. It’s a solid choice and it means they didn’t have to use any sort of image of Nate Parker, the writer/director/star who was embroiled in a controversy just before it was released theatrically.

Deepwater Horizon

Different artwork is used here, but it’s thematically similar to what was used theatrically. So where the one-sheet showed a far-off image of Mark Wahlberg looking downtrodden as an oil rig burned in the distance, the home video box art zooms in on both, with a close-up of Wahlberg looking off into the middle distance as oil and blood stream down his face. And the shot of the rig on fire is much closer and more dramatic, showing the kind of hellish circumstances the crew had to escape from. It’s almost like it’s trying to sell the movie here not as a drama but as a Bay-ish action movie with big, fiery explosions as the key selling point.

Key Art, Key Changes: Sully, The Magnificent Seven

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.

Sully

When the movie was being sold for theaters there were two posters, one showing Sully with the camera peering through an airplane window and the other showing the plane he piloted sitting peacefully on the waters of the Hudson. For the DVD the designers combined those two, with the shot of Sully straightening his tie looming over the plane on the water and all the passengers huddled on the wings. So there’s not a lot of originality here, they just took the best parts of both posters and mashed them together.

The Magnificent Seven

There’s a bit more original design work on display here, though that’s not saying a whole lot. The home video cover uses the same idea that was used during much of the theatrical campaign, with the seven main characters all walking intimidatingly toward the camera. It doesn’t look like these are the same poses that were used on the theatrical key art but it’s still very similar.

Key Art, Key Changes: Ben Hur, Bridget Jones’s Baby and More

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.

Ben-Hur

The studio is sticking with what didn’t quite work from the theatrical campaign, using the same image of Ben-Hur in the middle of the chariot race everyone knows from the Charlton Heston version on the box art for the home video release that graced the theatrical one-sheet. The main difference here is in the perspective of the background. On the movie’s poster it was all close-up showing how tight the quarters of the race were. Here, though, the camera shows a whole long arena behind him and his competition, with a bright blue sky at the top. Perhaps someone thought this pop of blue would work better to get people’s attention.

Bridget Jones’s Baby

Similarly, the exact same key art is used here from the theatrical campaign. There’s the slight change with the addition of a critic’s quote but that’s it. Otherwise it’s the same photo of Jones as part of a love triangle, with each of her suitors flanking her. At least it has the excuse of needing to remain thematically consistent with the earlier movies in the franchise.

Equity

Finally, a notable difference. The home video box art retains the overall concept of Gunn and the other three lead actors being arranged on the design but it drops the conceit of trying to overlay their faces on a stock market ticker and replaces it with overlaying images of numbers on the actor’s bodies. I’m not sure that’s a huge improvement and actually makes it a bit more confusing because it makes it seem like the story’s about hacking or something like that. At least the stock ticker was thematically accurate. The design as a whole isn’t that great on the box either, making this seem like the collected season of a show from USA Network.

Florence Foster Jenkins

Another case of the same artwork being used here as was part of the theatrical campaign. Ho hum…

Little Men

And another one. At least in this case, because it’s a smaller independent movie, I wasn’t expecting any great changes.

Key Art Key Changes: Pete’s Dragon, The BFG, The Intervention, Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie

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.

Pete’s Dragon

The theatrical posters for Pete’s Dragon were determined not to show Elliot in his entirety, instead focusing on either his knack for hiding or the comforting role he plays for Pete. So the poster campaign here was more concerned with continuing the mystery of the dragon and presenting the scale of his relationship with the boy than anything else.

On home video the designers took a similar approach but changed the perspective, showing Elliot leaning down as Pete reaches out to pet him and show him some affection. By changing things up and showing the dragon’s face it creates a stronger connection with the audience and they don’t risk spoiling anything since the movie’s been out for several months.

The BFG

No change here, the home video cover art of the young girl standing on the toes of the BFG and looking up as a hazy sunset fades in the background is pulled straight from one of the theatrical one-sheets.

The Intervention

Same thing, this is almost an exact recreation of the theatrical poster, just with some of the stripes rearranged.

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie

The two theatrical one-sheets played up the return of Patsy and Edina as a booze-filled romp, with one showing the two of them riding a bursting champagne bottle like it’s a bar-room bronco. It’s all about showing off the fact that we’re returning right where the series left off, with the two women still in party mode.

It’s the same basic principle on the home video cover, with a close up of the partying pair with the champagne bottle between them and popping while they look ready to get down. There’s not much more to the design, it’s just about creating visual recognition for anyone who sees it on store shelves.