I just watched Pompeii. Lucky I did, I thought it was great. Granted, I had to turn my brain off and just enjoy the fighting and the fast pace, but this was a “guy’s” movie if there ever was one. So why on earth was the cover of this movie showing a man and a woman kissing in front of an erupting volcano?
I mean…when I was scrolling through rotten tomatoes for the latest movies to watch, I skipped this one. Several times. The title didn’t draw me in, since I knew nothing of the legend of Pompeii. The picture had my scared it was a romance. And the the catchphrase “no warning, no escape” didn’t intrigue. I had zero desire to watch this movie. I was getting movies that were far more boring (I watch a lot of movies, so the bar is low) and Pompeii was nowhere near consideration.
But then I read in Chill magazine that Pompeii was a good guy’s movie. That’s all I needed to see. I watched it with a buddy over a couple of beers, shut off the ol’ brain, and just enjoyed the hell out of it. It was similar to the TV show Spartacus, minus the comic-booky blood. It even had some of the same characters. Keifer Sutherland (i.e. Jack Bauer from 24) was in it. Kit Harrington (i.e. Jon Snow from GoT) was in it. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbeje (i.e. Eko from Lost) was in it.
Here is what you marketing geniuses did wrong:
1. No kiss on the cover. This was not a romance. There was one kiss in the entire movie. You have one target audience, go after them properly.
2. The trailer didn’t get enough play. I don’t even remember seeing it, but then the only TV I watch live is sports. Oh wait, isn’t that the target audience?
3. The trailer showed about 15% of the clips with the leading man and the leading lady. Why? They had one kiss and they were hardly together throughout!
4. Consider a different title. Yes, I’m aware of the history (now). But a more catching title would mean millions more at the box office.