Hollywood, give us back our iconic movie catchphrases!

The synopsis is used by screenwriters to sell their film idea to studios and production companies, while the catchphrase is a line from the finished film that is devised by the marketing team to sell the film to audiences. In both cases, their purpose is to sell the movie and get people excited. Cinema has evolved over a century, and this necessity has given the world some catchphrases almost as memorable as cinema itself. Iconic catchphrases such as “In space, no one can hear you scream” (Ridley Scottof alien) and “You’ll never go in the water again” (steven spielbergof jaw) is still synonymous with its related films to this day. Even their respective sequels love the catchphrase art form, e.g., Alien vs Predator“Whoever wins, we lose” and Jaws 2“Just when you think it’s safe to go back into the water…”. But why isn’t an iconic movie catchphrase necessary to promote a modern blockbuster?


Although movie catchphrases continue to this day, their use has generally declined. That’s due in part to new ways for studios to make money. A mid-budget movie is loosely defined as one that costs $5 million to $75 million to produce, usually stars a Hollywood movie star or two, and is based on an original script. These make up the bulk of thrilling 70s spy thrillers, nostalgic 80s comedies and your favorite 90s romantic comedies.Understandably, these star-driven vehicles need some extra context about what the story is about, so they need the tagline; “Would the world’s most famous movie star fall in love with an ordinary guy?” Yes the tagline notting hill, For example. With the death of mid-budget movies comes the decline of taglines, which is why it happened.

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What killed this mid-budget film?

Robert Downey Jr. is about to snap his fingers as Tony Stark in Avengers: Endgame
Image via Marvel Studios

In its simplest form, the power of a movie star to make a movie is that their name and notoriety market themselves to a certain extent.Know Leonardo DiCaprioHis leading roles in 23 films have earned studios more than $6.6 billion, which means his $20 million a movie is usually a smart investment for the studio, and by casting him , his huge fan base could buy millions of dollars. Worth the price of admission. Today, however, with fewer people flocking to theaters or buying DVDs, movie studios are forced to play it safe. “The movies we used to make, when it came out in theaters, you could afford not to make all the money because you knew it would come out on DVD,” he said. Matt Damon Tell the hot guys. “When that went away, the types of films we could make changed. (…) It suddenly became a huge gamble, whereas in the 1990s when they were making all these types of films, it was There is no such case.”

These days, studios are focusing on franchise films with solid box office records, rather than championing the many original ideas they have in the past.Franchise rights such as the Avengers The cinematic landscape may have been saturated in scope over the past decade, but as its stars anthony mackie Admits, “There are no more movie stars. Like, Anthony Mackie isn’t a movie star. (His character) Falcon is a movie star.” “Death of a movie star” and the rise of intellectual property are considered recent The reason for the decline in originality is that studios only release a limited number of mid-budget films. These are usually the movies that are likely to do well at the Oscars, resulting in mixed success for the studio. Thus, a movie tagline becomes less important in marketing a movie to a potential audience because the movie itself is an established entity.see word Transformers or fast and Furious Tell viewers everything they need to know about the upcoming installment, thus making the tagline redundant.

What makes a movie tagline effective?

Bill Murray as Peter Venkman in Ghostbusters.
Image via Columbia Pictures

The genius of the slogan is best expressed by example. “Who are you calling?” This question (and its specific spelling and phrasing) not only triggers an automatic response in the reader’s mind, but we’re also trained to answer with excitement and exclamation. ghostbustersGiven its raw and frankly weird premise, marketing is crucial. Four New Yorkers team up to start a pest control business to rid the city of ghosts.Before this film entered the zeitgeist, one might think of it as a horror movie or a scary children’s suspense, eg scooby doo.But with its question-and-answer slogan, the Ray Parker Jr.the #1 hit that repeated its catchphrase, ghostbustersThe unique tone and absurd comedy are clearly visible in just four words.

The recent shift in prioritizing franchise films and IP-based films is not a sustainable approach, as apparently every known entity would need to be pitched and marketed first to achieve its current status. Every now and then, modern movie stars are hired by studios to promote their rare mid-budget films, and that’s when the power of a slogan becomes crucial.new part reason jennifer lawrence R rated comedy don’t take it to heart It feels a bit retro because of its clever title (with “hard feelings” to suggest its mixed humor and inevitable apologetic final act). And then the poster’s tagline “Pretty. Embarrassing” reinforces that.The first word was printed on Lawrence’s face, the second on her partner’s Andrew Bart Feldmanteen nerd character.

Why Bringing Back Movie Taglines Matters

Tom Cruise, Edge of Tomorrow
Image via Warner Bros.

Other recent examples of the power of taglines include the 2014 tagline edge of tomorrow.this Tom Cruise The sci-fi action movie contains such a complex premise and often confusing plot that even after watching the film, you forget about its seemingly unrelated title. However, its mantra is “live, die, repeat”. Telling viewers everything they need to know about the movie, even confusing the title itself after the marketing team decided to stick that text on the poster in a much larger font than the title. In 2016, Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart Starring in Action Comedy CIA This is another easily forgotten title. Yet its catchphrase subtly sells it on its comedic tone, referencing the actor’s anatomical surname. “It takes Hart Jr. and Johnson Jr. to save the world”!

The slogan’s decline is regrettable for a number of reasons. A great title and beautiful poster can only do so much, but the specific tone of the film’s writing can only be truly conveyed through the perfect catchphrase. Comedies, horror movies, and romantic comedies can all vary wildly in tone, but the humor or seriousness of a plot read in short sentences can really make or break a movie. In short, the art of cultivating great catchphrases can be the answer to reviving mid-budget films, not to mention knowing which movie matches which catchphrase has been a fun chore (if nothing else)!

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