The modern movie culture was built on the backbone of what works, and as the old saying goes: If it ain't broke, don't fix it. This goes doubly for movie posters as a recent viral Twitter thread can attest. Twitter user @leesteffen posted a thread positing that "There are only 10 types of movies," with collages of film posters revealing just how similar many of them are in the end. As of this writing his initial tweet has 43.5K retweets and 113.9K Likes. Check them out below along with some explainers for why these are so popular and where they can be found in modern movie posters (the original collages were created by the blog "Les affiches de Christophe Courtois" way back in 2010).
Each of the ten types of movie posters include: Orange and blue action, Sexy legs, Blurry cop, Leaning couple, Black back, Red dress, Black and orange, Moody misty, Eye, and Yellow, with the added bonus of "Tom Cruise in profile."
The "Orange and Blue" color scheme for posters has long been a favorite for studios, and something fans have been pointing out and talking about for over a decade now. It's prevalence stems from how the two colors contrast and compliment with each other. Recent examples of this tactic are Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and frankly most comic book movies.
"Orange and blue are complementary colors so just by nature they five you that jolt that you need," Charles Reimers said in an interview with EW back in 2010. "The studio's always saying 'Make it pop, and those two are the big favorites because red and green just take you to Christmas."
2. Sexy legs pic.twitter.com/0IujkDyRKi— 𝕃𝔼𝔼 (@leesteffen) January 14, 2020
As of this writing there is no accounting for the prevalence of "people/things between a pair of legs" except for the lude suggestion that it presents. Lest you think this trend is limited to raunchy 80s comedies, Matthew Vaughn's Kingsman: The Secret Service used this very design in 2014.
4. Leaning couple pic.twitter.com/vYhQDp564p— 𝕃𝔼𝔼 (@leesteffen) January 14, 2020
"Blurry Cop" as a poster trope has faded in popularity since these collages were created, even with the release of films like 21 Bridges and Black and Blue. "Leaning Couple" remains popular however, and a variant of it was even used for DC Films' Shazam just last year.
6. Red dress pic.twitter.com/sbXdjOejGU— 𝕃𝔼𝔼 (@leesteffen) January 14, 2020
"Black Back" is still as prevalent today as it was in the early part of the 2000s, typically a teaser poster image for superheroes and the like. X-Men: Dark Phoenix from last year being a recent example.
8. Moody misty pic.twitter.com/0SkZZP8HPr— 𝕃𝔼𝔼 (@leesteffen) January 14, 2020
"Black and Orange" is also still used in action movie posters, though to a lesser extent than it might been ten years ago. In keeping with the theme, Jason Statham movies use it quite often as the recent Hobbs & Shaw can attest.
10. Yellow pic.twitter.com/rQMruXqpeG— 𝕃𝔼𝔼 (@leesteffen) January 14, 2020
Rounding out the list are both "Eye" and "Yellow," with "Eye" still very popular with IT Chapter Two, Alita: Battle Angel, and once again X-Men: Dark Phoenix all using it at some point. "Yellow" has seemingly fallen in popularity, though Warner Bros. certainly used it for Doctor Sleep's final theatrical poster in 2019.
11. Bonus - Tom Cruise profile pic.twitter.com/3XAoKef9W4— 𝕃𝔼𝔼 (@leesteffen) January 14, 2020
Finally the bonus image of "Tom Cruise profile" capped off the thread, a trend that has only continued since this image was put together. His upcoming film Top Gun: Maverick being the latest in the trend but recent films like Mission: Impossible - Fallout and The Mummy also used it as well.