‘Neighbors 2’ and the Stare-Down Movie Poster Cliche (Photos)
Spring 2016 has seen three blockbusters sell their movies with a picture of a staring contest
Jeremy Fuster | May 21, 2016 @ 5:35 PM
Last Updated: May 21, 2016 @ 8:07 PM
With "Captain America: Civil War" and "Neighbors 2" coming out within two weeks of each other, it's likely you've seen the posters for these two films alongside each other and noticed something about them...
...they look almost identical. Both posters feature their main characters staring each other down in an effort to tease a big conflict ahead.
They're not even the first two blockbusters this year to use this in their posters. "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" showed the two titular superheroes in a staring contest on its poster as well. Cliches are common in movie posters, and now the Stare-down Cliché is the one that's in vogue.
The last time the Stare-down Cliché created an iconic movie image was in 2011 with "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2," with Harry and Voldemort locking gazes as their final showdown loomed.
The Weinstein Company
A few months after "Deathly Hallows" came out, Ralph Fiennes was included in another staredown poster. This time the film was his directorial debut: an adaptation of William Shakespeare's "Coriolanus."
New Line Cinema
Put the light source beneath the subjects in the staredown, and you have a horror movie poster ready to go, like the one for "Freddy vs. Jason."
Action movies with big one-on-one feuds are perfect for the Stare-down Cliché, especially if, like "Demolition Man" they feature two big-name action stars. For another example, here's Jet Li and Jason Statham in "War."
Is someone getting caught in the middle of this conflict? Put him in the middle of the stare-down, as was done for the poster for "A Bronx Tale" to symbolize the clashing influences a father and a mob boss have on an impressionable Italian-American kid.
There will undoubtedly be many more movies in the future that crank out staredown posters to sell themselves, but there will never be one more clever than the series made for "The Men Who Stare at Goats."