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September 17 2005

UIP Germany release poster for 'Serenity'. Better than the Australian version?

It's odd. I think this picture of Summer makes the film look a bit like cheesey fantasy and separates her too much from the other cast... at least the other cast that actually get on the poster!

At least the Australian version implied they were all working together. I'm not sure what the German poster's composition really means to say.

Will it get Germans into the cinema, though? That's the big question.

Can anyone translate the tagline?
"flucht in neue welten" translated by Google becomes "Escape Into New Worlds"

I think the top half of the poster looks a bit silly, I prefer River's pose in the Australian poster, but I think the botom half looks cool and seems more in context with the film, than the Australian poster. I think the botom part of the poster is more like the kind of poster I would have done for the movie.
I believe it's supposed to give it a buffyesque main character look to lure the Buffy fan community into the cinemas.
Don't know whether that'll work.

Personally I also think River looks too much like Fantasy Pin up Girl.
And I do hope (and trust) the movie will not become a River show but remain an ensemble crew effort.

The tagline reads as:
Flight into New Worlds

Some have the weapons. She is dangerous.

I think the first doesn't fit and the second line that's the one
above the four cast members at the bottom, should at least have read, "They have the weapons but she is dangerous".
What the HELL are people responsible for these posters doing??

I don't understand: Universal seems to have a quite good (or reasonnable, at least) way to promote serenity and, then, they completely screw it up with the posters!

I think the US one was probably the "least worst" of all... all this white and the clean square buildings around, nothing like the firefly 'verse... plus, the tagline... "Escape into new worlds"?? Gosh, I haven't seen serenity yet but I am completely sure that this tagline is completely out of subject of the movie! The whole premise of Firefly (and, to a certain extent, of Serenity I guess) was that it was about people that could be "us", from day-to-day problems and behaviours. And Joss interviews indicates that this is not very different in Serenity ("the right to be wrong" etc...). Exactly the contrary of "Escape into new worlds", but rather "A vision of our lives" so to speak.

Grrr.... argh!
There is a pivotal scene in the movie that is very reminiscent of the bottom half of the poster.
Well, we came up with three possible explanations for "new worlds".

a) leaving earth and moving to new worlds
b) "new worlds" after Trek and Star Wars
c) you'll have to watch the movie and it only partially makes sense
I'm just wondering one thing, what the hell is earth doing in the background. I mean, come on, they left earth behind! Jeez!
Aw, it's just part of Universal's logo, go easy on 'em. They wanted to be on the poster all nice and big too, for once.

Yeah, floaty River is way cheesier looking than on the Australian poster. But the bottom half of this poster? Best part of a Serenity poster by far. In my opinion, if they just made a panoramic poster of that image and maybe had the scenery less overexposed, it might be perfect. And I guess they'd need to add something more than four pissed off looking people standing around, so maybe sticking the ship in there somewhere might help.

Heh, I like that everyone else gets to hold a weapon while the Captain seems to be self-conscious of his.

[ edited by Kris on 2005-09-17 13:04 ]
No, I'll not go easy on them. This poster is, astoundingly, even worse than the other ones. River's outfit is ridiculous, the pose inane, the whole thing smacks of fanboy fantasy. Oh, it's ugly, too.
I have to agree. This is a sex sells picture. I realize that at some point Joss cannot keep control of everything so I assume he had no say in this but no matter how awesome Summer Glau is in the movie, it is not, as others have pointed out, a fanboy fantasy. It is a movie made by a feminist and you would never know it from the poster.
Don't really like it, either. It's too sci-fi to appeal to the masses, in my opinion. Science Fiction is kind of a geek thing here in Germany.
And because Firefly has never been aired here on TV (and nobody except a few Whedon fans have ever heard about it), they could have taken a different approach, focusing more on the drama and the action, not the science fiction. But oh well.
Here's a story about one movie that gives a little insight into the possible reasons for the German poster not necessarily being a bad thing (although I don't like it personally).

When "Field of Dreams" was first being released in Japan, part of the poster outlined the big surprise at the end of the movie (I believe it said something like "Man builds baseball field in his farm and meets his dead father" - although that's a paraphrase.)

The director thought that might have been a mistake that only appeared on one poster but freaked entirely about it. Later he found out *all* the promotions included a mention of the ending "man meets his dead father." He adamantly questioned this piece of marketing. But people flocked to the movie. He found out later that this sort of thing was *very* intriguing to the Japanese people. The movie grossed very highly in Japan despite giving out "the big secret" within the marketing campaign.

Moral of the story:
We may think that "Serenity" poster sucks. But most likely (and hopefully) the people marketing the movie in other countries *do* have a clue about what will appeal to the people in their own cultures and draw the audiences into the theatres.
Generally speaking, I don't pay a great deal of attention to film posters. I very rarely buy film magazines and my trips to the cinema are increasingly sporadic. That said, were I to see this particular poster without knowing anything about the film (or the writer/director) it would tell me that this was a film I would almost certainly never make a point of watching, be it at the cinema or on DVD.

The point is, though, that the poster doesn't exist to entice Joss Whedon's existing fanbase, who are going to see the film no matter what. Its job is to pull in a wider audience and I doubt very much that I fall within the demographic it is aimed at. After all, I am far too old and have never really understood the ‘Star Wars’ franchise (as one obvious example).

Personally, I don’t think it’s a good poster, but I would not like to say that it will not successfully do what it is intended for.
I'm not impressed.
I can live with "escape to new worlds", but the other tagline is just odd. Clearly, "she" has got weapons, too, or is she just doing a sabre dance routine?
The bottom half is okay.
I would have preferred a different approach in the marketing of the movie, but Universal Germany seems to think that the appeal of Buffy and Angel will draw in enough viewers. (And don't get me started on the German taglines of the shows.)
NO NO NO NO NO! And plus, I don't like it. It's too River the Vampire Slayer.
As dashboardprophet said, it's not meant to get us to see the film, it's for people who have never heard of Firefly.

I prefer the Australian poster myself, but if I'd never heard of Firefly or Serenity, I'd look at the poster and at least have a quick look for a trailer on the web or something like that. Which is really the whole point.

Us Browncoats are going to see it no matter what. :)
I don't know if anyone has noticed, but if you don't know anything about Firefly, this poster actually makes you think that the woman's name is Serenity.

And the "Flucht in neue Welten" line makes no sense to me.
The womans name could be Serenity - it really doesn't matter. If they actually go and see the movie they will find out.

Translation wise, the bottom bit is "One side has the weapons. She is dangerous"

Buffy is quite big in Germany. That Buffy fan base has not been interested in Firefly, generally.

I'd like to stress european markets are not the US - as Caroline has pointed out in the past here, Sci-fi doesn't sell well in some areas. If they'd released the US poster in Germany, it wouldn't be as effective as these sorts of posters.

How do I know? Because the posters go through market testing and focus groups.

If I'd walked past that poster in a theatre, I'd have looked at it. If I'd have walked past the US poster, I would have walked straight past it. The US poster is typical US sci-fi. It will do well in the US. This will do well in Germany.
But the bottom half of this poster? Best part of a Serenity poster by far. In my opinion, if they just made a panoramic poster of that image and maybe had the scenery less overexposed, it might be perfect.

Well, removing the overexposure might be pretty tricky, but the first part... and I agree, much better without the top half ,-)


Now let's see what can be done about those colors
Okay, I'm looking at the poster trying to think up something deep and meaningful to add and all I got is the thought that River's left thigh looks incredibly fat! But once hidden by her skirt it just disappears into a tiny tiny bottom. Once I became fixated on this I didn't notice anything else.
I've seen the movie, and I have to say that I like the buildings in the background. I also really like the cut you posted, Trienco. I think River pose kind of makes her look like some bad hybrid of Trinity and Lara Croft, but maybe that's just me. And I'm not quite sure her facial expression captures the crazy - she just looks angry. Overall I'm not a huge fan of this poster. I like the Australian version best of all.
I think the reality is, as fans, we're too close to the characters and the universe to sell it to other people in the form of a poster. This is why I'm thankful there's external marketing companies involved.

I think many fans would love a rustic Western poster with all the characters, horses and Firefly fonts and and... Sexy lady, explosions, cheesy world saving slogans? That sells. We might not like it, but in a world where "The Transporter 2" takes $25m at the box office in the US with a poster with a 'hot guy' and a 'hot girl' with guns, and nothing else... Detach from your perspection of the work and what people might think the film is, and think 'Will that get Average Joe in the cinema?'. As that's all that matters from a box office point of view - it really doesn't matter if they think the girl is called Serenity or if they think she's the main character.
It's a shame that River's pose is so cheesy, because I think the bottom half of the poster, with our big dam heroes in the deserted city captures the essence of the movie better than any of the other poster.
I don't think it fits in at all with the Firefly 'verse, so from that point of view I don't like the poster. But, if I didn't know any background, the poster would make me mildly interested, although I prefered the Australian one. Neither is great, but posters don't influence me all that much in what I go see.
I think the bottom half is nice, but I'm not sure about all the River poses we've been seeing. I think it would have actually been such a surprise if they hadn't shown any of River's abilities in the trailer or posters or anything. Imagine the first time you realise how powerful she is. There were brief allusions in Firefly, but nothing that suggested she could kick ass in slayer-like style.

I think that it would have been best to go for a long poster featuring all the members of the cast on a desert like planet with some very basic buildings. The majority of the planets we've seen in Firefly are very undeveloped and I think that would be one way of seperating Serenity from a lot of sci-fi flicks with a lot of futuristic metal and light. The juxtaposition of the characters and their ship with the sparse planet.
Is she supposed to be flying in the air?
*sighs* Its UIP Germany i didnt expect anything else..
Okay well you know the pic is less worse. Yup it looks cheesy but hey i live in germany i didnt expect something else. But the "Some of them got weapons. She is dangerous" part is the worst for me. *shrugs* hey Im happy we even get the movie *g*
Sexy Summer!! As I said in reference to the Australian poster...whether some of us like it or not, dangerous and sexy women sell tickets!
I have no words other's just BAD!
Did anyone else look at that poster and break out in the kung fu fighting song?.....just me.
Nathan looks even more like David Boreanaz in this one. I prefer the Australian version, although I don't mind the buildings.

Also are both the moons meant to be orbiting the planet behind River, or is one for the bottom scene?
It's bad... yet still better than the domestic one.
I'm hoping the next version has Mal and River flying through the air kung fu fightin'!
The poster makes the crew look like the villains, which is an interesting mislead.

My problem with the poster is that it looks CGI-ed to death, from River's arms and weapons to the background (which borders on animation-like) and kind of super-fake look doesn't really promise great CGI in the movie itself.
Is the tagline supposed to insinuate a "but" there?
"They have the weapons, but she is the dangerous one"? Because I kinda like that. That River's dangerous, even without weaponry.

I dunno. Except for Wacky!River, I think I like it.
Oh God. Oh God, oh God, oh God. These international posters are horrible. At least this is better than that horrid Australian one, where all the characters looked like they were badly Photoshopped into being scattered across the landscape.

I was underwhelmed but still pleased by the U.S. poster, but the international ones are godawful. I hope that you all are right, that this imagery will sell well to those overseas, but I know that if I were a Firefly virgin, I would've looked at the poster, scoffed, and said, "Do we really need The Matrix Resequeled with a scantily-clad heroine and her terribly-posed little comrades?"

Seriously. What's up with River's huge blades and, also, that swivel-chair-and-monitor get-up on the international websites?

Oh, the insanity...

But, to be positive (but not too positive, y'know, because it's me), the bottom of the poster with the crew standing together is great and Trienco's version--once that background gets a tad touched-up--would be absolutely amazing.
Worst. Poster. Ever.
The American poster is overdone without much substance. The Australian one is like grilled cheese at camp. This one is just wrong.
My first post, woo. Just wanna introduce myself real quick. I'm Adriano I'm from New York City I've been a lover of Whedon since the day Buffy premiered on my Bday.

As for this poster, doesn't really say much for the movie or maybe it says something else about the movie, but it does look nice, I'll give it that. I have the US poster 27x40 hangin on my wall and its an enormous beauty. All I care is that people in all these other countries get into the theatre spends some cash for the BDM and to hopefully leave wanting a good way.
CiV said it best. Worst.Poster.Ever.
Welcome Adriano! I think you're right. In the end what counts is that people see the movie, whether we like the posters or not.

Still, the poster makes River look like a psycho hooker from outerspace. Kind of makes me wonder about who would be drawn in by that! ;-)
Welcome Adriano!! I love the US version! If this poster, and the Australian one get people in the door who cares how they market it! I'm sure they are seeing the commercials for it by now too like we are (or they will be soon) and they'll get a better idea what the movie is about.
Adriano, I never thought I'd say this, but the US poster is looking like the best of the lot, and I hate that poster. But it's at least mildy evocative of the film and the 'verse, and these others are manifestly (in my opinion, of course) are not. River never looks even remotely like that. Where'd the space hooker outfit come from? And the crew (what's there of it) look like bad action figures.
The only problem I have with the poster is that River does not look like River. Though I reckon Morena Baccarin would make a great 007 judging by her pose.
My concern about the commercials is that I'm not seeing it enough. I've seen more commercials for "Into the Blue." Of course the movies that have to hit you over the head with commercials usually are all hype and at best forgettable, but I'm afraid the visibility for "Serenity" isn't enough.

As for the posters, are they out in the movie theatres yet?

ETA: You know, River doesn't look like River in the American poster, either. They "enhanced" her appearance.

[ edited by Nebula1400 on 2005-09-17 21:40 ]
"My concern about the commercials is that I'm not seeing it enough. I've seen more commercials for "Into the Blue." Of course the movies that have to hit you over the head with commercials usually are all hype and at best forgettable, but I'm afraid the visibility for "Serenity" isn't enough.

As for the posters, are they out in the movie theatres yet?"

Cant say much. But UIP Germany just starts to promote Serenity. So Im sure we will soon get to see some promotion ;) Not that I have faith in them but still I try *g*
Nebula1400, I've seen Serenity ads a whole bunch of times and on many different networks so they are out there.
Yeah, the US poster is looking better and better in comparison. I too hope that this appeals to the potential German audience, but I'm afraid all of them are just marketing to what is thought to be generally popular among fanboys rather than what could be popular about this movie. Do I know what the posters should look like? No. I just know that I haven't seen it yet.
I've been kind of worried about the marketing up here in northern Canada. I watch a lot of TV and haven't seen very many ads for Serenity at all (3 over the last week). Of course, I don't really want to see the trailer as I'm trying to remain as unspoiled as possible for the movie. It really quite funny to see me fumbling for the mute button and getting my eyes covered before anything registers.
I agree that the US poster does look better. It's not that I really hate any of the posters, I just don't feel any of them really capture the feeling of the series. I haven't seen Serenity yet (although I only have to wait until Tuesday) but hopefully they have much of the same style and tone, and I just don't think any of the posters capture it.

Firefly felt a little like Star Wars in that the 'verse had a very lived in, dirty feeling. There were some advanced planets like Ariel or Bellerophon, others less so, like Whitefall, and others which are a mixture of the two, such as Persephone. Just as we have the mix of traditional weapons and transport with lasers and spaceships, or the merging of American and Chinese culture. That's what made the universe feel more unique.

The vibe I get from these posters doesn't capture it much. They seem to go for the stereotypical sterile, cold feeling of most sci-fi films. River is presented like the typical over-sexualised, danergous girl. I hope the film itself isn't like that, and from what I've seen it isn't, but I wish the posters could have reflected this more to seperate it from every other sci-fi film, and less likely to turn off your average film goer bored with empty, pretentious offerings like the Matrix sequels.

Saying that, I do think the US version is the best of a disappointing bunch. I would have even preferred one of something very simple like the nine crewmembers standing in the cargo bay together.
As for the posters, are they out in the movie theatres yet?

Well I've only seen the trailer once here in Ireland, and that was before the horrible Dukes of Hazzard. The US version of the poster has been up in the local cinema since the advance screening.
I *liked* the US poster, and I absolutely hate these. This one is better in that there is at least a half decent backdrop with the landscape. The Australian one was just this flat, featureless plain. I think this one at least somewhat more allows the "minor characters" to express themselves.
In this poster, Mal, Inara, Zoe and Jayne are menaced by the menace of the Giant Floating River. I liked the US poster and loved the Australian one, but this poster is, to quote Jan Brady, "positively goofy!"

But I am fascinated by the fact that Angel appears to have a subtitle in Germany. Can anyone tell us what it is? And does Buffy's subtitle translate into The Vampire Slayer or something a bit different?
Eric G : Translated it is Buffy-Under the thrall of demons or something like that and Angel: Hunter of Darkness! They are both pretty silly and we here in Germany have been shaking our heads over that for years. But its normal here, the Buffy dubbing is pretty bad, too. Thats the cause why i rather watch Joss´ stuff in english.
They also do that a lot with movies, keep the English title (if it's short) and add a long German subtitle that is usually rather stupid.
Serenity will exit in Italy 25 october and for now it seems that the poster will be the same of the Australian version... I have to say luckily because the one of Germany don't meet my taste
RE: "Serenity" promos on TV. My daughters and I have seen 4 promos on 3 channels within the past 4 hours. 1 each on VH1 and Fox and 2 on MTV. And I think there was 1 during the rebroadcast of "Bones" last night on FOX. This is despite a couple of hours watching "Spaceballs" and playing video games. So we're seeing it a lot without really trying.
At least you get a clearer shot of Inara.

MySerentity pretty much nailed it for me: River the Vampire Slayer. But if this is what it takes to get Germans into the theater for Joss, then okey dokey. While I haven't been blown away by any of the designs I've seen so far, I'd have to say the U.S. version is the most appealing to me personally.

I've seen the Serenity trailer several times tonight, the most recent being during the last half-hour or so of MadTV's season premiere. Did anyone happen to watch the whole thing (I missed the beginning due to a 6FU viewathon)? As the credits flew by, I saw 'special thanks' with David Boreanaz' name listed along with a slew of others. Some West coast W'esquer want to check it out and see if he actually sneaked into a skit?
Does anyone know how to find out if "Serenity" will be playing in their country? IMDB doesn't have the listing I need, and it's eating me up inside.
My local theater had the Serenity poster up for two weeks and then took it down. I whined to the poster putter-upper and he said he'll put it back this week. I missed walking by it and dreaming a little. :)
Ilana, you can check the local UIP distributor (on their website or perhaps email them (General UIP website with links to local distributors)) or phone your local theater (which has the added benefit of showing interest in the movie). Do not worry if it is not yet mentioned on the website, it just means the movie probably won't come out real soon. You might also check the international section of, which tries to maintain a list, which contains some dates different than IMDB's list.

Back on topic: If I didn't know better and just saw the poster, the people on the bottom would be fighting against the girl named Serenity depicted on top.

I think this poster lacks the compositional tranquility, which was the Australian ones biggest resource. The only good thing about this poster is mentioned before, it's the bottom half.
Wow and to think I accused the aussie poster of turning it into 'Buffy in Space'. Absolutely horrendous. Unless Buffy is SO popular in both Germany and Australia that it's the best thing you can do. But I'm not sure Buffy is THAT popular anywhere and it still is very misleading since Serenity ISN'T 'Buffy in Space'.

I've seen many ads on TV too. Many variations too. They are wisely focusing on the humor in some of them which I hoped, but I really don't have a 'neutral' look on it. Especially not the campaign, I can't see it with fresh eyes. It looks good and I hope for the best.

(Hell if 'The excorcism of Emily Rose' can rake in 30 million....)
Im a shark. Grrrrrrrrr
I've seen the Serenity trailer several times tonight, the most recent being during the last half-hour or so of MadTV's season premiere. Did anyone happen to watch the whole thing (I missed the beginning due to a 6FU viewathon)? As the credits flew by, I saw 'special thanks' with David Boreanaz' name listed along with a slew of others. Some West coast W'esquer want to check it out and see if he actually sneaked into a skit?

I didn't watch all of MAD-TV, but I did see what you saw. There was a special thanks to DB, and a Serenity trailer played 3 times between the last 15 minutes of MAD-TV and the first 15 minutes of Angel. In fact I saw the Serenity trailer 6 times yesterday, and I didn't watch till Angel was on at midnight. (My kids pointed it out a couple of times while they were watching TV, or channel-surfing.)
Yes, Celebithil, that's what I'd get out of it, too...a ferociously hot babe named Serenity, armed with primitive weapons, but presumably preternatural combat skills fighting 4 bad guys...or good's hard to tell.

A horrible poster, just horrible.
After seeing that poster, I am convinced more now than ever that Joss should so have Summer star as Fray the Vampire Slayer in a mini-series based on the comic. Who's with me?

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