This is a pretty typical poster for an indie movie. Low key, showcases the critic quotes prominently and features a nice character shot.
And that is too bad. Especially if the film actually turns out to be good, like some people who saw it at Sundance are saying.
See, with a movie like this you have two options. You can play it safe and try to attract the usual art house crowd, and hope that good word of mouth carries it to a decent return at the boxoffice and at the video store. Or you can be a little bold and try to do a really memorable marketing campaign that grabs peoples attention. This second approach has a small risk of turning away the art house crowd, if it’s done poorly. But the upside is that you have a chance of reaching an audience that is a little broader, which coupled with good word of mouth could turn the movie into an actual mainstream hit.
Apparently the Rocket Science marketing is going to go for the safe approach. A good example of the bolder approach is the marketing strategy for Little Miss Sunshine, which produced, among other things, truly excellent posters. The SAW movies, especially the first one, also used a creative marketing strategy and obtained very good results.
Now, the marketing budget for Rocket Science is probably going to be tiny, even when compared with Little Miss Sunshine and the original SAW. But that is even more reason why it should go out of it’s way to truly try something different with all the marketing materials. I really wish more small movies took a bolder approach to its marketing. But I guess it is not to be.