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Couples Retreat: The Case Of The “Vanishing Black People”


North American poster on left (coloreds allowed, back of the bus please)
International poster on right. (no coloreds allowed, "someone get Vince a lei, that should be ethnic(y) enough")

Does this only go to further encourage that infamous industry belief that movies with black people in them don’t sell overseas?
The 2 posters [above] are for a film titled Couples Retreat, a comedy centered around four couples who settle into a tropical-island resort for a vacation, and, naturally, hilarity and hijinx ensue.
The first poster was created for the North American market, and clearly shows all 4 couples (as mentioned in the above synopsis), including the lone black couple played by Faizon Love and Kali Hawk. From their positioning in the poster (distant rear), it’s obvious to us how prominently they are featured in the film itself – likely not very much… certainly not as much as the other 3 couples, positioned in front of them.
Now, look at the poster at the [right], which was created for the international market – which means countries in Europe and Asia mostly. Who’s so obviously missing – even though it’s a film about 4 couples? It’s not as if they were so prominently displayed in the North American poster anyway. Why intentionally photoshop them out of the image entirely. I can’t think of any reason to remove them from the international poster, can you? Other than a fear that they might actually deter international audiences from seeing the film; or, the characters are so inconsequential to the story that their presence on the poster isn’t necessary. Then why put them on the American poster if that were the case? As I started this post asking, does this only go to further encourage that infamous industry belief that movies with black people in them don’t sell overseas?
Questions, questions… anybody have answers?


Evanesced from Shadow & Act

Thanks Tambay
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