Sometimes the most fun things about a movie is the viral marketing made to promote it and the memes that follow. If you can’t catch someone’s attention on the internet with an easily shareable funny clip, video or gif, then are you even really making a movie at all?
As a result, here are our 10 favourite viral moments and memes from 2018’s movie calendar.
A Star is Born – ‘Hey! I just wanna take another look at you’
Everything about A Star Is Born felt tailor-made for meme-ification. Even before the movie was released, the trailer contained a ready-made gag – the “Hey! I just wanna take another look at you” interaction from the window of Jackson’s limo was the perfect four-panel meme template that could be spliced with other movies too.
For our money, however, you can’t beat a good “Shallow” joke, and this Simpsons mash-up is a perfect way of giving hilarious new context to Lady Gaga’s soulful wailing.
Avengers: Infinity War – Thanos meets Homer
Before he obtained all the infinity stones, Thanos was kind of a joke – so when we got our first proper look at him in the movie’s first trailer, it was all we could do to make fun of him. With purple skin, a ridiculous chin and a perfectly bald head, it was only natural the internet mocked him relentlessly.
Within minutes, the projected menace of Thanos had effectively been neutered, as he’d been given makeovers to make him look more like Homer Simpson, a Minion, Shrek and even Hank Hill. Maybe the 50% of humanity that crumbled into dust were the ones who laughed.
Black Panther – Wakanda Sometimes
The year started off with a brand new catchphrase and a brand new badass hand gesture: “Wakanda Forever” complete with crossed fists on the chest was the sign-off that anyone could pull off!
Unfortunately for Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, “Wakanda Forever” would soon become an albatross around his neck: the internet noticed that he was “Wakanda Forevering” with less and less enthusiasm as the year dragged on, until he could barely bring himself to “Wakanda Forever” at all. “Wakanda Occasionally” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
Ocean’s 8 – Sarah Paulson and Cate Blanchett’s epic insult interview
Usually, press tours are contractually obliged bore-fests, where cast members are wheeled out in front of the cameras to repeat scripted platitudes about how they loved working with the director and how great they all got along. SNOOZE. Enter Ocean’s 8, the all-girl reboot of the heist franchise, with a cast of insanely fun actresses who were clearly having a ball on camera.
This interview with stars Sarah Paulson and Cate Blanchett on The Today Show is six minutes of anarchic heaven, as both actresses refuse to answer the questions in favour of insulting one another. The hair pull at 5.28 is to die for.
Smallfoot – Zendaya is Meechee
Animated adventure Smallfoot would have been and gone from cinemas without leaving a cultural footprint were it not for the efforts of internet musician Gabe Gundacker, who composed an instantly iconic ode to the movie’s female star, Zendaya.
The movie’s marketing team must have been delighted when the song went viral, then subsequently furious when they realised one 51 second video got more traction than about $50 million of advertising.
Sonic The Hedgehog – Fan posters
Note to Hollywood marketing departments: if you’re going to do a dark and mysterious silhouette teaser poster for your character, do be aware that internet miscreants will fill in the gaps for you.
The teaser for the new live-action Sonic The Hedgehog movie had fans cringing, due to Sonic’s weird muscular legs and swole new look.
It was practically an invite for web users to try and improve on it, and improve it they did, although it wasn’t exactly difficult.
Venom – Meet your new boyfriend
Different strokes for different folks: Western marketing for Venom played up the villainy angle, with the tagline “The world has enough superheroes”, but Eastern audiences… well, they saw Venom in a different way.
The official Chinese Sony social media feeds released these amazing illustrations that showed audiences how fun it would be to have murderous alien symbiote Venom as your boyfriend. The pictures quickly went viral and managed to make the actual Venom – not exactly what you’d call relationship material – disappointing in comparison.
A Simple Favour – The Pitch
Oh to be a fly on the wall of a Hollywood studio pitch meeting. On one side of the table, the creatives and the talent; on the other side, the money men and the executives. How on earth some movies even get made is beyond us.
We’re not surprised the director of the all-girl Ghostbusters reboot had a few things to say about studio politics: Paul Feig created a viral video for his new thriller A Simple Favour, in which he and stars Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick attempt to pitch a non-comedy to a boardroom of idiots. We suspect it’s far closer to reality than any of us realise.
Deadpool 2 – DVD takeovers
Fox Home Entertainment wanted a big stunt for the released of Deadpool 2 on DVD, and so they asked themselves “What would Deadpool do?” The answer, predictably, was “make everything about Deadpool”, and so for a short while, all Fox DVDs sold in certain Walmart stores in the US had new limited edition Deadpool-approved covers, featuring the Merc with a Mouth elbowing in on the movies’ boxes.
So, not only did ‘Pool appear on his own discs, but he popped up on the X-Men movies, The Terminator, Edward Scissorhands, Assassin’s Creed – even The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. Bravo, whoever had this idea. Take the rest of the day off.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout – Moustache poster
It’s possibly the most influential facial hair of all time – the moustache that almost sank Justice League. Henry Cavill’s Mission: Impossible moustache, grown for Fallout and digitally removed for his Superman reshoots, probably cost Warner Bros several millions of dollars, but Paramount put it front and centre of their Mission: Impossible marketing campaign.
This poster – sadly fan-made and unofficial – pokes fun at the offending ‘tache, incorporating it into the teaser poster as its own design element.