Have you ever noticed how many movie posters are predominantly blue or orange, or use a combination of the two? It’s not that a lot of movie posters tend to use blue and orange, it's that they use EXACTLY the same tone of blue and orange. Seriously.
Once you’ve seen it, you can’t not.
I wrote a blog post on MoviePush in 2011, highlighting this trend and how it had already been going for several years. Now in 2017 this colour scheme is still as prevalent as ever… Don’t believe me? Here’s a selection of posters that have lent heavily on blue and orange for film releases in just 2017 alone.
Funnily enough, the latest Spider-Man: Homecoming movie bucks this trend, yet if you look at the movie posters for the original 3 Spider-Man films directed by Sam Raimi, you can see they got their fair use of it…
So Why Is Blue and / or Orange Used In So Many Movie Posters?
Well for one it works to sale movies.
Trust me, if it didn’t you wouldn’t see so many movie studios use blue and orange in their movie posters. Primarily this is because blue and orange (or teal and amber more accurately) are complementary colours, so they bounce off one another and lift each other. This contrast also helps dramatise the impact a marketing department would want to convey in a movie poster.
Contrasting colours is nothing new, but blue and orange is the best combination. I’m not sure a bunch of yellow and purple, or red and green posters would have quite the same appeal for example.
The other advantage of these colours, is that as they have now been used for so long in the movie industry they even help audiences subconsciously know what type of film is being advertised. It is primarily used for 3 genres, these being action, sci-fi or fantasy (of which, superhero movies could cover all three). You won’t see many orange and blue themed romantic comedy posters for example.
In fact this colour scheme has also bled over into films themselves, but that's a topic for another day.