Picking Up the Spare – Life of the Party, The Seagull, Deadpool 2 and More

Life of the Party

Writer/director Ben Falcone talks here about creating the story of the movie with wife Melissa McCarthy.

The Seagull

Star Annette Bening and production designer Jane Musky walk through the house that serves as the main setting of the story.

Deadpool 2

Lots more has happened since my recap column went up at THR.

There’s a Deadpool-sponsored “80s Smash Hits” playlist at Spotify that’s totally in keeping with the character’s musical tastes and which basically sounds like the radio I grew up on.

The Merc showed up on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” to try and get on the show to promote the movie and yeah, Ryan Reynolds might be a comedic genius.

Fox was one of the first advertisers to use Snapchat’s new unskippable six-second video ads to make sure that audience was aware the movie was coming out.

Carl from “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” briefly came back in a commercial aired, of course, on Adult Swim where he claimed he was Deadpool.

Another IMAX-exclusive promotional spot featured a lot of new footage from the movie.

Jeff Beer at Fast Company has his own recap of the movie’s marketing efforts that’s worth checking out, as does John McCarthy at The Drum.

Beer also caught a couple secret messages from Deadpool in the metadata of the site for Trolli, the gummy company that had a 7-Eleven-exclusive cross promotion with the movie.

Social media monitoring and management company Sprinklr analyzed online buzz for Deadpool 2 and compared it to both the first Deadpool and this year’s Avengers: Infinity War. Here’s how things stacked up:

  • Avengers – Infinity War (3/25/18-4/25/18): 1.3m mentions of #AvengersInfinityWar or #Avengers
  • Deadpool 2 (4/10/18- 5/10/18): 534,600 mentions of #Deadpool, #Deadpool 2 or #DP2
  • Deadpool (1/10/16- 2/10/16): 395,000 mentions of #Deadpool

Walmart offered a bunch of Blu-rays of movies like Logan, Office Space and others with slipcovers featuring Deadpool recreating the posters of the movie.

The jabs at Avengers continued in this video, where Deadpool recounts the first 10 years of his own cinematic universe, a decade that wasn’t quite as jam-packed as that other one.

Additional interviews have come out with the movie’s director and screenwriters, all of whom talk about how they approached the character and story. There was also a feature on Stefan Kapicic, who plays Colossus in this film as well as in the original, about his performance, how you never see his actual face and more.

Justice League

Henry Cavill says what everyone else was thinking last year, that it was a ridiculous conceit to hide Superman in the movie’s marketing since not only was he on the publicity tour but *of course* the character was going to come back. Plus, he was on like 22% of the marketing materials anyway, especially the cross-promotional stuff.

Avengers: Infinity War

More on the partnership with Little Free Library here.

Black Panther

There’s a new – and very cool – video for “Pray For Me” from Kendrick Lamar and The Weeknd featuring footage from the movie as well as some slick animation.

Speed Racer

Speed Racer is the movie everyone champions on Twitter, heralding it as a genius film under-appreciated in its time. The 10th anniversary of release is bringing with it a whole new wave of stories like this along those lines.

Chris Thilk is a freelance writer and content strategist who lives in the Chicago suburbs.

The Seagull – Marketing Recap

seagull posterBased on the Anton Chekov play of the same name, The Seagull is a drama about love, expectations and realizing your potential. Set in the late 1800s, the story follows Irina (Annette Bening), an actress who takes a summer trip to the estate of her brother Sorin (Brian Dennehy), where her son Konstantin (Billy Howie) is also staying. With her she brings an author named Trigorin (Corey Stoll), a decision that has ramifications for everyone.

Nina (Saoirse Ronan), who lives on the estate next to Sorin’s, falls in love with Trigorin. But Konstanin is in love with Nina. Irina has been having an affair with Trigorin herself. Also getting involved with the complicated interminglings is Masha (Elisabeth Moss), who has held an unrequited love for Konstantin herself. So the stage is set for all sorts of heartbreak and problems as the upper crust of society deals lightly with love and other emotions.

The Posters

There’s not much to the one poster for the movie, which places a literal seagull in the middle of the design for reasons that aren’t immediately clear. The best explanation may be that trying to prioritize the cast, which is shown in smaller headshots along the bottom of the poster, was going to be too difficult.

The Trailers

The trailer presents the movie as a relationship drama steeped in class warfare. Nina and Konstantin are obviously madly in love but society’s expectations don’t seem to be aligned with their mutual interest. The presence of Trigorin and the machinations of Irina complicate matters by presenting a suitor more appropriate than the humble young man from the neighboring estate. Everyone is dealing in manners and rules while trying to both suppress and express their true feelings and emotions, which come bubbling to the surface regardless.

The movie itself looks plenty interesting and it’s hard to argue with the cast. The trailer is cut, though, a bit oddly and doesn’t really flow in a coherent narrative, which is a bit of a problem. More of a problem is the criminal underuse of Elizabeth Moss, who looks like a caustic wit that will just throw grenades in the story from time to time and that’s what I *really* want to watch.

Online and Social

The single-page website has some basic information about the film, including a “Synopsis,” cast list and more. There’s nothing to keep you on the site or really engage your interest and, notably, nothing that offers further information about where and when you can actually see the film.

Advertising and Cross-Promotions

No paid efforts I’ve seen or am aware of.

Media and Publicity

A handful of stills along with the first trailer debuted at EW along with comments from director Michael Mayer about the story, working with this group of actors and more. The movie was later announced as one of those scheduled to screen at the Tribeca Film Festival, where the cast talked about working with a Chekhov story and each other. An interview with Mayer in EW’s summer movie preview issue allowed him to talk about casting Benning and why she was his first and last choice for the role. There were other mini-features on Bening, Ronan and others as well along the way.


This looks fine and may well be worthy of the positive buzz that’s built up around it as a result of the festival and other screenings. But there’s a spark missing from the campaign that seems significant. The trailer never really pops with the power of the words and the poster looks like every third Miramax ensemble drama from the mid-90s on. Nothing particularly wrong here, just nothing that really helps the campaign stand out, likely an indication of a belief it’s not going to bring in a lot of converts.


Star Annette Bening and production designer Jane Musky walk through the house that serves as the main setting of the story.