Search this site:


November 20, 2006 12:03 AM

Broken: Akeelah and the Bee DVD box credits

AkeelahbeeMark Crummett points out:

Here, in the Akeelah and the Bee DVD box, the person under "Laurence Fishburne" is clearly not him, nor does Angela Bassett wear glasses and have a beard.

I know why the names are placed like this on the DVD box, of course - the main character's picture usually goes first, and the way the names are arranged is decided by their "star power." The most famous actor gets named first.

Still, it makes for some double-takes at the video store!

[P.S. I see this all the time on movie posters - names unaligned with headshots... does anyone know why this is, apparently, a standard practice in Hollywood? Please post a comment and enlighten us all. -mh]


It is done that way because of popularity. More people know Laurence Fishburne then Angela Bassett then people go "who the hell is Keke Palmer?"

People are lazy and if they see Angela Bassett and they don't know who it is so they go onto the next one.

I learned this because i work at a video store and was commenting to my Regional Manager about this. He may very well be talking out of his ass like he does a lot but it sounds like a good reason.

Posted by: globpharm at November 20, 2006 12:56 AM

Just wanted to correct my previous post:

People are lazy and if they see Angela Bassett and they don't know who she is. They go onto the next movie.

Also the Movie stars have deals that there name goes first.

Posted by: globpharm at November 20, 2006 12:59 AM

Posterwire talks about that here:

Posted by: Bast at November 20, 2006 02:21 AM

Seems prety obvious: English is read from left to right, and the main stars get center treatment, also notice that his head is placed higher than the other two.

Posted by: klew at November 20, 2006 02:37 AM

Well, despite some sense of logic in our English language, I still think this is broken. Unlike how we read sentences, these names are fragments. Our eyes go to the faces first. Depending on the design, we then associate the words with the nearest face.

If actors were truly worried about their star status, then they would write in their contracts that they would rather have their name associated with their likeness, rather than just always first. That way people begin to see their faces and think of their names.

Being an art director for one of these movie posters must be extremely frustrating.

Posted by: Ben Thoma at November 20, 2006 09:07 AM

It's definitely broken. The current layout of the DVD box assumes prior knowledge. Without prior familiarity with the stars, you would probably be lead to an erroneous conclusion.

I am not familiar with either of the actresses by name. Even if I am smart enough to realize the guy in the middle wouldn't be called by a female name, I would naturally and likely assume that the left male name and the middle female name ought to be switched. However, that is wrong as well. The left female's name goes with the right female pictured and the right female name with the left female. So, without prior knowledge I might spend my entire life thinking that Angela Bassett is only 12 years old. Please, I don't need any more help looking stupid in a social setting.

Posted by: David at November 20, 2006 12:38 PM

Comments on this entry are closed

Previous Posts: