From Moulin Rouge to Hairspray – Posters from Recent Musicals

Moulin Rouge was released in 2001 and it managed to do two impressive things: it made a decent amount of money and it was nominated for a best picture Oscar. Those two things were made a lot more amazing because the movie happened to be a musical, a genre many people thought was as good as dead. Ever since then we have had a couple of high profile musicals coming out every year, the latest being Hairspray, which opened this weekend.

In celebration of that opening, here is a look at some of the posters for recent musicals, ordered chronologically.

Moulin Rouge! (2001)

Moulin Rouge Poster

The one that restarted it all. The poster uses a bold red and has the characters caught in the middle of a very passionate kiss. The imagery is striking, much like the movie.

Chicago (2002)

Chicago Poster

The movie that cemented the musical comeback.
Much like the film itself, the Chicago poster embraces the film’s stage origins. This is most clear in the outfits and in all the neon, but can also be seen in characters’ theatrical posing.

These elements all also reflect quite clearly that this is a period film, which is reinforced by the selective use of black and white. Interestingly many of the recent musicals were period films, and that is generally clearly reflected in the posters.

Eight Crazy Nights (2002)

Eight Crazy Nights Poster

Probably the odd duck of this set. Which is not surprising since this is a cartoon musical about Chanukah starring Adam Sandler.


De-Lovely Poster

Once again we have the two lovers at the center, and once again the outfits clearly signal that this musical biopic of Cole Porter is a period film. Around the lovers we have several of the performers caught mid-song, which gives us an idea of the musical numbers that we are going to see throughout the film.

The Phantom of The Opera (2004)

Phantom of the Opera Poster

This poster is mostly remarkable for it’s heavy use of shadow. Beyond that we have The Phantom, with his very recognizable mask, and his beloved. Enough to remind people what this is about.

The Producers (2005)

The Producers Poster

Once again a poster that doesn’t go far from the movie’s Broadway origins. We have the characters all together in what is a very stage looking room. And we see a return of the multiple light bulbs as letters, which is another reminder both that this was once a stage show and that the movie is about the creation of a show. As a matter of fact most of these musicals are about people involved in the creation of shows and music.

Rent (2005)

Rent Poster

Remarkable for going for a more contemporary and edgy look. Although the contemporary look would be a lot more, well, contemporary, if we were still in the 90’s.

Corpses Bride (2005)

Corpse Bride Poster

Tim Burton’s musical goes for a much more macabre look, which results not only in a very unique visual but also in a poster that is quite beautiful. Once again we have two lovers at the center of the poster tough. But one of them is dead, which is certainly different.

Dreamgirls (2006)

Dreamgirls Poster

The Dreamgirls poster is dazzling, shiny and full of lights, once again showing clearly the the movie involves shows performed on a stage. And once again we see a heavy use of red. But this poster stands out because of the choice of showing the main characters backs, hiding their faces. A very different , and interesting, approach.

Hairspray (2007)

Hairspray Poster

The latest entry in the genre. This poster, like many of the other ones we have seen, is very shiny and clearly indicates that this is a period movie. However this poster is a lot more light and joyful, indicating perhaps a more upbeat movie.

And yes, this film also involves an actual show, in this case a TV show, in which people dance and sing. I guess it’s easier to justify people breaking out in song when you have that element in the movie.

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