Aside from trailers, the number-one way to promote movies is with posters. And sometimes, you get an iconic thing like the original Star Wars poster where Luke was too interested in his exploding lightsaber to notice that Princess Leia was about to slip off of their fucking rock. And sometimes, you get Now You See Me 2, which literally had no other marketing tactic than “The cast is looking at you.”
The art of the “obviously choreographed promotional image” has been lost entirely. And that is a terrible shame, because these were fantastic ways to misrepresent your movie entirely. Batman tells the story of two guys, one representing grim darkness and the other representing cruel, chaotic humor, dueling to the death. And their promotional images told the story of two roommates that comically couldn’t stand each other.
That doesn’t say “That clown man killed my parents, and two hours from now, he will be a mess of skin and guts on the streets of Gotham.” That says “The chief says that we have to get along if we’re ever gonna solve the case.” But hey, Batman is a superhero movie. Those are goofy by nature, and considering that Michael Keaton couldn’t turn his own head in the costume, any time he’s forced to pose is going to be a valiant struggle against his neck and his dignity. What about horror movies?