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Asked and Answered: Why Movie Poster Names Never Line Up

It’s one of the biggest bugaboos for OCD film lovers: why do the names on movie posters never correspond to the actors below?

The answer is fascinating in its history and reasoning. There’s money, ego, and tradition at play, which is always captivating when it comes to Hollywood drama.

For example, did you know that studios, actors, and agents take the concept of “top billing” very, very seriously (and quite literally)? Indeed, there are behind-the-scenes fights over whose name is atop posters and other marketing materials.

When there is more than one A-list actor in a film, things can get really awkward. Like putting one star’s name at the first position on the left of a poster, and putting the other actor next to it, only raised slightly above the rest. Weird.

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For all the nitty gritty details on this fascinating phenomenon, check out the featured video by Austin McConnell.