Living in the big city isn't without its downsides, from the nightmarish traffic of L.A. freeways to the stereotype of ruthlessly rude New Yorkers. This holiday season, metropolitan residents have been getting a taste of the mean green one himself. Billboards have been popping up all over promoting The Grinch with some clever jabs at onlookers such as "Oh, you're trying to make it in Hollywood? Let me know how that goes" and "Stop moving to Los Angeles, it's full." What does the animated film's star, Benedict Cumberbatch, think of the marketing campaign? Here's what he said:
I love them. It's so cruel. It's great to understand his nature. It's great that he doesn't just exist in a mean vacuum. It's great that he has this wonderful journey and is transformed. He has this lovely ride in the picture, but you've got to enjoy his meanness.
While no one likes a sourpuss, the entertaining bad attitude of the Grinch has made the character a beloved one since Dr. Seuss introduced him in the late '50s. The billboards bring him into 21st century daily city life, bringing unsuspected laughter to people making their way through city streets.
Grinch pokes fun at the crowd of aspiring actors in Hollywood with "Hope you don't miss that audition" and the dire amount of cars with "Good luck finding parking." It's an impressive way to get people talking about the movie and buzzing about it on social media, such as these. Benedict Cumberbatch continued his praised for the billboards to Entertainment Weekly with the following:
The billboards are a very adult way into enjoying what The Grinch is about. I get a real vicarious thrill out of knowing my green alter ego [is] looming over everyone in traffic being rude. That really makes me very happy.
While the animated iteration of The Grinch might have adults sizing up the film as a children's movie, these billboards take the comedy of the fuzzy green villain to an adult audience and appeal to them nicely. Like any marketing strategy, it was created in hopes to bring in more audiences to see The Grinch, now with more word of mouth due to these hilarious posters all over.
The Grinch already has a lot going for it that will also likely contribute to its success. The incredible voice of Benedict Cumberbatch is behind the character this time around, for one. The character is also part of a long holiday tradition that also propelled Jim Carrey's How the Grinch Stole Christmas into a holiday movie classic in 2000. Early tracking puts the film at a strong $50 to $60 million weekend opening, ahead of its weekend competition The Girl in the Spider's Web and Overlord.
The Grinch comes to theaters on November 9, among a line-up of other holiday releases hitting theaters in 2018's final months.