One of cinema’s most legendary leading men, John Wayne, was born with the name Marion Morrison. Heavyweight boxing icon Muhammad Ali was born Cassius Clay. Many Hollywood celebrities work under names that don’t appear on their birth certificates. Obviously inspired by all of these name changes, Warner Bros. has fully rebranded this summer’s Edge of Tomorrow with its catchy tagline Live. Die. Repeat. without looking back or even making a big deal out of it. Until they looked back and changed it again.
The Blu-ray/DVD pre-orders were our first clue that a name change was happening, and then IMDb made the switch yesterday, saying Edge of Tomorrow is the “original title,” while Live. Die. Repeat. is the current one. And then today? It goes right back to Edge of Tomorrow.
Warner Bros., the same studio who gave it the terrible Edge of Tomorrow name in the first place, was obviously inspired by the film’s plot, thinking that its relative death in the U.S. meant that it could wake up anew and head down a different and potentially more successful path. And hey, maybe it’ll work, right? Based on Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s sci-fi light novel All You Need is Kill, this flick had a lot going for it right out of the gate: a memorable if not entirely sensible title, big stars in Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt, and director Doug Liman, who pulled off the best movie of the summer using exoskeletons, aliens, dark humor, and clever editing.
And then along came the name Edge of Tomorrow, drawing instant ire for sounding more generic than grocery store brands. And somehow, all of the upward momentum the film had built petered out, and it became just another Tom Cruise action movie. Oblivion‘s disappointing domestic take the year before was still fresh on some people’s minds, and the $178 million Edge of Tomorrow ended up falling short of $100 million here in the States. (Though it has done amazingly well overseas.)
For what it’s worth, iTunes calls the movie Live. Die. Repeat.: Edge of Tomorrow for its pre-orders, making things even more garbled.
But the pre-orders at Amazon still list the title as Edge of Tomorrow, though with that moniker gets shoved way down to the bottom of the front cover.
You know what’s the best way to fuck over people who actually want to give this movie a successful run on home video? Make it impossible for them to actually find what they’re looking for. How does it feel when I change YOUR name, Barner Wros.? HOW DOES IT FEEL?