February’s most-anticipated film release would be 50 Shades of Grey even if February weren’t a traditional dump-month without much to look forward to–that’s what you get when you make an adaptation of a weird publishing phenomenon. But the film is receiving some aggressive counter-programming from a source that won’t just submit to the publishing phenomenon’s expected domination of the box office: namely, the animated/live-action Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water.
That might be an exaggeration, though the so-called “mommy porn” of 50 Shades means that the, er, mommies who will be taking their kids to see Spongebob presumably have some audience overlap–but Spongebob is embracing its box office rival with its new poster, which is weird and a little gross in a way that perfectly suits the Spongebob brand. The film–out this Friday–teased a new poster over the weekend that’s a creepy re-creation of the image used to bring 50 Shades of Grey a little closer to the fantasies of its intended audience. Spongebob Squarepants, lit dramatically from behind, and staring out a window toward a beach boardwalk he clearly intends to take full control of, poses his arms in a clear alpha-male position to signify his virility. “Mr. Squarepants Will See You Now,” the poster reads. Eww.