At its core, the LGBTQ+ community is a family like no other. A chosen family, if you will. Sometimes what symbols and icons the queer community enshrines seems almost to be done at random. Much like the protagonist of the latest horror film release, M3GAN.
Debuting at Number 2 at the box office in the US, grossing worldwide at $45.7 million, this movie tells the story of the camp and chaotic killer robot M3GAN. During the film, M3GAN joins Gemma and Cady’s family to keep Cady company, and undoubtedly, murderous chaos ensues.
According to the reviews, M3GAN herself is “a marvel of artificial intelligence, a lifelike doll that’s programmed to be a child’s greatest companion and a parent’s greatest ally.” A quick look at Twitter after the film’s release on January 6 confirmed her ally and icon status within the queer community.
the gays every time M3GAN commits an act of heinous violence: pic.twitter.com/6aaJNaonAe
— J2O23L (@JoelOnMain) January 6, 2023
As the LGBTQ+ community adopts another innocuous icon into its hall of fame, there’s still a pending question at large. Why? In short, according to one Instagram user, the reason is that there is “so much slay capacity in M3GAN”. More specifically, the movie’s marketing strategy was a big help.
A marketing and queer economy analysis from Queerency on TikTok explains how M3GAN ate up the box office and left no crumbs. In the trailer, we see the marvellous M3GAN ferally grooving to a rendition of Taylor Swift’s ‘It’s Nice to Have a Friend’. Using one queer icon to put forward another; cunning, but genius.
Me after seeing #M3GAN pic.twitter.com/cRpC9LMRaV
— 🎄The Cheerful Juan🎄 (@LeadingMojicans) January 6, 2023
What the ostentatious nature of the trailer showed about the film’s marketing was that it was self-aware. The movie is literally about a killer robot doll, so they couldn’t take themselves too seriously.
Another point to highlight from Queerency’s analysis is that camp makes a cult classic, and cult classics make money. What their analysis pointed out about cinema demographics is that queer people typically show up for the comedy-horror genre. Think Jennifer’s Body, think The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Don’t forget gays new drag race season and M3GAN this Friday! pic.twitter.com/YiuWtkf2T9
— 💫 (@heyjaeee) January 3, 2023
So, marketing executives embraced the campiness. M3GAN stared camp right in the eye, and right through to the soul of the queer community. Another reason why the trailer was so showy was to engender the endless memes that you see before you in this article.
Younger generations were the target to make this film blow up, with reports saying 60% of moviegoers were either Gen-Z or Millennial. Let’s focus on the memefication of the trailer as a marketing tool. Think about it this way, Gen-Z folks don’t just chuckle and say something like “Ah that was delightful, let’s rewind the video and watch it again!” They take to TikTok to post the trailer, overlayed with music from Charli XCX, captioning it “MOTHER”. Likes and views are collected, and a star (the killer robot doll) is born.
The moment I saw that scene of M3GAN singing Titanium, I knew we were in for a hit pic.twitter.com/0wtq1CWkaR
— Jupiter’s Claim Adult (@munmik07) January 9, 2023
The straw that broke the queer-adjacent camel’s back was the singing scene. In an effort to soothe the newly orphaned Cady (spoiler alert), M3GAN bursts into a rendition of Sia and David Guetta’s ‘Titanium’. Once again, she ate, and no crumbs could be found.
m3gan singing titanium to katie pic.twitter.com/Ql7D3IO0aO
— chey (@dykespice) January 8, 2023
Indeed, M3GAN has lived up to her full slay capacity, and the unending array of memes from the queer community confirms that fact.
Gay people discussing M3GAN pic.twitter.com/YotKCVTdNu
— Ben Yahr (@benyahr) January 8, 2023
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