VIII Trailers During Super Bowl XLIV

Last year, my second post for our blog was on the movie trailers that came out during the Super Bowl. I thought nothing of it at the time, it was just a fun and interesting exercise. In honor of my second post, I’m here again on Super Bowl Sunday doing another Super spots post.

Looking back on it now, many of the thoughts I had then, I still have now. Is it an effective use of studio’s money to run trailers during the Super Bowl? The more I think about this, the more I have to say, I don’t think so (but then again I’m not spending the money). An added difference is that for this year’s crop of trailers, many of them have already hit the web. To me this seems counter productive as why spend that much money if you’re going to post them before the game?

In any case it’s fun to take a look back at last year’s post to see how things turned out. The trailers that had me most excited were the ones for GI Joe, Star Trek, and Transformers 2 which I gave a four or five rating to. Well, at least one of those movies turned out good (Star Trek). The rest of the films that debuted a trailer at last year’s Super Bowl turned out to be a mixed bag. Many of them did good at the box office, but were critically bad and generally bad. While the rest bombed. Only time will tell how this year’s trailers will be and how well those films will do.

The Bounty Hunter – Pregame
Excitement Level – 1/5
The trailer showed off a lot of the comedic side to this movie. However it showed a lot of stuff I’ve already seen, so not really too much excitement generated here. To be honest, while there seem to be some very funny sequences I have a feeling this movie is not going to be that great.
The Last Airbender – Pregame
Excitement Level – 4/5
There was tons of new footage showing off the special effects in the movie. That alone got me excited. Didn’t get much sense of the story in thirty seconds, but sand stopping fire, ice and water flying about . . . this movie is going to be a feast for the eyes.
Robin Hood – 1st Quarter
Excitement Level – 3/5
Some great action scenes showing off the movie. I also like how they tried to give you some sense of the story from the trailer’s format where they mixed images with text outlining what you’re going to experience. Nothing overly awe-inspiring, but pretty good thirty seconds.
Wolfman – 1st Quarter
Excitement Level – 2/5
I’ve gotta say, I was a little mystified that Universal ran a Wolfman trailer during the Super Bowl. Wolfman trailers and spots have abounded in recent weeks since the movie comes out on Friday. Although I’ve seen lots of spots, I think there might actually have been some new footage in this spot. Nothing earth shattering though.
Shutter Island – 2nd Quarter
Excitement Level – 2/5
I guess it doesn’t matter if you movie comes out in a week or two as a second February movie debuted a trailer. This one I have to say was a good take as it played up the fact that Martin Scorsese was the director and cited his previous films as proof that this one was going to be great. Martin Scorsese + scary pic = good new movie.
Alice in Wonderland – 2nd Quarter
Excitement Level – 1/5
This trailer sort of reminded me of the Harry Potter trailers in the beginning with the wording of “You have a very important date.” After that though, it showed off Tim Burton’s distinctive dark take on Alice in Wonderland and finished it up with the pig bit. Again, not that much new stuff to see
The Back-Up Plan – Halftime
Excitement Level – 3/5
When I first saw this spot, I honestly thought it was a promo for a CBS show. Then I saw J Lo and did a double take. Great way to draw everyone in with J Lo showing her “backup” guy someone giving birth. Great attention getter with it ending with a comedic line.
Prince of Persia – 3rd Qtr
Excitement Level – 2/5
If there’s been one common theme with all of the spots I’ve seen for this film it’s been this . . . showing of the epic-ness and visual effects of the movie. This Super Bowl spot being no exception. While I liked that they tried to give some plot background with the voice over, the cacophony of scenes they showed give no real hint of what’s going on with all the action.

As a whole I thought that studios played it safe this year, with some even opting not to run trailers. Noticeably absent were trailers from high profile films such as Iron Man 2, Toy Story 3, and more. I think the thinking was that studios only wanted to spend money on bankable pictures and ones that people already know about. On an interesting note, the films they did spend money on five of the eight are coming out before the summer. Who says summer movies get all the love?


Related Reading:

LATimes Movies – Does fewer Super Bowl movie spots mean better Super Bowl movie spots?

Heat Vision from THR.com – How Hollywood Fumbled Its Super Bowl Ads

LATimes Movies – Will Hollywood Rethink Big Game Spending?

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