For decades, the Super Bowl has been a no-brainer for Hollywood studios seeking to shill their latest wanna-be blockbusters. As competition for audiences’ attention increases, studios have increasingly taken to the biggest television moment of the entire year (and its largest per-second fee) to ensure they get their movies in front as many eyes as possible. This year was no different, with eight movie trailers landing during the battle between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles.
After having fans pontificating for months where that first-look teaser for the Han Solo stand-alone Star Wars movie was, it made its debut early in the broadcast and its shadow was long. I mean, this is Star Wars we’re talking about and it was previewing an origins story for one of its most popular characters. That could not be more of the definition of anticipation. So, when it appeared that what we were seeing on our big (TV) screen was in fact the teaser for Solo, this particular writer literally jumped up and down.
Also popping up was a much-improved Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom trailer that showed that (hopefully) that first teaser was a fluke and this upcoming thriller will likely deliver on the promise that was that first film. Tom Cruise entered the Super Bowl trailer sweepstakes with a killer first look at Mission Impossible: Fallout. Jennifer Lawrence teased us some Red Sparrow, Cloverfield Paradox teased and surprised simultaneously (more on that later), Avengers: Infinity War put the tease in teaser, Dwayne Johnson took his action movie career to higher levels in Skyscraper and John Krasinski let hundreds of millions of people know he was making his directorial debut with a movie that he’s also starring in with his wife, Emily Blunt, A Quiet Place.
Now that all is said and done, and Philadelphia fans are going nuts, let’s rank these movie previews in terms of their power, resonance and effectiveness in garnering that most desired outcome of any movie teaser… buzz.
8. A Quiet Place
John Krasinski makes his directorial debut in a film he also stars in and he co-wrote. Sadly, this “big game” spot does do any justice to his film. The theatrical teaser that is currently playing before a legion of films across the country shows that this is one horror movie/thriller that is high on our must-see list.
Unfortunately, all that money they threw at NBC for the Super Bowl spot is kind of wasted.
7. Red Sparrow
Lawrence reunites with her The Hunger Games director, Francis Lawrence, in what looks like a pretty decent Cold War-era thriller.
Again, the longer theatrical teaser for Red Sparrow does much more for the outlook of the movie’s fate than they achieve in a 30-second commercial during the Super Bowl.
6. Solo: A Star Wars Story
All that anticipation and not much of a tease. Then again, the “real” trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story is debuting tomorrow. What we witnessed during the Eagles first football championship was just what it said it was… a teaser.
Although, seeing our first look at Donald Glover as Lando was pretty stellar and meant everything. A Wookie hug of the young Solo wasn’t too shabby either to witness. We’re withholding full judgement on this puppy until the full trailer drops tomorrow from director Ron Howard.
5. Avengers: Infinity War
The 30-second Super Bowl spot for the all-star Avengers: Infinity War was kind of put in a no-win situation.
They don’t want to deliver any more material than was already seen in that stellar Infinity War trailer that dropped recently. If there is any new material, they might want to save it to premiere before their upcoming Black Panther release in a few weeks. Still, seeing all our favorite heroes in one movie is pretty damn awesome. Our favorite line is still when Chris Hemsworth’s Thor looks at the Guardians of the Galaxy and says, “Who the hell are you guys?” Love that.
4. Cloverfield Paradox
A textbook example of why movie trailers work so well arrived when the J.J. Abrams’ produced franchise, Cloverfield, debuted its latest spot during the big game. Not only did it tease the sci-fi mystery/thriller/monster movie’s plot, but the fact that if you found yourself intrigued by said teaser, you only had to wait until the end of the game to see the movie!
Netflix, how smart you are. How many millions turned off the game and turned on Cloverfield? The numbers are still coming in, but we would wager that it is quite a lot!
Is this a preview of things to come in Hollywood? Trailers for movies that you can see that night? We doubt it, but for this Super Sunday… it worked pretty damn well.
Johnson gets back in action with Skyscraper, while his Jumanji spends another weekend in the top spot at the box office. The story of a federal agent who finds himself working security for the largest building in Asia (and the world) looks quite interesting. Then again, we’d watch almost anything The Rock is cooking.
The thing that Skyscraper has going for it, besides breathless action, is an international cast and a story of family that will surely be the cornerstone of all emotional motivation for Johnson’s character. That always works wonders and we suspect that this summer Johnson will be looking at another smash hit to add to his resume.
2. Mission Impossible: Fallout
After blowing us away with the last two Mission Impossible movies, the anticipation for the sixth installment is as high as a… well, Skyscraper.
Cruise is as high-flying as ever and what Paramount teased in their latest actioner from the superstar tells us that this MI could be vastly different than all the others, thanks to a little voice-over narration by our villain, Superman himself, Henry Cavill. This is a government agent whose employer has turned against him what appears to be one too many times. Could this be the time that ole Ethan Hunt and his team truly go rogue and give us something special. Me thinks so!
1. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
After a disastrous first trailer for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, the second time with the world watching proves to be pure movie magic.
This teaser alone should get butts in the seats when the latest in a long line of dino dynamic movies hits theaters. There is so much that is right about this look, it’s hard to know where to begin. Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are back and this time out, they are trying to save the dinosaurs that live on that island from a landscape that is a ticking time bomb. I’m sure it’ll all go smoothly… not!