"Iron Man 3," "The Lone Ranger," "Oz the Great and Powerful"
Both sports fans and movie buffs eagerly anticipate this coming Super Bowl weekend for very different reasons. Football aficionados get to see the biggest game of the season, while cinephiles get a first look at some of the biggest movie releases of the year. If you happen to like both, Super Bowl Sunday is going to be a pretty great day!
Last year’s Super Bowl XLVI featured TV spots for blockbusters like “The Hunger Games” and “The Avengers,” among others, so what can we expect to see during this weekend’s big game?
Disney has confirmed it will be airing spots for “Iron Man 3,” “The Lone Ranger,” and “Oz The Great and Powerful” (which the studio is already teasing with a ridiculous Super Bowl TV spot teaser. Yo dawg!), while Warner Bros. will show off a first look at “The Fast and the Furious 6” and Paramount will advertise the Brad Pitt zombie epic “World War Z.” All the TV spots will air either during the pre-game coverage or during the game itself.
Strangely there's no sign of other big tent-pole releases like "The Wolverine," "Pacific Rim," and "Man of Steel." No reason has been given by the respective studios for the absence of Super Bowl TV spots.
The annual National Football League championship is expected to attract over 100 million television viewers this year, which makes those advertising slots during the game a very hot quantity for companies looking for a lot of exposure. All those eyes don’t come cheap, however; a 30-second advertising slot during Super Bowl XLVI cost an average of $3.5 million to purchase – and that’s on top of whatever the company spent simply to produce the ad. That price could easily increase, but according to TV ratings company Nielsen, the high cost is worth it: A 2010 Nielsen study found that 51 per cent of Super Bowl viewers are watching the game to see the commercials.
What’s a few million dollars to a big movie studio, anyway? In recent years, Hollywood has transformed the Super Bowl into a launch pad for the upcoming summer blockbuster season. Running a multimillion dollar TV spot during the big game is no guarantee of success, though – as Universal, Disney, and actor Taylor Kitsch found out the hard way last year. Spots for “John Carter” and “Battleship” (both starring Kitsch) -- two of 2012’s biggest flops – aired for millions of viewers during Super Bowl XLVI, but not even that high-profile exposure could save the films from tanking at the box office a several months later.
See also: Why 'The Lone Ranger' wears a mask
Advertising movies during the Super Bowl didn’t really take off until the 1990s, but Super Bowl commercials have always had a certain cinematic flair. That's likely the reason Hollywood took notice. Take the unforgettable Ridley Scott-directed “1984” ad for Apple’s brand new Macintosh computer or the 1993 Nike commercial featuring Michael Jordan and WB's Looney Tunes characters (the inspiration for the movie "Space Jam"), for instance. However, it would still be a few more years before Hollywood realized the full marketing potential of a Super Bowl sized audience. It wasn't until the late '90s that proper TV promos for movies like "Armageddon," "Lost in Space," and "The Mask of Zorro" became the norm for the Super Bowl, and Hollywood hasn't looked back since.
What movie trailers are you most looking forward to seeing during this weekend's Super Bowl XLVII?