Trailers and marketing have been spoiling movies for a long time.
The first movie I really remember experiencing this with was 2005’s “Hitch,” starring Will Smith.
I watched that movie expecting it to be hilarious, only to realize that every single laugh in the film had been used in the trailers.
The next experience I remember having is with 2015’s “Jurassic World,” starring Chris Pratt.
I was so psyched for that movie that I watched all of the trailers, and my anticipation for the movie grew with each one.
Then, when it came time to watch the movie, I was disappointed. I had seen glimpses of almost every single scene in the film. Since 2015, I’ve watched the movie a couple times and I have enjoyed it more because I had forgotten much of what I’d seen in the trailers and then in the theatre.
After that movie, I made a semi-conscious decision to watch fewer trailers. Now, I will typically just watch one trailer before the movie comes out, no matter the movie.
I remember watching only one trailer for “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” and I still felt like I had seen all of the good scenes from the movie.
I understand that consumers are hard to get a grip on. They need to be shown enough to start building up the anticipation, but not so much that the movie is ruined. But Marvel has released so many films in the past 10 years that you would think they understood this concept. But it seems that they’re handling them worse and worse.
I think the marketing team for “Thor: Ragnorak” revealed one of the biggest angles that the film had, and that was making Hulk a part of the marketing. They could’ve hinted at Hulk being a large part of the film, but the reveal would have been great in the movie, instead of months before the movie came out. I felt like there would have been so much more mystery. If I was watching the movie and Thor just out of nowhere landed on Sakaar (Planet Hulk in the comics), I would have been freaking out.
Instead, Hulk was almost more of a face of the movie than Thor was, even though it is a Thor movie. Contrary to what some critics said, it is definitely a Thor-centric film.
A ton of “Justice League” clips were released before the movie came out. “Man of Steel,” “Batman v. Superman,” and “Suicide Squad” were not well received by critics or consumers, although “Wonder Woman” most definitely was. I think they’re trying to show people that “Justice League” is going to be better than “BvS,” but they’re jumping the gun by constantly releasing different clips from the movie.
I was at a Lubbock comic book store a few days before “Justice League” came out and one of the employees told me that people are loving Ezra Miller’s Flash. My reaction was just to face palm. It really annoyed me that people already had a solid opinion of one of the characters that hasn’t been in any of the previous movies.
After watching the movie I was glad that I hadn’t watched any of the clips because almost every scene surprised me.
Hollywood needs to take a new approach to marketing films. Instead of asking “what can we show the consumers to make them want to see this movie?” They should be asking “what can we not show the consumers to peek their interest in the film?”
Film marketing needs to be less blatant than it is, and maybe make consumers think or speculate a little more.