Each year the Superbowl captures audiences around the world, drawing massive viewing figures. And for many years now, this has been orchestrated as the perfect marketing opportunity for some of the biggest films coming out in the forthcoming year. This year’s was no different, so here’s a quick round-up of some of the biggest trailers featured at this year’s Superbowl.
So first up, The Lorax, another animated Dr. Seuss adaptation starring Danny DeVito as the titular bad-tempered creature. Nothing really new for those who had seen the full trailer already, but there is still a dash of excitement to be gleaned from this. Horton Hears a Who, starring Jim Carrey, was the last big Dr. Seuss adaptation and it fared rather well both financially and critically. This will certainly succeed in the former category, though it remains to be seen if it can charm audiences in the same way.
Next up, Peter Berg’s adaptation of the board game Battleship, which in the list of franchises least likely to have hundreds of millions of dollars inexplicably shovelled into them, must have ranked pretty high before this. You know you’re in trouble when the trailer boasts it’s ‘from Hasbro, the company that brought you Transformers’, as if that was in some way a good thing. Notice that it’s the brand which drives the marketing, not the filmmakers or the cast, which could in the end tell us quite a lot about it. They’re sensibly targeting a very broad demographic by lining up a cast which includes Rihanna, in her first screen role, Taylor Kitsch (also starring in John Carter, see below) and Liam Neeson, whose stock as an action star has risen immeasurably in recent years. It looks like absolute nonsense through and through, but hopefully it’ll be enjoyable nonsense, rather than the eye-gouging endurance test which the Transformers franchise became.
And so we come to John Carter, another film which, on the surface at least, looks to be a monetary risk. Based on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ character, a character who made his first appearance in 1912, it stars Taylor Kitsch as the titular traveller, who finds himself in the midst of a struggle on Mars. The fact that Andrew Stanton (of Pixar fame) is directing – his first live-action piece – is a plus, although trailers and promo materials have not been particularly strong. The first trailer made very little sense at all, and although that was expanded upon in the second full preview, it will take a lot for this to be seen as anything special. It looks vaguely Avatar-inflected – unavoidable perhaps given how big that film was – but we’re not holding out for too much here.
Finally, we have The Avengers; the film it’s taken five other films to get to. The trailer actually is rather a lot of fun, even if it gives little away in terms of plot. Bar Loki’s snarling, the enemies of the piece, perhaps wisely, are kept mainly hidden from the screen. Looks like Skrulls, though, eh? The ensemble are fairly well cast in their roles, and the key will come from the dynamics between them. The bit with them all standing together in the street is cheesy but does raise a tiny fanboy smirk, while the appearance of the Hulk, although brief, is confidence building. What’s with that scene when he appears out of nowhere though? This still doesn’t give us a huge amount to go on, but it looks suitably action-packed and visually sleek.