Movie previews we might (or hope) see during Super Bowl LVI

We are two weeks away from Super Bowl LVI, which will take place in Los Angeles, California on February 13, pitting the Cincinnati Bengals against the Los Angeles Rams. Since you clicked on this post, I’m guessing you’re at least as curious, if not more so, about any movie-specific ads that might air during (or right before) the big game. The 2020 Super Bowl offered a slew of great commercials for great movies that most of the time (except for sonic the hedgehog) ended up being delayed thanks to Covid, and Super Bowl 2021 essentially offered a slew of “replays.” We have Super Bowl trailers for Black Widow and F9 in Super Bowl LV and Super Bowl LIV, with the second F9 commercial acting as a glorified sequel to the previous year’s Super Bowl commercial.

Even with a healthy helping of “first looks” from the Christmas season, this year’s Super Bowl has a chance to offer a comparative return to normality in terms of A) offering ads for movies that will actually stick to their date release and B) offering at least a few buzzy “first look” ads (which may or may not lead to trailers going live). Warner Bros. hasn’t released an in-game Super Bowl ad since batman begins in 2005, so I guess we won’t have places for The Batman Where Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets. And the game will air on NBC, so Comcast (Universal and Focus) might have their thumbs up as a result. Otherwise, it’s speculation, educated guesses, and cross-recommendations of what we might see/should see announced during the big game.

Everything and nothing –

Dog, Operation Fortune: Ruse of War and The unbearable weight of massive talent

Since most of these movies will come from four key studios (Paramount, Sony, Disney, and Universal) and I don’t expect any spots from Warner Bros., I’ve lumped the rest together into a quick preview. MGM has Channing Tatum’s military comedy-drama Dog opening on February 18, which is (of course) the week after the game. It’s a small film for expensive publicity, but it will also mean a captive audience of millions of demographically favorable moviegoers who otherwise might not even be aware of it. STX, which may be picked up by Lionsgate, could plug in their upcoming Jason Statham/Aubrey Plaza action-comedy (courtesy of Guy Ritchie and opening March 18). Lionsgate won’t connect John Wick: Chapter 4 because the Keanu Reeves actor has moved on to next March (indicate Malcom X’s slam table gif). By default, their remaining biggie is the meta-comic Nicolas Cage romp which opens April 22.

primordial –

Top Gun: Maverick, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and The lost city

Paramount dropped that buzzy extended commercial during last weekend’s playoff games. Still, especially since the two-minute ad has almost no explicit footage from the movie itself, I can’t imagine they would pass up the opportunity to claim that, yes, the Tom Cruise sequel (which was filmed in 2018) will totally/unquestionably/pinkie-swear-it open on May 27. The first sonic the hedgehog was one of the few films announced for the 2020 Super Bowl to hit theaters on schedule, and since the film made a best-case scenario of $146 million domestic (from a $70 million debut on Friday -Monday), I guess Viacom will continue accordingly. The lost city is going to be a test of whether this kind of film has a theatrical future. The Sandra Bullock/Channing Tatum action comedy is pitched directly to the general public watching the Super Bowl for the football game (or halftime show) as opposed to movie commercials.


Uncharted, Morbius and (maybe/hopefully) High-speed train

The Tom Holland/Mark Wahlberg video game adaptation opens a week after the game, so I’d expect to see a new commercial or hybrid spot combining footage of football players running and jumping with clips of Nathan Drake doing the same. Jared Leto-Led Marvel Film Was Set To Open Last Weekend Before Sony Bet On Spider-Man: No Coming Home’its popularity continues and moved it to April 1st. Guess they’ll use the extra time to tease the movie on TV’s most-watched event of the year, though they could save their money and drop a third trailer with The Batman. The Brad Pitt and Joey King actor about an eclectic group of assassins all doing their thing on the same railroad doesn’t open until July 15, so that’s a long shot, but Sony won’t have a better chance of hooking up this “great adult movie” attraction than on Super Bowl Sunday.


Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, turns red and (maybe/hopefully) Avatar 2

I would expect to see an “exclusively available on Disney+” ad for turn red. Disney usually opts for a second look at the MCU’s big summer season kickoff movie, so I’d expect the same for the strange doctor sequel (perhaps a clip culminating in a buzzy cameo?). We may see another place to Light year, though they’re in no rush as the Chris Evans-voiced space adventure doesn’t drop until June 17th and at this point any “theater only” designation seems premature. Besides Disney+ previews, will Disney use Super Bowl Sunday to offer the first look at James Cameron? Avatar 2? Offering a taste of James Cameron’s next mega-sequel would go absolutely viral, but it’s just as likely that Cameron will turn the first preview into a theatrical event or “IMAX-only” offering for any movie deemed worthy.

Universal –

Ambulance, Villains, Downton Abbey: A New Era, Jurassic World: Dominion, The Black Phone, Minions: The Rise of Gru and (maybe/hopefully) no

I don’t “expect” Universal to run a Jordan Peele ad no because the film does not open until the end of July and We turned a mere three-month marketing campaign into a $71 million nationwide launch in early 2019. Still, delivering a taste of what will likely be the year’s biggest “based on nothing” release will help Universal to “win” the night in movie terms It’s not like they have to do anything but come up with a black screen with the words “Jordan Peele’s no” to excite everyone. Heck, they couldn’t offer anything but the first look at no and the first real look at Jurassic World: Dominion and always “win the night” by default. Speaking of which, as the post-Covid world has resulted in truncation of long-term marketing campaigns, Universal will eventually have to drop more than an IMAX-specific teaser for what is still expected to be this summer’s biggest global earner. .

Whether we get a full trailer or just an ad (with Comcast holding the full trailer for The Batman March 4), Super Bowl Sunday is the perfect place to kick off the mainstream promotional campaign. Expect a tease offering the post-fallen kingdom “Dinosaurs Live Among Us” status quo and a look at stars new (Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard) and old (Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum). Bonus points for a photo of BD Wong cackling in the dark. Otherwise, Michael Bay Ambulance will also perform in front of the “watching the Super Bowl to watch the Super Bowl” crowd, just as does Downton Abbey: A New Era (which may announce its new release date on May 20). I would expect a place for DreamWorks The villains (April 15) and either a new advertisement for Minions: The Rise of Gru or a bunch of Minions-specific cross-promotional brands.

If we don’t get that no teaser, maybe it’s because Scott Derrickson’s buzzing (and allegedly pretty good) original Blumhouse The black phone opens a month earlier. A Super Bowl ad is expensive for a movie that costs less than $20 million, but Universal moved it to midsummer precisely because they think they have a dormant smash under the radar. Do I think Comcast will drop seven ads during the Super Bowl? Not necessarily, but it highlights the deluge of viable theatrical products they’re delivering in the first half of 2022, and they can choose however they wish. I’m definitely waiting for one Jurassic World 3 commercial, as well as some plug-ins for small studio programmers, as well as some “Ha ha, we have Yellowstone and Paramount+ doesn’t!” Peacock Ads.

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