There was a Super Bowl this weekend. Over at the CraveOnline Sports Channel they can tell you who won and why it matters. But here at CraveOnline Film Channel, we only watch the Super Bowl for the movie trailers that play between the plays. And now that the internet is officially a thing, we don’t even have to watch the game to see those. Hurray for science!
This year’s crop of Super Bowl movie trailers was a pretty weak bunch, however. Although a handful of trailers for upcoming blockbusters showed off exciting new footage, and a couple released unique content related specifically to this weekend’s game, most of them were pretty lackluster compared to recent years. Does that mean these movies just don’t have much to show off, or that the trailers simply underwhelmed?
Time will tell, but for now, let’s take a look at which films took the best advantage of their Super Bowl placement, and which bombed worse than [insert reference to Super Bowl XLIX here]. Let’s rank the Super Bowl XLIX movie trailers!
The new comedy starring Vince Vaughn, Dave Franco and Tom Wilkinson (really? oh, Tom…) released a teaser with no laughs whatsoever. We hope that’s false advertising, but since the Unfinished Business TV spot was just a shortened version of the online red band trailer – which wasn’t funny either – we don’t hold out much hope. Points are also taken away for using Lonely Island’s “Like a Boss” as the theme song. It’s not a good sign when the pre-existing music you use to advertise your movie is funnier than the actual footage from the film.
We’re not going to take any serious swipes at the trailer for Seventh Son. This TV spot makes the film look like a perfectly decent, albeit somewhat generic, fantasy epic. But Seventh Son is coming out in less than a week, and that makes it pretty hard to get excited, especially when there doesn’t seem to be any new footage to speak of.
Spongebob Squarepants: Sponge Out of Water
Another film that’s coming out in less than a week, Spongebob Squarepants: Sponge Out of Water gets the slight edge over Seventh Son just for looking batshit crazy. We imagine that folks watching the Super Bowl for the actual game might have got a glimpse of this new Spongebob movie and thought for about 30 seconds that someone spiked their drink with LSD. That’s worth at least a few extra points.
Fast & Furious – Supercharged
Technically not a movie trailer, but pretty darned close, the teaser for the new Universal Studios attraction Fast & Furious – Supercharged makes it appear as though we are supposed to be excited about kinda-sorta but not really riding in a car. Whee? It might be fun but watching two people sit down in front of a green screen showing leftover footage from movies we’ve already seen a dozen times doesn’t really wow us.
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Anticipation is high for Avengers: Age of Ultron, and like most people, us folks at CraveOnline are getting pretty excited too. Sadly, this new TV spot – which actually premiered online days ago, and isn’t even being touted as a special Super Bowl spot – doesn’t show off more than a few frames of new footage. We can’t say we’re any less interested, but it would be a lie to say that we’re more excited than ever after watching this.
Kingsman: The Secret Service
Kingsman: The Secret Service is coming out in just two weeks, and normally that would knock it much lower down the list, but we admire this particular TV spot for focusing on a specific detail of the super spy world that we’ve never seen before, from this movie or any other. Spies in training with little puppies. Points awarded for the novelty factor alone.
Pitch Perfect 2
We’re not ashamed to admit that we’re looking forward to Pitch Perfect 2. The first movie was plenty of fun and the follow-up looks like more of the same, and probably in a good way. There’s a Green Bay Packers joke in here but we can’t tell if it’s actually in the movie or made up just for the Super Bowl ad, and we also can’t tell if those are actually the Green Bay Packers or not, because we watch movies and not sports. So we’re going to err on the side of caution and assume it was really clever and let it crack the top ten. (Don’t leave a comment about whether or not those are actually the Green Bay Packers. We don’t care.)
The first of two Super Bowl XLIX movie trailers that don’t feature footage from the movie itself (see also #5, although we’re less sure about that one), stars everyone’s favorite Twinkie-shaped sidekicks, the Minions. They were the best thing in Despicable Me 2 and at least one of the best things about the first Despicable Me as well, and their antics are no less amusing here, watching a football game and getting naked for some reason. It’s not hilarious but it’s charming enough to earn some good will and keep us interested in their upcoming spin-off movie.
Hot Tub Time Machine 2
One deep belly laugh was enough to knock this trailer for Hot Tub Time Machine 2 way up on our list. We think it has something to do with “Deflate-gate,” whatever that is. (Again, don’t bother telling us, just go to the Sports Channel.) Hot Tub Time Machine 2 comes out before the end of the month, but we were already really psyched after some truly hilarious theatrical trailers, so the reassurance that there are still hugely funny jokes that we haven’t seen yet is more than welcome.
The first theatrical trailer for Terminator: Genisys earned back a lot of the good will this reboot lost after announcing its ridiculous title and borderline silly concept. But we have to be honest, we expected a little more from the Super Bowl TV spot. It’s been nearly 25 years since there has been any sort of Terminator property that audiences universally loved, and the studio really could have taken better advantage of the opportunity to impress us with how cool the movie looks. Instead, we mostly get footage from the theatrical trailer, but that footage is still cool, damn it, so we’re giving it a bit of a pass.
Fifty Shades of Grey
Can you believe the balls on this TV spot? It’s mostly just bragging about how popular the book is, and how many people have seen the trailer. But what’s unbelievable is that this approach actually works, making a pretty strong argument that the adaptation of the popular BDSM romance could very well be the “must see” movie of the first part of the year. Since convincing audiences that your movie is a “must see” is the end all, be all of every marketing department, we have to admit that this was a job very well done.
The sequel to the unexpected comedy blockbuster Ted arrives with a Super Bowl spot that seems to be made exclusively for the game. If not, it’s one hell of a coincidence, or maybe writer/director/star Seth MacFarlane just knows sports better than we do. Mark Wahlberg and the foul-mouthed talking teddy bear sneak into Tom Brady’s house at night to steal his sperm, and as you can imagine, Tom Brady wants none of it. Funny situation, funny dialogue, and somehow totally reverent about football while simultaneously taking the piss out of the Super Bowl. Bravo.
Disney premiered an incredibly short TV spot for Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland during the Super Bowl, but it was enough. The new footage of the sci-fi world of wonder somehow manages to stir the imagination in just a few short seconds, teasing old school adventure without giving anything away. This is how you do a short TV spot right.
The Divergent Series: Insurgent
Of all the Super Bowl XLIX movie trailers, this was the one we wound up digging WAY more than we thought we would. This is absolute insanity. Shailene Woodley wakes up, sees the bad guy from the first movie, Bionic Womans her way through a wall of glass, explodes Kate Winslet into another dimension and plummets out of a skyscraper until she breaks the whole world apart into LEGO. We have absolutely no idea what is happening here, and we don’t care. If the Divergent series is going to go completely off the wall on us, that can only be a good thing. Right?
Aw yeah. That’s the good stuff. Dumbass giant action sequences that have no basis in reality, mopey speeches about how important family is, and get this: actual new footage. Like the rest of the world we can’t wait to see Furious 7 and this latest TV spot makes it look like the film will deliver on its promises. It would be #1 if the big money shot wasn’t already done first in Black Moon Rising, which pulled it off without the aid of CGI. (Seriously, see that movie. It’s kind of awesome.)
It was a close call, but we had to pick Jurassic World as the best of the Super Bowl XLIX movie trailers. It includes shots of Chris Pratt training velociraptors and teaming up with them to take on an evil dinosaur. Not just a bloodthirsty, unstoppable carnivore, but what appears – after listening to the explanation in this TV spot – to be an actual evil dinosaur. Combine that piece of absolute brilliant madness with exciting new shots of dinosaurs wreaking havoc en masse and you’ve got one hell of a Super Bowl spot. If we could buy our tickets to this movie right now, we would.