Could you give up trailers for good?

The beginning of the year is when the blockbuster trailer season starts in earnest. We get all the huge trailers for the biggest movies, offering explosions, booming music and cool pieces of nonsensical dialogue; and I love it!

Over the years there have been many examples of trailers being much better than the movies they are advertising. Some are very clever, others piece together the best parts of the movie or in the case of many comedies, the funniest moments. Unfortunately, this also means that trailers have a tenancy to spoil the movies too.

Terminator gave away major spoilers

Recent examples of this have been the Terminator Genisys trailer. This trailer, in an attempt to get bums in cinema seats, gave away a huge, major plot point. Although this wouldn’t have saved what was a mediocre movie, it did mean that the impact of this particular moment was minimal and it influenced how the film was watched.

This has been the case for many different trailers and I have given my views on how to stop this before. There is a much more obvious way though… just give up trailers altogether.

The trailer wasn’t the main reason I want to see Civil War

I know many people who have done this and it makes sense. You don’t need trailers to entice you to see Captain America: Civil War or the new Deadpool movie and as exciting as the trailers were, it wasn’t the main reason that Star Wars: The Force Awakens has made billions.

If you are as plugged into movie culture as many people who read this blog are, then you don’t need trailers for the new releases either. Before I saw a trailer I was interested in upcoming releases like Trumbo or Spotlight because of the stories or the people involved. I don’t necessarily need the trailers to peak interest.

I wouldn’t have missed seeing the Millennium Falcon in the Star Wars trailer

I still couldn’t do it though. I couldn’t give up the excitement that a good trailer gives me. The best recent example is Star Wars. Those first teased glimpses of the Millennium Falcon in flight were enough to get me to sign up on opening night. The last glimpses of Jared Leto as The Joker in Suicide Squad was enough to secure that film as my “must-watch” of the year.

There are other films that would slip through the net as well. Films that on first glimpse at cast or premise don’t necessarily interest me but with a well put together trailer can make the difference.

Overall, I know the reasons people give up trailers and the more trailers that are released, the more of the movie is seemingly spoiled (I’m looking at you Batman vs Superman) but there are also so many good trailers which give a movie fan a rush that I couldn’t go cold turkey, spoilers or not. How about you?

This shot made the difference for my excitement for Suicide Squad
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10 comments

  1. I don’t think I could stop watching trailers. Watching them can give me a good idea of what to expect from a movie and may be the deciding factor for if I go see the movie or not. Like you said, there are some movies that we’re just going to go see. When it comes to these movies, it helps build the hype for me. Civil War and Deadpool are perfect example of this.

    I have a friend who has stopped watching trailers because they have a tendency to give away spoilers or the best/funniest lines these days. If only studios would go back to the pre-2000s style…

    It is interesting how this topic has really gained some traction lately.

  2. Got a love/hate relationship with them. When I went to the cinema 3 times a week they were great because you knew exactly what was coming out, and they’re usually pitched at similar movies to the one you’re watching – so there were usually one or two promising ones out of every 5 before a film.

    These days however they just (lazily) dangle the best bits of the film as you pointed out, which ruins the film. Every time I see a Bond, or Tarantino trailer on TV or the cinema I didn’t want ANY spoilers – so ignore. Only really watch them at the start of Blu Rays now, and they’re mostly shit.

    • I think yours is the experience of most people. The cinema trailers are probably your best bet for the marketing but when trailers are now designed to “break the internet,” that’s when we start to get these ridiculous spoiler filled ones.

  3. One thing I think I need to do is stop watching them online. They have more impact in the theaters when you don’t know what films the trailers are for yet.

    I think they still have a purpose, but they need to be made well. FOr example, it wasn’t until seeing the trailer for Big Short before Spectre that I got excited for it, made plans to see it, and loved it. I may not have bothered with the movie without seeing the trailer.

    • That’s the perfect example. I also agree with the idea of not knowing what the movie is before you see the trailer. Often that actually helps the effectiveness of the trailer in the first place.

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