Currently, Disney and Universal are reportedly the only two movie studios planning to promote upcoming projects during this year’s Super Bowl. In some respects, the commercials that air during the annual broadcast are as big a spectacle as the game itself. With a huge viewing audience guaranteed, companies pull out all the stops in an attempt to come up with a memorable advertisement and make a big splash. Each year, several blockbuster movies get in on the fun, using the high profile of the Super Bowl as a showcase to unveil new footage for eager fans.
Last year, a plethora of tentpoles aired spots, including Solo: A Star Wars Story, Avengers: Infinity War, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and Mission: Impossible – Fallout. Since the 2019 release calendar is just as stacked with anticipated projects, many excited moviegoers have been waiting to see just how many will roll out a teaser at the Super Bowl, which takes place this Sunday. Unfortunately for cinephiles, they may spend their viewing party feeling a little underwhelmed, since there aren’t expected to be many movie trailers this year.
According to THR, Disney and Universal remain the only studios “guaranteed to have a presence” at the Super Bowl. While the former has yet to reveal which titles they’ll spotlight (though, Avengers: Endgame seems like a sure bet), the latter will use the opportunity to debut Hobbs & Shaw footage. The outlet notes there might be only three movie trailers total, down from six in 2018. Sony and Warner Bros. are two that definitely won’t show anything.
The reasoning for this can largely be attributed to the fact a 30-second spot at the Super Bowl is a cool $30 million, which is a pretty hefty addition to already lofty advertising costs for big tentpoles. Understandably, some studios are cautious about dropping that much on a commercial, especially since the landscape has drastically changed thanks to the rise of social media. Nowadays, movie previews go viral on Twitter minutes after being posted online, exciting millions of viewers about what’s to come. This makes the concept of a pricey Super Bowl spot somewhat antiquated, since there are more efficient channels available to studios to promote their big releases to a wide audience. That several of the big studios are (seemingly) choosing to skip the Super Bowl altogether speaks to the evolving times.
Relatively underwhelming slates may also have played a role in the diminished Super Bowl trailer count. Disney and Universal, not so coincidentally, are releasing some of the biggest blockbusters of 2019’s first half in Hobbs & Shaw, Avengers: Endgame, Toy Story 4, and others. Paramount will advertise animated film Wonder Park during the pregame show, but none of their immediate projects seem worth the $30 million investment. Fox, meanwhile, is in a state of flux after being acquired by Disney, and outside of Dark Phoenix, they too don’t have many options befitting of a Super Bowl commercial. Perhaps next year things will pick back up, but in 2019, there won’t be many movies at the game.