So, this past week has been what I like to call an orgy of trailers. Most notably we got the first official trailer for Warner Brother’s Justice League, I will try to contain my excitement but I make no promises, and on the other side of the fence we have a new trailer for Marvel’s Spider-man: Homecoming, once again my excitement is going to be suppressed…kind of. Then we had the trailers for the reboot of Stephen King’s IT, we got a new look at War for the Planet of the Apes. So, if you’re interested in any of those things then hit the link and enjoy. But the problem isn’t the number of trailers we’re getting for different movies or properties, the problem is when the trailer gives away every major story beat to the point that you can pretty much guess the plot before you see the movie.
Flashback in time with me to a year ago, with me. The marketing for one of the biggest films of all time is in full swing. The third and final trailer drops. It’s going well, hitting a few story beats but not giving away too much. And then, the final minute. It spoils the final fight where everyone teams up to beat the ultimate bad guy and save the day. The movie is Batman v Superman and I was furious. The final trailer ruined all of the other marketing. The premise was the titular heroes battling it out and the catch was we didn’t know to what end. So, when I see Batman and Superman standing next to Wonder Woman ready to fight Doomsday, I know that by the end they’ll all be friends and now I don’t care about the conflict in the rest of the movie as much as I could. Not only that but it also spoils who the end fight is against, Doomsday. Now any true comic fan knows that Doomsday is known for one notable thing. Killing Superman. At this point I now know that the main conflict end with a team up and that Superman will most likely die.
The goal of trailers is to put butts in seats. But when a trailer over extends and shows too much I no longer feel as invested as I should. And now in a weird turn of events the circumstances have been reversed. Spider-man’s new trailer in mine, and a lot of other people’s opinion there was too much shown in terms of plot. I won’t say what just in the rare case you haven’t seen it but it feels like the movie was shown beat for beat.
The point is simple. Dear studios, stop putting out trailers that show too much of the story. I know you hire outside firms to make your trailers but guess what you still have final say on the marketing, and hey here’s a crazy idea. Get the director in on the marketing so that he can tell when it feels like the story loses weight. Also maybe don’t put out as many trailers.