EXCLUSIVE: As exhibition and the domestic box office remain in purgatory during the pandemic with several tentpole movies delayed to later in the year, you would think the streamers would rise to the occasion and backfill the major studios with pushing their wares during the Super Bowl, right?
We hear that HBO Max, Peacock, Apple TV and Netflix are expected to sit on the sidelines during Super Bowl LV, the latter having made a big splash in 2018 with its surprise postgame premiere of Paramount’s The Cloverfield Paradox. While the major studios pushed nine movie spots during last year’s Super Bowl (including pre- and postgame, and not including crossover ads like Jeep’s Groundhog Day) that accumulated 171.7 million views online in the 24 hours after the game, this year the number of series or movies pushed is looking to be around five to six. The estimated cost for a 30-second spot this year is $5.5 million, down slightly from 2020’s $5.6M.
Fun fact: Apple hasn’t aired a trailer during the Super Bowl for 37 years, the last being the classic Ridley Scott-directed “1984” spot for the Macintosh computer.
Booking Super Bowl spots isn’t part of every studio’s movie or TV campaign strategy, but those that have had a presence in the past typically get a big bang, i.e., Universal made an event out of their F9 trailer last year with a pre-Big Game Friday concert featuring the pic’s stars Cardi B, Ludacris, Ozuna, Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth racking up a massive 439.3 million global views across YouTube, Twitter and Facebook for the trailer. Little did anyone know at the time that Covid would delay the movie’s theatrical release, originally set for May 22, 2020, to May 28, 2021. Nonetheless, it’s that type of eyeball grab — last year’s Super Bowl LIV drew 113.4 million viewers– that some studios invest in.
Typically, Warner Bros and Sony sit out. Disney (and before the merger 20th Century Fox), Universal and Paramount take advantage of the NFL opportunity.
Disney will have two to four trailers, on par with previous Super Bowls. The studio always likes to keep its Super Bowl blast close to the vest, but it’s quite conceivable we’ll see Marvel fare again, specifically Disney+ trailers for Loki and The Falcon and the Winter Solider and possibly their May 7 summer release Black Widow (which also aired a spot last year during Super Bowl), or the March 5 theatrical and Disney+ premium debut of animated pic Raya and the Last Dragon. While Raya seems on track to meet its release date, Covid or not, Black Widow may get delayed. I hear there won’t be any surprises during Super Bowl about Black Widow jettisoning to Disney+. In 24-hour postgame online viewership last year per RelishMix, Black Widow was second at 18.7M views behind F9‘s 110.9M. Mulan, Disney’s second trailer, earned 12.4M views to take third place among movie trailers.
Hulu, I hear, will not have an ad this year, though there will be a Disney bundle ad.
Universal will air only one trailer, I understand, and it will be for the summer M. Night Shyamalan thriller Old, which is set for release July 23. The two-time Oscar-nominated filmmaker is already teasing it on his Twitter account that a spot will drop in the next five days.
— M. Night Shyamalan (@MNightShyamalan) February 2, 2021
Amazon will run a trailer for its Paramount acquisition of the Eddie Murphy-Arsenio Hall sequel Coming 2 America this year. Unlike last year when big Paramount pushed its anticipated 2020 tentpoles The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run, Quiet Place 2 and Top Gun: Maverick, the Melrose lot won’t be pushing any titles with the theatrical release calendar in flux.