Putting Super Bowl Movie Trailers in Context During Pandemic

The Super Bowl is the time where major Hollywood studios put their best foot forward for their biggest films, which generally consist of tentpole franchises. For the 55th one held in Tampa, FL that saw the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rout the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9, you notice the ONLY major one that fit that category was Fast & Furious 9, which was one of several delayed titles due to the COVID pandemic. The others included other Universal films in Nobody and M. Night Shyamalan's Old, Amazon's Coming 2 America, and Disney's Raya and The Last Dragon. So why the lackluster showing?

American football arena. Mixed media (Signed property release on file with Shutterstock, Inc.)
American football arena. Mixed media (Signed property release on file with Shutterstock, Inc.)

Why the Lackluster Super Bowl LV Movie Trailers?

Well, let's look at Disney first. Raya is going for a simultaneous release in theatres and on Disney+ as a premium title during its initial theatrical run. Plus, it was probably an opportunity to advertise their upcoming cinema-worthy TV series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. So it makes natural sense to them. Amazon advertising to home audiences for their streamer feature featuring Eddie Murphy's return in one of his most famous signature roles is self-explanatory. That just leaves Universal taking actual chances. We didn't get anything from WarnerMedia to do another blitz trying to remind home audiences that the Snyder Cut is coming on HBO Max. Neither did we get another Bond trailer from MGM for No Time to Die nor Sony with Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Even when the market is far more streamer-friendly, we haven't seen Netflix or Hulu take cracks promoting any major release coming to their platform. Why do you think that is?

Coming 2 America Gets A Trailer
Arsenio Hall and Eddie Murphy star in COMING 2 AMERICA
Photo Courtesy of Amazon Studios

Sure, it could be a cynical answer, but advertising on the Big Game isn't what it used to be, especially the massive online platforms available. Don't get me wrong; we still got plenty of companies that spent millions on spots in general. As much a statement as Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Anheuser-Busch made headline lines for NOT purchasing ad time on CBS, we still saw the liquor company have digital ads. As people hope for a greater concentration of vaccines, ignorant behaviors about the pandemic, for the most part, haven't changed, and major studios are content for the most part going to conserve their resources as the gaping chasm expands on local and national cinemas.

Enjoyed this? Please share on social media!

About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangora. As a professional writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
Comments will load 8 seconds after page. Click here to load them now.