The line between balancing advertising for films and withholding plot details in movie trailers has become thinner within the last few years. With a modern audience that is constantly evolving on grabbing their attention away from seven-second videos and memes, the film industry must make drastic decisions. In recent years, movie studios have started displaying more about the film that is necessary, arguing that this method will drive a strong marketing push to get more people to see the film in theaters. What happened to promising moviegoers a great experience instead of revealing their most climactic moments and biggest reveal to real them in?
Last week, Marvel released their second trailer for “Spider-Man: Homecoming” on YouTube. The first trailer revealed Easter eggs and Iron Man to get fans excited for the new revival to the series. The second trailer might have taken it too far. Movie marketing can be tricky to get right, despite the praise for the film, but there is a lot of stress and work that comes to making them just right.
In the first Spider-Man trailer, it showed Peter Parker (Tom Holland) attempting to hold a boat together to save the day. In the second one, we see Iron Man/Tony Stark being the real hero of the day and coming to help Peter Parker. We then see Stark taking away Parker’s suit, whereas the first trailer shows us Peter getting the suit from Stark. I get that by showing this moment would bring in people to see the movie, but it all just feels like added insurance to get high numbers in the box office.
Where many are raising concern, especially on the r/movies subreddit on Reddit.com, is the possible death of the villainous Vulture. “Yeah, I thought I was alone in thinking that as no else commented on it yet, judging from the trailer I’m so sure he’s going to get sucked into that engine,” said one Reddit user.
In a world where long-term relationships are ruined just by the slip of the tongue revealing “The Walking Dead” spoilers, why do film companies reveal so much?
Many of the true die-hard fans will avoid watching trailers or reading spoilers and will go see the film despite of what they hear, while others need to be attracted by jaw-dropping visuals, special effects and plot points to pull in casual movie watchers who might have just skipped that movie all together. If consumers will still go to see the film no matter what, why does movie trailers have to be so subtle? As much as I hate this modern technique, it’s something that is true and may need to accept.
A fact that many do not know about movie trailers: they are not cut by the film’s director, but by the distributor or studio of that film. Despite having the film creator make a perfect movie, the job in determining how best to market and fill in the theatre seats are up to the studio executives.
2012 director for Snow White’s retelling “Mirror Mirror”, Tarsem Singh commented to Digital Spy on his film’s trailers, saying, “I’m really angry at the trailers. I’m a director, I guess, so I always get pissed at them! The movie looks fantastic and the trailers look so hammily off. The posters are okay, they’re still neutral, but we’re trying to get the film out there so people don’t judge it by the trailer.”
If you are mad about the recent changes towards movie trailers, tell the movie executives and companies how you feel, direct feedback is what drives the flow of information. Until these changes are made, not that it might happen anytime soon, I would recommend to be specific on what film trailers you watch. Follow trusted sources on social media and use your best judgement to determine what you want revealed to you. Do you want to be around the buzz leading up to the movie release or dodge bullets and remain unspoiled, which is a hard thing to do on the Internet.
Spoilers sell, and studios know that. They want to sell their product. Be aware of this next time you click that play button to watch the next anticipated blockbuster of the year.