Everytime you go to the cinema you’re being sold another movie before you’ve even seen the one you just paid for. After an abundance of local business advertisements what follows is usually three or four trailers for upcoming movies. These trailers serve one purpose: to convince you to come see the film.
Major studios spare no expense in the marketing for films nowadays.The general rule is, for example, if a film had a budget of $150 million, double it to include the cost of marketing. That’s $300 million total. This is why so many people are confused when they hear a movie didn’t turn a profit despite it making more than its budget.
A recent example of this was Saban’s Power Rangers. With a budget of $100 million, Power Rangers took in a worldwide gross of around $142 million. Using the aforementioned rule, what you think might be a profit of $42 million is actually a loss of $58 million when you factor in the money spent on marketing.
This is why you’ll see “trailer trends” when a movie performs well based on a trailer. Back in 2010 when Inception became a smash hit, racking up over $800 million worldwide, what followed was a slew of trailers using the same BWAAAAA sound effect. More recently the incredibly popular Suicide Squad trailers inspired a whole lot of pop/rock music syncing up to the action on screen.
The studios are hoping you’ll remember that awesome trailer from that other movie that piqued your interest and boom – they’ve sold another ticket.
In my opinion, Spider-Man: Homecoming had awful trailers that showed far too much – but it still killed at the box office on the Spider-Man name alone. Name and brand recognition could matter just as much as a well cut trailer. A film will get a fairly sizeable audience if they see the Marvel or DC or Disney logo on it.
So are trailers as important as they used to be? Gone are the times when we got just one or two trailers for big films – now we get four separate ones, international trailers and countless TV spots. Studios are becoming so desperate – especially after an incredibly weak summer box office – to sell their movie that they go so far as to show far too much of it in their promotional material.
I think I’ve seen three separate trailers and innumerable TV spots for Justice League which comes out in November. I’ve seen one trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi so far which hits in December. Now, which do you think will make more money? The answer is Star Wars.
I’m of the opinion that trailers just don’t matter or mean as much as they used to. They could still be awesome – Transformers: The Last Knight had some pretty decent looking trailers. But I knew the movie would still suck ass and, surprise, surprise, it did.
Maybe studios could take some of the money they pour into marketing and use it to better the production process. Ensure us that they’re going to make a quality film, something deserving of our money, and not just a great trailer for a shitty movie.
But that’s just my opinion. What’s yours? Do trailers matter anymore? Are there too many? Not enough? Let us know on our Facebook page in the comments.