Trailers: We go to the movies extra early to guarantee great seats and not miss them, YouTube and Google searches to see when the latest motion picture is being released and get a glimpse of whats to come. Sometimes they say too much, and if technique and artistry is off then it could ruin the excitement and change our perception to the point where we may decide to catch it at home.
Trailers can in retrospect be just as important as the movies themselves, they are marketing devices designed specifically to ignite interest and prepare the audiences for future endevours.
In mid 2013 we were treated to a teaser for The Amazing Spider-Man 2, in it was a short scene of Gwen Stacy played by Emma Watson donning a purple skirt,black blouse and light green jacket followed by a cut scene of a clock tower. For anyone who isn’t a fan of the comic books that simple shot means nothing and just depicts the female lead. To an avid comic book reader that few seconds of clip just revealed an important detail on how the movie was going to end.
In The Amazing Spider-Man #121-122 Gwen Stacy is killed by the Green Goblin after she is thrown from a clock tower wearing the exact same outfit that Emma Watson is wearing in the teaser. A fan familiar with the series would recognize that those few seconds just revealed that Gwen Stacy was going to die at the end of movie. The ensuing trailers did not include the same scenes and the few seconds was removed from the teaser, but the damage was done, the ending was already known.
Fans recently have been objecting to the new Batman V. Superman trailer, expressing that it has revealed too much as well. The video divulges that Batman utilizes his power armor from The Dark Knight Rises #1-4 in which an elder Batman ravages Superman, it also announces that Superman will have to face Doomsday the only monster that has the ability to kill him.
These simple facts already tell fans two things: that Batman will end up beating Superman and that Superman’s fate lays at the hands of Doomsday.
Now take the teasers and trailers released for Star Wars as a example, there was an 86 second teaser and multiple trailers released which revealed absolutely nothing in plot or character info.
In defense of the DC and Marvel movies there is no source materials to base the trailers against leaving only uncorroborated speculation, but I still give J.J. Abrams credit for constructing promotions that gave us only enough to generate excitement and buy movie tickets 2 months in advance.
There is an art to trailers and I understand that not everyone is going to be a fan or happy with how the movie looks and who is playing a specific role but maybe the marketing teams need to go by the old mantra “less is more”.
Over 2 minutes can be a long time and has the ability to expose too much, maybe a little decorum is needed and limitations to scale back on the lengths and content. The dealer should keep their hand hidden from the player, allow movie goers to speculate and form plot theories of their own, Star Wars fans have been doing it for the past 2-3 years for Episode VII.
I myself am a rare case and do not mind when plot points or endings are spoiled , sometimes I even go out of my way to research more information and burn the surprise. It doesn’t prevent me personally from going out and seeing the movie but there are many people who do not want to know, especially when you are creating a movie based on a best selling novel or comic book there should be some consideration for the original fans and maybe the marketing teams need to hold back.The difference in the end could be between a Blockbuster hit that broke records or a dud that barely broke even