Just a few mornings ago I devoured the latest Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer with great anticipation.
As a film fan and a comic book nerd, my reaction should have been crazed excitement. I should have come away unable to stop talking about new information, speculating endlessly over what a shot or piece of dialogue meant.
But instead, I’m ferociously angry, and bitterly disappointed.
The trailer for Batman v Superman is the latest in a persistent trend wherein marketing teams, in a bid to break box office records, give far too much away during promotion. I have literally no questions about this movie. The intrigue is completely lost.
Of course, Batman v Superman is by no means the first movie to do this. Anyone who saw the trailer for summer’s Terminator: Genisys had the movie’s only interesting plot point spoilt. Indeed, other comic book movies are guilty of this too – the trailers for last Avengers movie, in particular, spoiled every interesting plot point and set piece before release.
The list goes on and on. Fifteen years ago the trailer for Cast Away showed that Tom Hanks made it home. Hell, the trailer for Free Willy not only told audiences that in the end (spoilers) the whale was freed, it even showed you how it was freed!
In a time where cinema is a dying art, being replaced by streaming services and what some have dubbed the “golden age” of TV, mistakes like this are costly.
Avengers: Age of Ultron, for example, was reportedly a financial disappointment for Disney as it failed to top the box office figures of its predecessor. Many critics and fans alike have argued that a lack of intrigue caused by spoiler-heavy trailers lead to a dip in ticket sales.
Though this argument is speculative, one need only look at the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens for the counterfactual. Three trailers have been released for that film, and with just over two weeks to go nobody even knows the second names of the two lead characters!
In terms of the box office, this has translated into record-breaking advance ticket sales. Though this film has the added weight of an iconic cinematic franchise, the buzz around the film is undoubtedly fuelled by the mysteries surrounding it.
Time will tell whether Warner Bros. poor marketing decision will hurt Batman v Superman financially. But with the movie’s ending spoiled, it’s hard to imagine people staying excited until its release on March 25th.
Image Credit – Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice via Warner Bros.