Sunday was the biggest night of the year for professional football fans, but the annual Super Bowl once again proved to be pretty pivotal for Hollywood as well with studios pumping up some of the year’s biggest releases with TV spots during the game.
Eleven different films were directly featured throughout Super Bowl coverage with spots ranging from 30 seconds to a full two-minute trailer. Here’s my countdown of the best (and worst) movie trailers and TV spots from last night’s game. Largely, this ranking is based on how much I’m anticipating the films featured, but also includes some subjective thinking about the actual trailers themselves.
Two different franchises promoted their characters in commercials touting other products, so it doesn’t feel right to rank them on the list. Consider these bonus clips.
Apparently, if you run an airline, you can be the official airline of a movie or movie franchise, which is what I guess Turkish Airlines was going for with these dueling spots for Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. A really neat premise featuring Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor and Ben Affleck as Batman in commercials touting the airlines’ new stops in Metropolis and Gotham City, respectively. This would have ranked very high on the trailers list if it were eligible.
Marvel got in on the act themselves, promoting the Marvel Cinematic Universe (and not really their two new movies coming out this year) with this really fantastic spot featuring Paul Rudd’s return as Ant-Man stealing a Coke Mini from Dr. Bruce Banner aka The Incredible Hulk. This is probably the best movie related spot of the whole night, but doesn’t specifically promote a movie, so off the list it goes.
11. Gods of Egypt
What can I really say about this trailer except that it looks like the spiritual brother to last year’s sci-fi train wreck Jupiter Ascending? This movie is so incredibly over the top and a terrible idea that it’s more likely to lose 50 million dollars than make it. You won’t even need to read my review to know that you should not see this movie.
10. Independence Day: Resurgence
From the world of film sequels nobody asked for stumbles Independence Day: Resurgence, which is on track to be this year’s Terminator: Genisys. Trading out Will Smith for Liam Hemsworth is a major, unforgiveable downgrade and only the interesting jet flyover turned alien battle to open the spot puts it above Gods of Egypt.
9. Eddie the Eagle
It’s a nice idea to prop up what looks to be a mediocre sports movie in the vein of Rudy, but about British ski jumping, by bringing top NFL quarterbacks who have nothing better to do than screen a movie and give it praise. There’s no elite stars in this spot – a Tom Brady or Tony Romo or Aaron Rodgers – so I guess they all thought the movie sucked.
8. The Secret Life of Pets
This TV spot is pitch perfect for what it’s trying to accomplish, being memorable and adorable at the same time. It’s an ideal teaser trailer for this venue with lots of little kids watching the early part of the game and getting excited after watching this spot. Connecting the film with the Despicable Me franchise (made by the same studio) through the use of a Minion was a nice touch.
7. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2
This might be a contender for worst film of 2016, but gosh darn it if they didn’t put out one heck of a TV spot. I vividly recall hating the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot, but this spot made me interested in the sequel in spite of that fact. Job well done.
6. 10 Cloverfield Lane
In the last month, the full trailer for this Bad Robot production and possible sequel to 2008’s monster epic Cloverfield arrived and nobody could quite figure out what the heck was going to happen.
This TV spot does a good job of furthering interest and yet not giving too much away, a marketing strategy that definitely worked well the first time around. 10 Cloverfield Lane could be a big hit or an absolute disaster, but it’s too soon to tell.
Now we start getting to the good stuff. Deadpool, which is currently sitting at 86 percent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes in advance of its opening on Friday, doesn’t really need to overwhelm audiences, especially since Ryan Reynolds and the crew have been promoting the heck out of this movie for several months and doing a killer job of it. With a spot that adds just enough excitement to peak interest at the right time, Deadpool is definitely a must see film this Valentine’s Day weekend, which is an incredibly weird thing to write.
4. X-Men Apocalypse
Finally, Jennifer Lawrence is going to star in the action-heavy movie we all thought Mockingjay Part 2 was going to be. Equal parts destruction and devastation, we get to see Oscar Isaac’s Apocalypse do some heavy damage and then get a surprise (at least to me) with the debut of Olivia Munn’s Psylocke slashing through a car with her psychic sword. Badass.
3. The Jungle Book
The only full trailer we got last night delivered in spades. Jon Favreau’s live action remake of the classic Jungle Book gives audiences a much clearer picture as to what the world of the jungle will look like, a couple more action sequences and a bit more of Bill Murray singing The Bare Necessities. It’s also important to note that there wasn’t a trailer for the new Tarzan movie last night, so that helps set The Jungle Book apart as well.
2. Captain America: Civil War
If you’re like me, you’ve been trying to avoid finding out which Avengers are on each side of the titular “Civil War” between Captain America and Iron Man, but there’s no avoiding it now after last night’s teaser trailer for what is sure to be an epic superhero overload. Another Black Panther sighting and confirmation of Ant-Man being a fighting member of Team Cap make this one to watch and my personal anticipation for this film drug it way up the list.
1. Jason Bourne
Many will disagree with this ranking, but on pure personal anticipation alone, the debut teaser trailer for Matt Damon’s return to the Jason Bourne franchise tops the list of Super Bowl trailers. How can you not get behind a Damon-led Bourne movie given how great the original Bourne trilogy was? Hopefully we’ll get some answers behind questions left unanswered at the end of the Bourne Ultimatum, including Bourne’s relationship with Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles) and what all Bourne remembers. Pairing Damon with Supremacy and Ultimatum director Paul Greengrass is a recipe for success. Jason Bourne looks like an absolute asskicking good time.