SDCC Film Trailers – Why I don’t watch trailers anymore

I don’t watch trailers for films any more.

The San Diego Comic-Con contained trailers and clips from highly anticipated upcoming films such as Suicide Squad and Dawn of Justice. Even Deadpool, my most anticipated superhero movie, got a trailer that’s supposed to be very good.

However, I have no intention of watching any of these clips or trailers. I haven’t even seen The Force Awakens trailer and I’m a huge Star Wars fan. Here’s why:

(spoilers for The Avengers (2012) follow)

Lets take Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice for example (I usually refer to this film as ‘Dawn of Justice’). Trailers are usually two and a half minutes long, but this trailer is over three and a half. Every time in that trailer they cut to something new, a set piece, a fight, an emotional moment, that’s going to be something you will have already seen when you watch the full movie.

The magic of each particular moment is lost. When viewed in chronological order and in full, when watching the movie, each of those moments is more powerful because they have context.

Think back to The Avengers, the trailer for which ended with this fantastic scene:

Stark “Guys, I’m bringing the party to you”. Iron man flies by a building followed by a massive alien who destroys half of it, in pursuit. 

That is a great moment that I wish I saw for the first time in the cinema instead of a laggy pop-up advert on the internet. But I’m sure the inclusion of that scene in the trailer helped sell tickets.

Well lets take a look at another moment in that trailer. Iron man is falling and Hulk catches him, landing on the side of a building. That is arguably the most pivotal moment in the film, but it’s given away in the trailer. When watching the scene in the film, Iron man is falling but you know there isn’t any danger because Hulk will save him. The tension of the scene is lost.

What is a trailer? It is an advertisement. The creators of the film are trying to sell you this experience to make money. Obviously some things will have to be spoiled in order to convince the viewer this movie is worth their price of admission and time.

But if you know you’re going to watch Dawn of Justice and Star Wars Episode VII and Deadpool and X-men Apocalypse etc. then why watch the trailer? Why let yourself be advertised to a product you know you will consume anyway?

Going into a movie blind, in my opinion, is a better way to watch movies. Ignore all media coverage of a specific movie and see if you enjoy watching it more – try it!

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SDCC Film Trailers – Why I don’t watch trailers anymore

6 thoughts on “SDCC Film Trailers – Why I don’t watch trailers anymore

  1. I miss the days of trailer fake-out where scenes were shown in the trailer and NOT found at all in the final film.

    A perfect example would be the first trailer for The Empire Strikes Back that had a brief clip of C-3PO ripping a sign off a door in the rebel base. That scene wasn’t in the film at all, but later on it was revealed to be a scene where that sign was removed because there were a bunch of captured Snow Beasts behind those doors and as the rebel base was being stormed by Imperial stormtroopers who ended up opening that door and getting somewhat slaughtered (ouch!).

    If I watch trailers these days, I get a good laugh at how predictable they are and don’t even care about spoilers because I’m more or less going to be disappointed by the film in some way (lol). That said, I just HAD to see Suicide Squad’s just to be sure it wouldn’t be crap and I wasn’t disappointed because it looked great and made me want to see the end result (and hope it works).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t know about that 3Po scene haha
      I’ll watch trailers for films I know I’m not going to be interested in sometimes, but if it looks good I switch it off halfway and make a mental note to give it a go.
      Trailers have gotten out of hand with spoilers and such but sometimes we all get a little curious (SSquad) or just too excited (Rouge One) to not watch it!
      Even though we both know we’re both going to watch SSquad and R1

      R1… I like that, I’m going to abbreviate Rouge One to R1 from now on 😀

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      1. I forgot to link to the trailer (oops!). Here’s why it was so insane and important: It was released the summer BEFORE the film came out and as you can imagine, audiences at the time were blown away by everything there and had NO internet to yak about all the cool stuff they saw. I still remember sitting with some friends, all of us wide-eyed and slack-jawed at the new characters, loads of action scenes and plot shocks to the point we sat through the movie we went to see two more times just to watch that trailer again and take mental pictures that had to last until 1980,

        R1 is nice – watch Disney adapt that at some point into a logo (maybe, although SW titles are known for being a bit longer than they need to be)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yep, caught it at 1:30ish
        It’s fun to watch a trailer after seeing a movie. It reminds you of the tone and some key moments. Definitely helps when writing a review for something I haven’t seen very recently
        There’s a whole generation that looks at the prequels and now these Disney Star Wars films (need an abbreviation for that!) in the same way yourself and your friends ogled at the Strikes Back trailer.
        I’d love film trailers to take the more Fallout 4 approach, kind of like 10 Cloverfield Lane did. BOOM here’s an awesome film coming out real soon.
        I’m sure there’s tons of profit based reasons the studios wouldn’t let that happen though; the marketing, the hype train, leads us back to where we started- this article

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  2. You bring up a very good point: If you know you are going to see the film, why watch the trailer and risk spoilers? Personally, I watch trailers to get hyped for the film. For example the Deadpool movie. I know I am going to go see it because Deadpool is one of my favorite comic characters and I think Ryan Reynolds is the perfect fit. But the more I watch of the trailers, the more excited I get. Getting hyped for a movie may set me up for disappointment but that is a risk I am willing to take.

    Maybe if studios limited how much of the movie is allowed to be in the trailers, like only the first half or something. At the very least, they should be mindful not to include big twists or revelations in the trailers, like the last two Terminator films did in their trailers. If the style of trailers from the pre-2000s would become popular again, maybe more people would be inclined to watch them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I definitely don’t watch the trailers for comedy or horrors, half the film is build up to make the jokes/scares more effective!
      I have high hopes for Deadpool and agree Reynolds is perfect for it like you said. However I entirely disagree with the concept of hype, I think it’s anti consumer and makes people cynical.
      Take Star Wars for example; the people riot when its too different to the originals (prequels) and people riot when it’s too similar (Force Awakens).
      I’ll probably write a full piece on being Anti-Hype at some point haha
      We agree on most trailers needing to reduce what they show but because of “hype”, the for-profit studios would never make old school trailers.
      Thanks for reading Drew 🙂

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