Do Movie Trailers Give Away Too Much? Half Of Moviegoers Think So

By Katey Rich 2013-05-03 09:43:23discussion comments
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Do Movie Trailers Give Away Too Much? Half Of Moviegoers Think So image
When you see Iron Man 3 this weekend, you may experience some deja vu. Not because the movie repeats what you've seen in other Iron Man movies-- it's refreshingly original, actually-- but because nearly every major scene in the movie has been at least hinted at in the marketing. From the fleet of Iron Man suits flying in to save the day (as seen in the poster) to Iron Man and the Iron Patriot rescuing a bunch of people from a crashing plane (shown off in this clip), even the scenes that come later in the movie are being teased for audiences. People have been grumbling since trailers were invented that they gave away too much, but have they gotten worse lately?

According to half of American moviegoers, yeah. A survey taken on April 26 by YouGov Omnibus, cited by The Hollywood Reporter, says 49% of Americans think trailers give away too much of the movie. On the other hand, only 19% of them said it made them less likely to see the movie, while 24% of them said it made them want to see the film more. That's clearly the logic used by Disney in marketing Iron Man 3, where shots from the film's big climactic scene have made up the core of the marketing, and we've been shown an elaborate action scene-- the destruction of Tony Stark's Malibu mansion-- from nearly every angle in the TV spots. But, as you can discuss in our spoilers post, there are a lot of surprises in Iron Man 3 that weren't revealed in the marketing at all-- and the moments land a lot better because you don't know they're coming.

I thought about this a lot when seeing Star Trek Into Darkness, which has been operating under a veil of secrecy about its plot (and which I reviewed, spoiler-free, here). There's a lot to learn in the film about Benedict Cumberbatch's villainous John Harrison and what motivates Kirk to go after him, but many of the film's biggest moments-- the attack on San Francisco, the Enterprise going into free fall, Spock chasing Harrison through city streets-- are teased in the trailers. Sure you don't know the context, but you can feel the film building up the moments you know will already happen, which takes away a good deal of the suspense. I want people to have every reason to see Star Trek Into Darkness-- it's a good movie that everyone should see. But several times when watching the movie I wished I knew a whole lot less about where it was heading.

Let us know your own thoughts about marketing in the comments, and if you're planning to see Star Trek Into Darkness-- or Iron Man 3, for that matter-- do yourself a favor, and just shut off the marketing until you can see the whole thing.
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