The Super Bowl is obviously a very, very important time in the world of sports, but it’s a pretty damn big one for the rest of the entertainment industry as well. After all, the big game gets the attention of millions upon millions of potential movie-goers every single year, so there are few better times to launch a big time spot that will have everyone talking at the water cooler the next morning.
Every year the Super Bowl delivers an amazing crop of footage from some of the biggest films of the year, but what are the movies that we expect to show their stuff during this year’s game? There are obviously a lot of titles to consider, but come next Sunday, we expect to see at least something from all 10 of the movies you’ll find on the next few pages…
Batman v Superman: Dawn of JusticeZack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice currently sits in an interesting position. On the one hand, audiences are almost surely going to go out and see two of the greatest superheroes of all time duke it out on the big screen, but Man of Steel wasn’t exactly the most popular hit back in 2013, and the buzz has been somewhat mellow in regards to everything we’ve seen from the next Warner Bros./DC Comics blockbuster. That being said, an amazing, mind-blowing Super Bowl trailer could do some huge things in the way of altering public perception of the blockbuster.
There is a fine line that needs to be walked here. The studio certainly doesn’t want to show us too much from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and ruin some of the big surprises that are meant to be seen on the big screen. That being said, there should be enough dynamic, different and interesting footage from the first two acts of the film that will get even the biggest pessimists at least intrigued by what the long-awaited feature has to offer. With only about two months left to go before the movie’s release, a Super Bowl trailer could be perfect timing for the marketing.
Captain America: Civil WarIt felt like it took forever waiting for the first trailer for Joe and Anthony Russo’s Captain America: Civil War, but now it feels like years have passed since our last glimpse. The debut footage from the movie arrived during the week of Thanksgiving last year, and with a few months left to wait until release, we’re incredibly hungry for another look. Thankfully, the Super Bowl offers up a perfect time for Marvel Studios and the Walt Disney Company to offer just that.
The first trailer for Captain America: Civil War certainly did a lot in terms of establishing tone and the central conflict of the film, but there is still so much of the film that hasn’t been shown. Sure, we got a taste of Cap vs. Iron Man in the debut footage, but we still haven’t seen Frank Grillo’s Crossbones or Daniel Bruhl’s Baron Zemo as the blockbuster’s villains. And hell, the Super Bowl may even prove to be the perfect time to show us Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man fighting alongside some notable Avengers. Marvel has certainly taken advantage of the big game in the past, and next week will be the perfect time to do something again.
Triple NineOne could make the argument that celebrities are as integral to Super Bowl tradition as football is. Every year, big companies and wrangle big stars to be in their ads… and that’s an edge that John Hillcoat’s Triple Nine has going into the big game. For while the film isn’t expected to exactly big the biggest blockbuster of the year, it has a ridiculously great ensemble cast that includes Kate Winslet, Woody Harrelson, Anthony Mackie, Casey Affleck, Gal Gadot, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Norman Reedus, Aaron Paul, Michael K. Williams, and more.
A star-packed, high adrenaline Super Bowl spot could also be just the exposure that the film needs coming out at the end of next month. Triple Nine doesn’t have a ton of big-time competition coming out the same weekend – February 26th – and this is a key time to start perking people’s ears and get them ready for the opening. The movie certainly looks like it has a lot of potential – stylishly akin to Heat or The Town - and a great well-placed trailer could wind up making it a decent early-in-the-year hit.
DeadpoolThis time last year, most movie-goers were largely unaware of Marvel Comics’ Merc With The Mouth, but a great deal has changed since then. The marketing for Deadpool has been in full effect for months now, with Ryan Reynolds regularly putting his red and black costume on to both promote the movie and make us all giggle just a little bit. And with the Super Bowl arriving the Sunday before the film’s release, it’s the perfect time to make one huge final push.
We already know that Deadpool is very much down with celebrating holidays – having recently spent both Christmas and Australia Day with us – and there are few universal holidays here in America bigger than the Super Bowl. Even if the film doesn’t bring us a traditional TV spot/trailer, we still expect that Ryan Reynolds will at least put on the costume one more time to wish us well as we watch football, laugh at commercials, and gorge on all the various types of junk food that is available. It’s just the Deadpool way.
GhostbustersWe were all disappointed when Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters didn’t wind up being one of the many 2016 blockbusters to show off some footage with a new trailer in the final months of last year. Now that the Super Bowl is coming, however, it’s time for the folks behind the production to stop waiting and just unleash what they can, giving audiences our first real look at what to expect from the reboot.
Given the involvement of ghosts, we expect that the new Ghostbusters will have a good amount of CGI – which could explain why Sony has not yet found a time to release any trailers – but the Super Bowl spot could simply be used to show off the film’s sense of humor. The blockbuster has some incredibly funny people in its cast – led by Kristin Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones – and getting a generating a few good laughs while casually kicking some ghost ass could be all the movie needs to start getting people really excited for the film’s release this summer. Admittedly the feature is further down the release schedule than almost all of the other titles on this list, but then again it’s also one of the only ones from which we haven’t actually seen any footage.
X-Men: ApocalypseAdmittedly, seeing a new trailer for Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Apocalypse during the Super Bowl is kind of a long shot. Twentieth Century Fox doesn’t exactly have a history promoting the X-Men movies during the event (X-Men: Days of Future Past was a no-show in 2014), and the first big theatrical preview for the movie only arrived a few weeks ago in mid- December. That all on the table, the film could certainly benefit from the exposure, and fans certainly wouldn’t complain about seeing some brand new footage.
Franchise fans have been a bit wishy-washy about X-Men: Apocalypse since last summer, when the first images of Oscar Isaac as the titular villain were revealed, and the fact that a lot of the CGI looked unfinished in the first trailer didn’t really help things. There is a decently-sized part of me that hopes the marketing department over at Fox has spent the weeks since collecting more finalized footage that better demonstrates what the blockbuster has to offer. Audiences don’t get much bigger than the one found on Super Bowl Sunday, and there’s an opportunity to convince them all that Apocalypse is legit.
Bourne 5Okay, this one is kind of cheating. All of the other entries on this list are movies that we hope are represented in some form during the Super Bowl, but in the case of Paul Greengrass’ untitled Bourne 5 there is a bit of certainty. Author Eric Van Lustbader – who is currently writing the latest run of Jason Bourne novels – confirmed on his personal Facebook page that a trailer would be coming during the big game, along with an official title. But that doesn’t make the debut footage any less key or well-timed.
Audiences didn’t entirely know what to make of The Bourne Legacy and Jeremy Renner stepping in as the franchise lead, but in Bourne 5 everything is back to the way it was, with Matt Damon back starring as Jason Bourne and the filmmaker behind both The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum back at the helm. An action-packed re-introduction to the character on a massive scale is exactly what the series needs, and there’s few better places to get that done than during the Super Bowl. We couldn’t be more excited, and you can be sure that we will have this footage for you the second it becomes available.
The Divergent Series: AllegiantThe Divergent Series is dedicated to finish out its full run and complete the adaptations of Veronica Roth’s young adult novels, but thus far things have not worked out super well for the franchise. The original wasn’t exactly the Hunger Games-sized hit that the studio was hoping for, and while the sequel The Divergent Series: Insurgent would up outpacing its predecessor globally, it made $20 million less domestically. That being said, it may not too late for the movies to really start wowing audiences, and it could start with a really impressive Super Bowl trailer.
Insurgent was promoted with a brand new spot during last year’s big game, and we fully expect that The Divergent Series: Allegiant will follow in its footsteps – promoting the penultimate movie in the franchise with a brand new, action-packed spot. It’s true that it hasn’t been that long since we last saw a preview for the blockbuster, with the latest trailer being released earlier this month, but that doesn’t mean a Super Bowl spot is off the table.
Eddie The EagleUnfortunately, there aren’t any football movies coming up soon in 2016 that can take advantage of Super Bowl Sunday, but there is a sports film arriving in the next couple of weeks that could potentially use the push. Dexter Fletcher’s Eddie The Eagle is a sort-of-based-on-a-true-story underdog tale made in the spirit of the great family-friendly sports films of the 1980s and 1990s, and while it’s mostly been going under the radar, a Super Bowl trailer could get it a lot of attention.
Eddie The Eagle just had its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this month and has earned a good bit of positive buzz as a result – with critics commending its joyful, crowd-pleasing enthusiasm, and the performances by both Taron Egerton and Hugh Jackman. Basically, think about a 21st century version of Cool Runnings, only with a strange British ski jumper instead of a Jamaican bobsled team. Set to come out on February 26th, the movie hasn’t gotten too much attention just yet, but a Super Bowl spot could perhaps give the film an edge towards becoming a sleeper hit.
Midnight SpecialDirector Jeff Nichols has spent the last few years demonstrating himself as a real talent behind the camera. His last two features - Take Shelter and Mud - weren’t exactly blockbuster successes, but they were both critical hits and established Nichols as a director worthy of keeping an eye on. Now, however, he’s entering the world of genre filmmaking, and giving Midnight Special some primetime play during the Super Bowl could wind up earning it some serious attention as it drives towards its March 18th release date.
The feature – which follows a father as he protects his powerfully gifted child from forces that wish to either experiment on or worship him – turned a lot of heads when it released its first trailer in mid-November 2015, and exposure during one of the biggest television events of the year would certainly only encourage more interest. The cast alone, which includes the magnificent talent of Michael Shannon, Adam Driver, Kirsten Dunst, Joel Edgerton and Sam Shepard, should be enough for people to at least be curious about the movie, and the cool plot will hopefully be enough of a hook. The film looks like it could basically be for Jeff Nichols what Looper was for Rian Johnson, and that should only raise anticipation.