Super Bowl 2020 Movie Trailer Ads Cost A Fortune, So Studios Are Getting Creative

Vin Diesel in Fast & Furious 9

For many years, the Super Bowl wasn’t just a major event for football fans, it was a must watch for movie fans as well because the widely-viewed broadcast has historically seen the debuts of trailers for the year’s biggest films. But the continually rising costs of ads during the big game have become too rich for even Hollywood’s blood. Ads cost a fortune, so for the second year in a row there will be fewer trailers during the game, but studios are getting creative.

A 30-second TV spot airing during this weekend’s Super Bowl LIV between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs carries an eye-watering price tag of $5.6 million. That’s roughly $186,666 per second and a $400,000 increase from the $5.2 million a spot cost just last year. So in light of that, Hollywood is getting creative and taking its ads outside the runtime of the game itself.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, more Hollywood studios will be taking their ads to the pregame and postgame shows instead of the Fox broadcast of the game itself in order to save some money. The pregame and postgame ad spots can cost half as much as the in-game ads and actually confer many of the same benefits.

The Super Bowl is the most-watched live television event in the U.S., as it has been for many years, but it has become prohibitively expensive. By releasing a trailer or teaser at other times during the weekend and coverage of the matchup outside of the game itself, a movie can get just as much exposure on social media. It’s a strategy that gives Hollywood studios more bang for their buck essentially.

It's a pretty savvy move. Whether it's at a bar or gathered around the TV with friends, most people who watch the Super Bowl will probably be watching throughout the day, both before and after the game. So you're still reaching a wide audience by airing spots during the pre or postgame and that's enough to spur the conversation around the trailers on social media, which will then snowball.

One studio expected to take advantage of this is Paramount. The studio’s nostalgic summer blockbuster Top Gun: Maverick will have a presence during the pregame of Super Bowl LIV. In addition, Paramount will air pregame spots for The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run, Sonic the Hedgehog (Which you can see now!) and A Quiet Place Part II, whose predecessor also aired a spot during the pregame two years ago and went on to become a box office hit.

Disney and Universal are also expected to take advantage of pregame ad pricing but those two studios will likely also be ponying up for the pricy post-kickoff ads. It is believed that Universal will have spots for Minions: The Rise of Gru and Fast & Furious 9 during the game, two movies that should rank high on the biggest box office hits of 2020.

Disney’s 2020 might not look as stacked as its 2019 but the Mouse House still has some heavy hitters coming out and although the company isn’t showing its hand, it is expected to have a major presence during Super Bowl weekend. Films that could show up are Mulan, Black Widow, Onward and Soul.

It seems that Sony and Warner Bros. will be sitting on the bench for this year’s big game entirely so don’t expect to see anything for Venom 2, Wonder Woman 1984, Tenet or Dune. Still, despite the reduced number of movie trailers during the Super Bowl than it was in years past, movie fans would still be wise to pay attention during commercial breaks to see what surprises are in store.

Check out our 2020 Release Schedule to see what’s headed to theaters this year and stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest movie news.

Nick Evans

Nick grew up in Maryland has degrees in Film Studies and Communications. His life goal is to walk the earth, meet people and get into adventures. He’s also still looking for The Adventures of Pete and Pete season 3 on DVD if anyone has a lead.