Super Bowl Movie Trailer Advertising Spots: Thoughts and Reactions

The Super Bowl is always a huge date for advertising campaigns. The movie trailer business is no exception. Plenty of major Spring and Summer releases put out 30 second or one minute spots this year. These are my reactions to some of the big movie trailers of the night.


The Divergent Series: Insurgent

The spot for the sequel to last year’s Divergent (Didn’t see it and know nothing about it) played early in the broadcast. In it, Shailene Woodley, trapped in a glass cage and attached to some sort of machine by tubes, jumps through the glass and into a woman, who disintegrates on impact. The room crumbles around Woodley and she begins falling into a cityscape that is also falling apart. And that’s it. I don’t know what any of this means or what implications it has for fans of the series, but I hope it made someone excited. (Check out my review of another Shailene Woodley film, The Spectacular Now, here).


Insurgent opens on March 20.


Terminator Genisys

He said he’d be back. Arnold Schwarzenegger appears in the trailer for the new installment of the Terminator franchise. He reprises the famous catchphrase near the end of this trailer in a tongue-in-cheek moment that shows that perhaps nobody is taking the Terminator franchise seriously anymore. The trailer doesn’t show much. There is a school bus flipping upside down. There are shots of other stars of the film, notably Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones), who plays the role of heroic badass Sarah Conner. The most noteworthy moment of the trailer, however, is when Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator faces a younger Arnold Schwarzenegger (seemingly a different Terminator model). It all seems a little obnoxious. I feel like, with or without the Governator, the Terminator franchise has run its course. But I hope I’m wrong and that this reboot will breathe fresh life into the world of Skynet.


Terminator Genisys opens on July 1.


Furious 7

Who would have thought that a franchise whose main characters may as well be cars has lasted through seven films? Fans of the franchise will know from the previous installment’s post-credit sequence that Jason Statham was going to appear in Furious 7, but for those who were not aware, he makes an appearance in the Super Bowl ad. Apparently he’s a villain (I’ve only seen the original Fast and Furious and the sixth installment, so all of the intricate character arcs are unknown to me), blowing up Vin Diesel’s house and seemingly putting him and his family in danger.

I don’t really care about these films. They’re fun to watch, but there’s not much else to be said of them. What is notable about this installment is the fact that it is the final film of Paul Walker, who died tragically in 2013. It will be interesting to see how the franchise will move forward under these unfortunate circumstances.


Furious 7 opens on April 3.



The first trailer for this Disney creation was intriguing. It featured star Britt Robertson, who, upon touching a pin, is immediately transported to a different world. The initial trailer showed a beautifully shot landscape, a question-raising shot of George Clooney in some sort of control room, and a dude with a jetpack. And that was it.

The super bowl spot, although shorter, opened up the world of Tomorrowland a tiny bit (There’s a second dude with a jetpack!). It shows a sleek, technologically-savvy city and a curious machine cycling through numbers (not unlike the timepiece that sits next to Clooney in the initial trailer, although that one just counts down to some unknown event). Brad Bird’s film looks absolutely stunning visually. And Bird has had a wonderful career (The Iron Giant, Ratatouille, The Incredibles), so it seems like he can be trusted with a film like this one. This could easily be the next Pirates of the Caribbean for Disney.


Tomorrowland opens on May 22.


Jurassic World

This is the big one. No Star Wars trailer here. No more Peter Jackson epics to advertise. The Jurassic Park reboot/sequel is the trailer everyone wants to see. The exceedingly lovable Chris Pratt leads the pack in the cast list for this movie, which is enough on its own to warrant interest in the film.

And the trailer doesn’t disappoint. Where the initial trailer evaded the question, the Super Bowl spot wasn’t shy in showing the dinosaurs. The visuals look really good in this trailer. I’m fairly excited about this film. At first, I thought it would flop, as it seemed like nothing more than another tired franchise add-on. But the trailers for Jurassic World show that they might have done it right.


Jurassic World opens on June 12.



There were plenty of other trailers during this year’s Super Bowl telecast: Pitch Perfect 2, Minions, Fifty Shades of Grey, Ted 2, etc. Most of these didn’t interest me too much, certainly not enough for me to have anything specific to comment on. The Ted 2 Tom Brady cameo was pretty funny, but that won’t fix the lazy premise of the film itself.

Overall, this Super Bowl wasn’t strong in advertisements, and the movie trailers were no exception. The Tomorrowland trailer made me slightly more excited for the Disney feature, and the Jurassic World spot made me feel like the reboot might actually be good. But, for the most part, the ads were disappointing.


As always, thanks for reading!


Did you watch the Super Bowl? What did you think about the game, the ads, or the trailers mentioned above? Let me know in the comments!


–Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)

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