As America prepares itself for Super Bowl XLVII on Sunday, where the San Francisco 49ers will square off against the Baltimore Ravens at the Superdome in New Orleans, plenty of folks are asking the same question:
“Will the commercials be any good this year?”
Advertisers traditionally pull out all the stops for the spots aired during the biggest sporting event of the year (as well they should, given they’re paying well over $3.5 million for thirty-second slots), and Hollywood’s major studios are using the opportunity to give movie fans a look at some of their bigger and splashier upcoming releases.
Disney plans to give fans a taste of three major upcoming features. Sam Raimi's much-anticipated re-imagining of "The Wizard of Oz" stories, "Oz: The Great And Powerful," starring James Franco, Michelle Williams, and Rachel Weisz, will be represented with a new trailer.
"Iron Man 3," with Robert Downey Jr. returning as Tony Stark, is a sure blockbuster if there ever was such a thing, but Disney is taking no chances, reminding the Super Bowl audience of its May 3 release date with some previously unseen footage. And while Disney has already sent out a trailer for their "Lone Ranger" reboot starring Armie Hammer as the masked man and Johnny Depp as his faithful sidekick, they’ll be promoting the July release with a new TV spot.
Paramount will be beating the drum for two major summer releases. They’ll be airing a new preview for "Star Trek Into Darkness," director J.J. Abrams' follow-up to his successful 2009 franchise reboot, with Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto returning as Kirk and Spock; it goes into theaters in May. Also expect a new trailer for their June release "World War Z," in which Brad Pitt tries to save the world from a fast-spreading virus that’s turning humans into zombies.
And Universal will be debuting their first trailer for the sixth installment in the "Fast and the Furious" franchise during the Super Bowl, which will find Dwayne Johnson chasing after Vin Diesel and Paul Walker once again. Justin Lin, who directed three previous films in the series, was back behind the camera for "The Fast and the Furious 6," due to open in May.
Given the high price of airtime, several other major studios have opted out of advertising during the Super Bowl. One might question why 20th Century Fox decided not to promote their upcoming "X-Men" offshoot "The Wolverine" during the game, or why Sony is following suit with their Jamie Foxx/Channing Tatum action opus "White House Down." But Warner Bros. probably made the right move not forcing Baz Luhrmann’s remake of "The Great Gatsby" to compete for attention against hot wings and cheerleaders.
Super Bowl XLVII airs Sunday, February 3 at 6:30 pm EST on CBS.