23rd May2018

Culture Dump #35: Do We Still Need Trailers?

by Simon Bland


In just a few weeks time we’ll be returning to Jurassic World where in all likelihood, all hell will break loose. We know this because we’ve seen the chaos teased in trailers – alongside the reveal that at least half of this planned calamity will take place off Isla Nublar in a new, previously-unseen mainland environment. Spoilers? Well, sort of – but apparently not spoilerific enough to make Universal Studios decide not to use this info as part of their pre-release marketing campaign. All those waiting for the lights to dim before discovering all of Fallen Kingdom’s secrets… well they might want to give social media, cinema trailers, telly – hell, even web adverts – a miss for the time being, as tricky as that may seem.

And yet revealing (or heavily alluding to) major plot points in movie trailers appears to be becoming more and more commonplace, especially when major tentpole releases are concerned. It’s kind of ironic, especially when you consider these big-budget, CGI-heavy films are often the ones the majority of audiences will mindlessly flock to regardless. Usually sequels, prequels, series installments or spin offs; these franchises with built-in viewers are surely among the easiest sells in any film PR team’s release slate?

Adding to the problem is the fact that these same movies happen to be the ones that come with the highest risk of spoilers. If you’re a fan of this specific brand of spectacle cinema, you’ll likely want to go in blind to ensure maximum enjoyment. Sure, Infinity War requested viewers’ remain tight lipped about its key plot punches but not before dishing out a healthy chunk of marketing material beforehand. Anything eyebrow raising in the Avengers’ recent outing may have technically been new to viewers but it was hardly surprising. With this in mind, maybe it’s time to do away with trailers altogether? After all, it’ll hardly stop the likes of die-hard Star Wars fans from handing over their cash and it could even boost Box Office returns. Not feeling Fallen Kingdom’s military-bred dinos? No trailers leaves you none the wiser until your money’s left your account!

It almost makes you nostalgic for a time before YouTube, smart phones and 24 hour content accessibility. Back when movie news was a lot harder to come by. Imagine the thrill and excitement of seeing that mystery cliffhanger ending in Back To The Future Part II, fresh and for the first time – or unexpectedly experiencing the uncanny worlds of Blade Runner without a heads up. Sadly, these experiences could be a thing of the past – or in the words of Ian Malcome: ‘Don’t you mean extinct?’

Do you think we still need movie trailers? Let me know in the comments section below!


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