I remember when I was watching the Super Bowl in 1999 and seeing a commercial for The Matrix. This early year advertising was the first sign that this film was something that might deserve a spot in that year's film landscape and that the distribution company was serious about promoting the film by purchasing a coveted and expensive Superbowl Advertisement.
I think the power-of-the-Super-commercial may have waned some since then, but I always pay attention to what films show up in the Superbowl as well as their eventual box-office gross.
It seems to me, and I think you will see from last years examples, that it takes more than a Super Bowl ad to create a hit, and that perhaps a Super Bowl ad is compensation for a weaker product that already cost too much money.
Not to mention, the Super Bowl movie ads start to give us the first taste of many of the biggest summer blockbusters.
For example, here's a list of last years commercials that aired during the 2009 Super Bowl, with box-office gross and current 2009 ranking for domestic gross:
- Angels & Demons ($133 million, #22)
- Fast and Furious ($155 million, #17)
- G.I. Joe ($150 million, #18)
- Land of the Lost ($49 million, #62)
- Monsters vs. Aliens ($198 million, #11)
- Transformers 2 ($402 million, #2)
- Year One ($43 million, #68)
Despite some larger numbers, I think the majority of these grosses (with the exception of Transformers & Monsters) represent under performance of expectations.
With that in mind, I'm interested to see what film commercials we see at Super Bowl XLIV this weekend. If my information is correct we will be seeing 9 film previews during the Superbowl this year for...
- Alice in Wonderland
- Despicable Me
- Iron Man 2
- The Last Airbender
- Prince of Persia
- Robin Hood
- Shutter Islands
- Toy Story 3
- The Wolfman