December 27, 2013 1:18pm PT by Graeme McMillan
Best of 2013: The Hottest Trailers for Trailers for Movies (Video)
As 2013 demonstrated, it's not enough now for your movie to have a trailer -- or, as tends to be the norm these days, somewhere between one and three trailers, depending on just how big a release it's intended to be. These days, even the trailers need trailers -- something to appear online a few days in advance of the first teaser trailer to let everyone know that they should prepare to be excited pretty soon.
If anything, this was the year of the teaser to the teaser trailer -- when the idea tried to work out its kinks (Witness Amazing Spider-Man 2's Twitter announcement of its first trailer? With other movies producing teaser videos, a simple tweeted image was never going to measure up, sadly) and convince people that a simple trailer can nonetheless be enough of an event in and of itself that it needs to be announced in advance.
Here, then, are this year's biggest trailers for trailers that debuted this year. With these kinds of peaks this year, just think about what we can expect in 2014. Personally, I'm hoping for a series of teaser posters for the ad spot for the online teaser for the first trailer -- but maybe I'm thinking too small.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Pros: Well, they tried something different with the teaser for the first trailer for next year's primate-centric sequel. Cons: What they tried is really underwhelming. Perhaps if we had recognized the voice of who was speaking, or had more to look at that a backdrop of trees and superimposed type, or perhaps -- just perhaps -- the line of dialogue spoken could have been something surprising or even vaguely interesting, it could've worked. But as it was … ? Well, better luck next time.
X-Men: Days of Future Past: That footage for next year's big X-Men movie debuted via social media -- in this case, Vine -- instead of more traditional avenues wasn't the biggest surprise; director Bryan Singer has been making full use of his Twitter account this year to promote what's happening with Fox's mutant superhero franchise. The short preview was a bombastic glimpse into the future of the following week's trailer, relying as much on the viewer recognizing actors than anything else -- but that's not to say that's necessarily a problem.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier: Slightly less successful was this sneak at the full trailer for the second Captain America movie, which seemed to have been created with the thinking that audiences would be sufficiently wowed to see that everyone they expected to see in the movie had made it, and that they would be doing such things as looking off camera, walking and running. Considering how good the actual trailer turned out to be, maybe this was some kind of attempt to dampen down expectations so that we'd all be blown away by the real thing.
Godzilla: Breaking from the norm slightly, the teaser footage from the Godzilla trailer was hidden inside a website belonging to a fictional organization that's part of the movie's larger mythology, making it at least slightly harder to get to than most -- well, unless you just found it online via YouTube embeds, of course. Unlike the Dawn of the POTA teaser footage, however, this footage at least managed to offer something interesting without spoiling any of the trailer's impact.
The Wolverine: This year's second solo movie from Fox's X-Men franchise broke new ground in the trailer world with the first Vine teaser for a movie ever, with six seconds of the movie released in March. Impressively, those six seconds were actually just the teaser for a 20-second teaser released the next day, with the full trailer released a day after that. Overkill? Quite possibly, but the movie was just four months away from release at the time. Clearly, like the Marvel Comics incarnation of the character, the movie Wolverine is the best there is at what he does -- it's just that what he does is promote his movie via very short movies on the Internet.