EXCLUSIVE: Studios Set Super Bowl Ads; 'Pirates,' 'Transformers,' 'Captain America'

4:09 PM PST 01/19/2011 by Pamela McClintock
Peter Mountain/Disney

With a little more than two weeks until Super Bowl XLV, Hollywood is finalizing its plan to take advantage of the most-watched television event of the year.

Paramount will have a monster studio presence during the Feb. 6 telecast, buying ad time to plug five films -- J.J. Abrams' alien-invasion pic Super 8, the threequel Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Gore Verbinski's CGI film Rango and Marvel's superhero pics Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger. All are high-priority event movies for the studio.

As in past years, the Super Bowl will provide the first glimpse of Hollywood's summer lineup. Disney has bought time during the game for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, while Universal and DreamWorks' will plug the Daniel Craig-Harrison Ford sci-fi western Cowboys & Aliens.

Rango opens March 4, followed by Thor on May 6, Pirates on May 20, Super 8 on June 10, Transformers on July 1, Captain America on July 22 and Cowboys on July 29.

 

Warner Bros. and Fox appear to be sitting this year out, but that could change. And studios participating could add spots for other films before the game.

There also will be spots for high-profile titles opening between now and summer.

Relativity Media, now in the domestic distribution game, is entering the Super Bowl fray for the first time, buying time for the Bradley Cooper/Robert De Niro starrer Limitless, which opens March 18.

Rates for the Feb. 6 game on Fox are running about $3 million per 30-second spot, up slightly from last year. But the Super Bowl delivers TV's most powerful audience, with a record 106 million viewers tuning in last year. Although studios have been spending less since 2006 because of the prohibitive cost, they are major supporters of the big game. For instance, a new study from Kanta Media says Disney has spent $70.8 million on Super Bowl ads since 2001.

So far, Hollywood's spend on Super Bowl advertising this year is on par with 2010, if not up a bit.

Several studios are bypassing the game proper and airing spots during pregame festivities, when rates are substantially lower.

That includes Sony, which will air spots for Just Go With It (Feb. 11), Battle: Los Angeles (March 13) and summer title Priest (May 13) in the hours leading up to the game. Focus Features will air a spot for The Eagle (Feb. 11).

Paramount also will have a pregame presence, buying time for Kung Fu Panda 2 (May 27).

Relativity will air a promo for Take Me Home Tonight (March 4) during Glee, which  receives the post-Super Bowl berth this year. And Paramount will buy time for Valentine’s Day 3D concert documentary Justin Bieber: Never Say Never.

Super Bowl movie advertising was at an all-time low in 2007, when only four spots aired.

Matthew Belloni contributed to this report.

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