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The cavalcade of Super Bowl LIII ads lining up to air during Sunday’s big game won’t include as many Hollywood movie promos as in past years.
Combined, the Hollywood studios used to drop as many as eight or 10 spots during the NFL championship, if not more. In 2018, that number fell to six. This year, there could be as few as three or four. Blame the high cost of a 30-second spot — $5 million — and timing. CBS is carrying the game.
Disney is expected to have the biggest presence, and will showcase several of its upcoming event pics throughout Super Bowl Sunday. It’s unclear how many Disney ads will be seen during the game itself, versus during the pregame or postgame shows, which cost about half as much.
Hoping to preserve some amount of suspense, Disney isn’t revealing any details. However, don’t expect to see a promo for Star Wars: Episode IX, which isn’t set for release until Dec. 20.
Disney’s high-profile slate between now and the end of summer commences with Captain Marvel (March 8), followed by Dumbo (March 29), Avengers: Endgame (April 26), Aladdin (May 24), Toy Story 4 (June 21) and Artemis Fowl (Aug. 9).
Avengers: Endgame would seem an obvious choice for Super Bowl attention; last year, an ad for Avengers: Infinity War generated the most buzz of any spot aired during the game, according to a Comscore and United Talent Agency survey ranking both trailer views and social conversation. Not to mention that the Avengers franchise and Super Bowl have a long history.
Last year, Disney also used the Super Bowl to tease a trailer for May 2018 tentpole Solo: A Star Wars Story. Super Bowl spots for Jurassic World 2 and Skyscraper, both from Universal, and Paramount’s Mission: Impossible – Fallout also generated headlines.
Aside from Disney, Universal is the only other major studio that’s guaranteed to have a presence during Sunday’s football showdown between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams. The studio is expected to promo Fast & Furious spinoff Hobbs and Shaw (Aug. 2), starring Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham. (Fun fact: Every Fast and Avengers advertised on the Super Bowl.)
Last year, Universal advertised two films, Jurassic World 2 and Dwayne Johnson’s Skyscraper.
Paramount will use the pregame show to showcase Wonder Park (March 15), just as it did last year for box office hit A Quiet Place, but will sit out the actual game.
On the verge of being merged with Disney, 20th Century Fox is a major question mark. The studio could tout Dark Phoenix (June 7). Previously, both Fox and Paramount have been prolific Super Bowl advertisers.
Sony and Warner Bros. are sitting out Super Bowl Sunday entirely (it’s not uncommon for Warners).
The most maverick movie moment of last year’s Super Bowl was arguably when a Netflix spot revealed that Cloverfield Paradox could be seen in full on the streamer immediately following the game.
Super Bowl LIII will be broadcast live at 3:30 p.m. PT from the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
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