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For the second year in a row, there will be fewer movie ads during the Super Bowl.
More and more, Hollywood studios are migrating to the pregame and postgame shows, where an ad can cost half as much. This year, a 30-second spot airing during Super Bowl LIV carries a steep price tag of $5.6 million, up from $5.2 million last year. Fox is carrying the NFL championship.
While the Super Bowl remains the most-watched live television event of the year in the U.S., ponying up that much money has become a major deterrent for Hollywood, particularly when dropping a teaser or a trailer at other times during Super Bowl weekend can achieve just as much exposure on social media.
Universal and Disney were the only major studios suiting up in 2019 for the actual game, and that appears to be the case again this time out. Paramount, home of this summer’s Top Gun: Maverick, will have a major presence in the pregame — Disney and Universal are expected to use this block as well — while Warner Bros. and Sony are sitting it out completely.
After the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs take to the field, Universal is expected to air spots for its summer tentpoles Fast & Furious 9 (due out May 22) and Illumination’s Minions: The Rise of Gru (July 3), according to insiders. Fun fact: Every Fast pic has been advertised on the Super Bowl.
The spot for Fast 9 will be preceded by the movie’s trailer premiere on Friday at a concert in Miami, which is hosting Super Bowl LIV. Fast & Furious star Ludacris will perform alongside Cardi B, Ozuna — both of whom appear in the upcoming installment — Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth. While the trailer drop was officially announced, Universal declined to comment regarding its plans for Sunday.
Disney is likewise keeping mum regarding its specific plans, but will have a presence throughout the day, according to sources. Last year, it aired 30-second teasers for Avengers: Endgame and Toy Story 4 just before and after the game, while Captain Marvel was among the few movie ads during the main event.
The batch of Disney releases that could make an appearance sometime Sunday include the live-action Mulan (March 27) and Marvel’s Black Widow (May 1) and two Pixar titles, Onward (March 6) and Soul (June 19).
Paramount will air spots during the pregame for A Quiet Place II (March 20) — two years ago, it did the same for the first A Quiet Place — Sonic the Hedgehog (Feb. 14) and The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run (May 22).
The studio isn’t saying if it has any plans to promote Tom Cruise’s Top Gun: Maverick (June 26) at any point during the day, but its Mission: Impossible franchise, likewise starring Cruise, has been a Super Bowl staple 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 and was even lower last year.
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