In 1998, the year before Star Wars: The Phantom Menace would be released, there was only a teaser trailer. Though it was still the 90’s, Star Wars fans were just as excited for a teaser trailer as they are today. Unlike today, you couldn’t just pull up YouTube and watch the trailer (and subsequently upload your reaction to said trailer on YouTube). You had to pay out cold hard cash to a movie you couldn’t care about, but it was worth it to see that trailer.
When The Phantom Menace’s trailer was released, tons of people bought tickets for Meet Joe Black and The Waterboy over and over again so they could see the trailer. That type of thinking is foreign today. Though there were a lot of people who went to the theater to see the first teaser for The Force Awakens, we all just returned home and analyzed the trailer on our computers. It is a different age of marketing today, but that doesn’t mean a film’s theatrical experience still can’t be added to by the promise of a brand new trailer.
So while it’s possible that The Phantom Menace’s teaser helped the box office of Meet Joe Black, today’s example will work in the opposite direction. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is predicted to have the biggest opening weekend of all time, so of course movie studios want to get their trailers in front of that film. If you can get your trailer attached to The Force Awakens, you’ve just guaranteed that the highest amount of people will see your trailer.
It has already been reported that the first trailer for Captain America: Civil War will be attached to The Force Awakens. If that wasn’t enough, screenwriter/producer Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Days of Future Past, Fantastic Four, Star Wars: Rebels) has confirmed that we will also be seeing the first trailer for X-Men: Apocalypse. Speaking to Collider (via Screenrant), Kinberg confirmed the speculation:
“I can in fact confirm that information. Our first trailer will be on Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It’s our first thing out there so it is somewhat of a teaser but it’s certainly longer than a minute and it has a ton of cool stuff in it.”
Director Bryan Singer had previously teased that the trailer was coming soon, so what better way to show off your movie than by attaching it to one of the most anticipated movies of all time. In comparison to 1998, this is not a scenario where these Marvel movies will help the box office of The Force Awakens. On the contrary, the exposure of The Force Awakens will only add to the anticipation of the Marvel films.
The marketing of a film is an art form unto itself. So yes, it will be possible to see the trailers for Apocalypse and Civil War on the web on December 17th. But let us suggest something, if you are planning on seeing The Force Awakens that opening weekend, just wait to watch those trailers until the theatrical experience. Just think about it, you will be in a theater with excited fans about to watch the return of the Star Wars legacy. In addition to that, you will get to experience two (maybe more) trailers for two of the biggest comic-book films being released next year. It will by your own Comic-Con experience right there in the theater. This may just be the most geek-friendly day in movie history.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be released on December 18, 2015, Captain America: Civil War will be released on May 6, 2016, and X-Men: Apocalypse will be released on May 27, 2016. Official synopsis for X-Men: Apocalypse below:
“Since the dawn of civilization, he was worshiped as a god. Apocalypse, the first and most powerful mutant from Marvel’s X-Men universe, amassed the powers of many other mutants, becoming immortal and invincible. Upon awakening after thousands of years, he is disillusioned with the world as he finds it and recruits a team of powerful mutants, including a disheartened Magneto (Michael Fassbender), to cleanse mankind and create a new world order, over which he will reign. As the fate of the Earth hangs in the balance, Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) with the help of Professor X (James McAvoy) must lead a team of young X-Men to stop their greatest nemesis and save mankind from complete destruction.”