Super Bowl LVII is set to provide one of the biggest shows of the 2022 NFL season: the Chiefs and Eagles both enter as No. 1 seeds, with MVP finalists at quarterback fullback and Andy Reid against his former longtime team. But the game itself isn’t the only thing that will deserve attention on February 12. Super Bowl commercials are also a staple of the event, and some of them offer a first look at the biggest blockbusters hitting the big screen. .
With that in mind, CBS Sports sat down with Rotten Tomatoes’ Mark Ellis to forecast the full slate of movie and TV previews this year on Super Bowl Sunday, including potential surprise appearances:
What kind of boost do movies actually get from airing Super Bowl commercials?
Ellis: My overall feeling now is that you’re really trying to do two things at once: #1 raise awareness, but #2 the more immediate goal is to become a trending topic on social media, because you want to not only raise awareness but buzz. For example, one of the confirmed movies (for a Super Bowl trailer), “The Flash”, social media is so crucial to the marketing campaign for this movie. There are lots of fun elements, teasing different universes – will we see more of Michael Keaton’s Batman? — and trying to generate interest, not to mention distract from Ezra Miller’s exploits over the past year.
What are your top picks for generating that sought-after buzz?
Ellis: “The Flash” probably will, but you also have these more offbeat movies, let’s take a chance, and the one I would watch for that – the not necessarily expected one – would be “Barbie”. It released its first trailer fairly recently, and when you get the Super Bowl audience, you get the football fans, but you also get a lot of people at the parties. And I think “Barbie” could capture a wide range of imaginations. Another with a heavy marketing campaign is “The Super Mario Bros. Movie”. Maybe we’ll actually hear Chris Pratt’s voice in this case.
How about predicting an MVP from the projected lineup of trailers?
Ellis: I think it’s only fitting that the Philadelphia Eagles are in the Super Bowl because they could also face off in commercial airspace with “Creed III”, the directorial debut of Michael B. Jordan. For Philly to fight on the court and in the ring, it just couldn’t be more fitting. By the way, Jonathan Majors is going to have a big Super Bowl, as he could be seen in “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” and “Creed”. If I had to pick another potential MVP, I think if – and it’s always an “if” – we get a trailer for “Fast X”, I think it’s going to blow people’s minds. “Fast and Furious” is tailor-made for a Super Bowl crowd; it’s a party movie. There’s always an audible gasp whenever you see Vin Diesel in a car.
Tom Cruise seemed to have that effect when he returned to the cockpit for “Top Gun: Maverick” last year. Are you planning another series of cruises this year?
Ellis: All you really have to do is show off Tom Cruise’s latest stunt, and you’ll have people talking. You will get a lot of hashtags out of it. “Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning, Part One” won’t be released until July 14, but it’s still a possibility. We all saw what happened with “Top Gun”. When we finally got this movie, its Tomatometer ended up being a 98 critics score and a 99 audience score, and now it’s nominated for Best Picture. So that goes to show that a Super Bowl trailer doesn’t just have to sell a movie that’s sort of a piece of mindless popcorn.
What are the other sleeper choices for Surprise Trailers? Can you go further than “Barbie”?
Ellis: My pick Brock Purdy? My “Mister unimportant?” If I go further than “Barbie”, I reach the carrying bag. But I’m probably pulling out a few Oompa Loompas. We already have Timothée Chalamet on our TVs with Apple ads, so what if we got our first look at a young Willy Wonka? If you drop “Wonka” images, it gets people talking.
Any chance of an unorthodox trailer, like actors appearing in character as part of some other kind of promo?
Ellis: The possibility is twofold: you might see someone announcing a movie slate instead of showing a traditional trailer. The future of James Gunn’s DC Cinematic Universe is an example of this. Marvel could do the same. You may also see products related to some of these movies. It wouldn’t be impossible to see Ant-Man running away with a non-alcoholic Heineken in his hand, or something like that.
How about another look at the new “Indiana Jones,” due out in June?
Ellis: I would love to see an Indy trailer because the first one blew my mind, especially with the aged Harrison Ford footage. You can get people talking if you show more of this – “How is Harrison Ford so fit?” And maybe we get a little insight into what the title’s “Dial of Destiny” is all about. I think that’s a question a Super Bowl trailer might suggest answering. You can also never count “Transformers”. They’ve been advertising the Super Bowl for years. I don’t know if there’s a lot of awareness about the next one, “Rise of the Beasts,” but it’s a big summer tentpole.
Paramount Pictures’ ‘80 for Brady‘ feels tailor-made for the Super Bowl, with its Tom Brady involvement. Could we see a second wind for this marketing, even if it will already be in theaters?
Ellis: There should be. I can watch these four ladies (stars Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Sally Field and Rita Moreno) hang out on a park bench for two hours. And maybe that’s the genius behind what “80 for Brady” could do. Maybe you just ask them to present something together. For example, there’s a live ad this year where Rob Gronkowski is going to go for a field goal. And he makes an appearance in the film. Could we see these ladies appear? I have a feeling the “80s for Brady” theme could still be present on Super Bowl Sunday.