‘Jurassic World 2′ Will Break The Curse Of The Pre-’Star Wars’ Trailer Launch – Forbes

‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ image courtesy of Walt Disney

As we learned last week, we’re getting the first teaser to Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom on Dec. 13, 2017 courtesy of Universal/Comcast Corp. As expected, the first teaser to next summer’s big sequel will play before theatrical prints of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. That means that, barring a fluke, we can probably expect a teaser for Mama Mia: Here We Go Again! attached to prints of Pitch Perfect 3 the following week.

So, with one month out from Justice League and two months out from The Last Jedi, there are two questions: First, what can we expect to see and when in terms of big 2018 releases beginning their marketing campaigns? Second, will any of those non-Disney movies have better luck than the 2016 releases did on the back of The Force Awakens? Here’s a weird factoid: All of the big non-Disney releases that dropped their first teaser trailers in order to play in front of theatrical prints of Star Wars: The Last Jedi underwhelmed during their own theatrical launches.

Paramount/Viacom Inc.’s Star Trek Beyond and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows both disappointed in relation to expectations and cost. 21st Century Fox’s Independence Day: Resurgence made less than the original film did in its first six days of domestic release, while X-Men: Apocalypse needed China to get over the $500 million mark. Universal/Comcast Corp.’s Warcraft (which debuted at BlizzCon in early November but first played in theaters with The Force Awakens) stiffed even with big business in China.

Disney’s Captain America: Civil War topped $1 billion, but otherwise, among films that began their campaigns with Star Wars, it was a near-total wipeout. To be fair, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (which launched its poorly-received and spoiler-y third trailer with Star Wars) earned $873 million worldwide, and Deadpool (which launched its second trailer on Christmas Day preceded by an IMAX-only trailer tease) earned $783m. But otherwise, it was the inverse of what happened in 1999, when all of the movies that 20th Century Fox plugged with Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace (Fight Club, Titan A.E., Anna and the King, The Beach) all died bad deaths upon theatrical release.

With the exception of Warner Bros./Time Warner Inc.’ Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which launched a bare-bones announcement teaser 11 months prior to release, every non-Disney movie that launched their marketing campaign with The Force Awakens underperformed. And the launch of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story wasn’t that much better. Aside from the surefire smash Fate of the Furious and Spider-Man: Homecoming (which was technically a Sony release even as a part of Disney’s MCU), the pre-Rogue One trailer debuts (Transformers: The Last Knight, The Mummy) fell well short of hopes and/or expectations.

Maybe it helped that Disney had no new campaigns to launch since they had begun their Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Cars 3 and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales campaigns in October and November. I don’t know why the deluge of big movies that began their marketing campaigns with The Force Awakens did so badly, aside from perhaps the notion that ID4 2, Warcraft and Star Trek Beyond were selling themselves as offering Star Wars-like thrills in an era where we were now getting crowd-pleasing Star Wars movies.

Even if Justice League and The Last Jedi will make Super Bowl movie commercials again redundant, I don’t expect a repeat of this phenomenon this year. For one thing, I’d be shocked if Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom isn’t one of the very biggest movies of the year, if not (give or take Avengers: Infinity War) the biggest movie of the summer domestic and/or worldwide. As for Walt Disney, I’m expecting trailers for Avengers: Infinity War and possibly Solo: A Star Wars Story (both due in May of 2018), and, yeah, it’s going to be really odd to see a trailer for a Star Wars prequel before a new Star Wars episode.

An Incredibles 2 teaser will likely play with most Last Jedi prints, even if I’m assuming said campaign will start with Coco over Thanksgiving. Ditto (I hope) for a second Wrinkle in Time trailer. Beyond that, it’s merely a question of what studios choose to put their big movies before the Walt Disney juggernaut versus holding out for their own big movies dropping just before or just after The Last Jedi. Warner Bros. has enough very big early 2018 releases (Ready Player One, Tomb Raider and Rampage) that they can give one or two to Justice League and hold one back for The Last Jedi.

I don’t know if we’ll get a Fantastic Beasts 2 teaser like we did two years ago, but I’d be surprised if we didn’t (perhaps only offering a title and a shot of Jude Law as Dumbledore) prior to Justice League or Star Wars. I’m also hoping for a teaser for Teen Titans Go! to the Movies (frontrunner for best comic book superhero movie of 2018… fight me) attached to Justice League.

Heck, they may just use Justice League to launch their Spring slate while using The Last Jedi to drop one or two summer offerings (The Nun, Ocean’s 8, etc.). And while we might get an announcement teaser for Aquaman by the end of the year, I’m guessing WB will hold off until one of their many pre-summer biggies for that launch. If Fox is using Thor: Ragnarok to launch The New Mutants, I’m expecting another Christmas campaign for Deadpool 2, like they did with Deadpool and Alien: Covenant over the last two season. If so, we can expect the Deadpool 2 trailer to launch with The Greatest Showman.

Most of Sony’s early 2018 slate is adult-skewing (Soldado, Proud Mary, etc.), and they’ll debut any biggies with Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. Ditto with Lionsgate now that Robin Hood: Origins moved to Sept. 21, 2018. Paramount has a movie just before Justice League (Daddy’s Home 2) and just after The Last Jedi (Downsizing). Will they drop the Cloverfield teaser with one of their own or go with Star Wars? Will we get a Mission: Impossible 6 (due July 27, 2018) teaser in December with Star Wars or in February with the second Cloverfield spin-off?

So whether or not the curse of the pre-Star Wars trailers continues is dependent on what movies choose to begin their marketing campaigns in mid-December as opposed to before or after the Rian Johnson sci-fi sequel. Yes, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom will be huge. Moreover, I’d be shocked if Deadpool 2 and Mission: Impossible 6 didn’t kick butt next. I’m assuming at least a few of WB’s many big Jan-to-July 2018 releases will break out accordingly.

We’ll see how accurate these predictions turn out to be starting in just a few weeks. As far as that would-be curse, maybe the secret is to not necessarily offer a movie trailering before Star Wars that is trying to capture the overall zeitgeist of a Star Wars movie. And yes, I’m expecting Teen Titans Go! to the Movies to be the best movie of the millennium. But that’s for another day.


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