The Super Bowl was already the biggest night for sports in America (not to mention the biggest night for advertising), but it’s increasingly becoming a blockbuster movie event too. With so many captive eyeballs, Super Bowl Sunday is a great opportunity for studios to wow audiences with flashy trailers for their upcoming films.
Last year saw several major trailers, including the long-awaited first trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story, the first Mission: Impossible – Fallout trailer, and another exciting Avengers: Infinity War trailer, to name a few. (There were also some big TV trailers, including spots for Westworld Season 2 and Castle Rock. This post is just going to focus on what movie trailers we might expect in 2019, but don’t be surprised if HBO surprises us again with the first true trailer for Game of Thrones’ final season.)
However, don't expect as big of a night for cinema as last year's game was. The Hollywood Reporter writes that there's expected to be far fewer trailers during this year's Super Bowl compared to past years, estimating that there will be as few as "three to five" trailers on Sunday.
According to Ad Age, Disney is confirmed to have bought “an undisclosed number” of ad spots during the Super Bowl, alongside the NFL, of course. Disney’s 2019 calendar is stacked — it's got two highly anticipated Marvel movies, three “live-action” remakes of classic animated films, the sequel to Frozen, and Star Wars: Episode IX coming out this year. So, the fact that the House of Mouse has bought a mystery number of ads for Sunday night’s festivities doesn’t really tell us much, as it's pretty much a given that Disney is going to run ads for some of its films.
In lieu of an actual list of what trailers to expect during the Super Bowl (though this post is being updated as trailers are confirmed to appear or not appear), here’s our best guess to what trailers we could see, using last year as a rough guide. In 2018, there were eight movie trailers during the game. Four trailers were the first trailer for the film (including Netflix’s Cloverfield Paradox, which is sort of a special case), while there had been previous trailers for the remaining four movies.
Not counting Cloverfield Paradox’s surprise day-of release, we can also sort of get a sense of what release date window Super Bowl trailers are pegged to. The film with the earliest release date was Red Sparrow on March 2. Then there were trailers for an April release, two May releases, a June release, and two July releases. So, it seems unlikely that there will be trailers for films that come out in August or later, and March releases, while possible, are perhaps a little too close to gameday to merit an expensive Super Bowl ad buy.
Deadline and THR report that neither Sony nor Warner Bros. are running trailers for the Super Bowl this year.
Here are the movie trailers we might see, arranged by studio and roughly ranked by probability.
Avengers: Endgame (second trailer)
Infinity War got a Super Bowl trailer in 2018, so it seems almost a given that Marvel will do the same for Endgame. It’s almost certainly going to be one of the biggest and most-talked about movies of the year, so further hyping it up on one of the biggest nights in pop culture seems like a sure thing.
Aladdin (first trailer)
Disney’s got three “live-action” remakes of classic Disney films coming out in 2019, and while Aladdin has already had a teaser trailer, it hasn’t had a full trailer yet.
Given that it comes out in late May, it sure feels like we’re due for a trailer, and the Super Bowl would be a great place for Will Smith’s genie to make his blue debut.
Toy Story 4 (first trailer)
There’s already been a teaser for the fourth Toy Story movie, which comes out in June, but not a full trailer. A heartstring-tugging trailer about Woody and the gang might fit right in on Sunday night.
The Lion King (second trailer)
The remake of The Lion King already had a full trailer despite coming out in July, after Aladdin. And yet, the cast is so star-studded (former Super Bowl halftime show performer Beyoncé is in it), that it seems possible The Lion King will get another trailer on Sunday, given how big the audience will be.
Also, this is neither here nor there, but The Lion King (2019) is an animated movie, not live-action. Those lions ain’t real.
Of Disney’s three “live-action” remakes, it seems the least likely that Dumbo will get a Super Bowl trailer, just because it feels like the least “flashy” of the bunch. Captain Marvel has already had three full trailers, and it comes out in early March; maybe there will be a short, 30-second spot, but a full trailer seems unlikely. Frozen 2 and Star Wars: Episode IX are both going to be huge movies, but they come out in November and December, respectively, which is pretty late in the year for a Super Bowl trailer, and Deadline is reporting that there won't be a Star Wars trailer.
Dwayne Johnson confirmed that July's Fast and the Furious spin-off will air a trailer during the Super Bowl, an event that could always use another adrenaline rush. The trailer came out on the Friday before the game, though, so it'll won't be as fresh when it airs on Sunday.
The Secret Life of Pets 2 (second trailer)
The Secret Life of Pets was a hit, and the first trailer for the sequel came out in November. With an early June release date, the timing feels right, and The Secret Life of Pets has an energy that feels very Super Bowl Sunday-appropriate.
Maybe the pets will be watching the Super Bowl, or something.
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World comes out in late February, but supposedly all the trailers for that flick have already been released. Any other major Dreamworks movies, including Doctor Dolittle and Cats, come out too late in 2019 or early 2020 to be plausible.
Dark Phoenix (third trailer)
The X-Men are coming back for a second stab at an iconic Jean Grey storyline from the comics. Regardless of the Disney-Fox merger, Dark Phoenix is still coming out in June, and it would be well-served by a trailer.
Alita: Battle Angel comes out on Valentine's Day, which is a pretty tight turnaround after the Super Bowl. Fox also has the animated film Spies in Disguise set for a September release, so there could feasibly be some sort of trailer for that kid's flick.
Wonder Park (second trailer) CONFIRMED
Deadline writes that Paramount has bought a pre-game ad spot for a trailer for Nickelodeon Movies' upcoming feature Wonder Park, so if you count pre-game trailers as Super Bowl trailers, look out for this one.
Sonic the Hedgehog (first trailer)
God, how frickin’ sweet would it be to force all of America to gaze at Sonic’s weirdly human, weirdly sexual legs during the middle of the Super Bowl?
The Hollywood Reporter writes that Sony and Warner Bros. will not be airing any trailers during the Super Bowl, meaning that films like Shazam!, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, It: Chapter Two, Spider-Man: Far From Home, and Zombieland 2 are not going to have a presence during the Super Bowl.