The X-Men prequel “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” isn’t due out for another couple of months (May 1st, to be exact), but the marketing for the movie is already being used by 20th Century Fox to sell its other properties: The first trailer for the movie ran before “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” and now three one minute spots are being shown on Fox during their primetime lineup. Spot one ran this weekend during “Family Guy,” spot two comes on tonight (Feb. 16) during “House,” and spot three airs tomorrow night on “American Idol.” It’s being billed as “An event too big for one night.” Hm.
This type of advertising campaign for a highly-anticipated project is nothing new, of course, and it serves a dual purpose: On the one hand, it gets people excited for the movie, and on the other, that excitement draws them to the theater (or in front of the TV screen) for something they wouldn’t otherwise watch. The earliest example of this phenomenon that I can remember came during the lead up to “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace,” when the first trailer for that film was stuck in front of the (awful, slow, and annoyingly so) Brad Pitt vehicle “Meet Joe Black.” As Steve Daly wrote in Entertainment Weekly in a Grade A review of the trailer:
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, behold George Lucas‘ miniature jewel of showmanship. Not even David O. Selznick, restaging the burning of Atlanta in 1939 with no actress yet cast as Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind, exploited a palpable mass curiosity more shrewdly and satisfyingly than Lucas has here.
What about you? Have you ever gone to a movie just to check out a trailer preceding it? Did you stick around for the feature? Inquiring minds want to know…