With nearly two weeks to go until the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs face off in Super Bowl 54, companies are already trying to dominate the conversation around the game by teasing their commercials. It's not even February but Doritos has Sam Elliott reciting "Old Town Road" lyrics and Planters killed Mr. Peanut. The Super Bowl commercial game has begun, but the movie studios are playing things much closer to the vest.
There's been no word from the major film studios as to what trailers will be shown during the big game early next month, but that hasn't stopped fans from sharing all of their theories about trailer releases online. No one outside of the studios knows what trailers we will see, at least not yet. However, we can still have a little fun trying to figure things out in the meantime.
What trailers could arrive during the Super Bowl? Nothing is certain, but there are a couple of important factors that could help determine which trailers are most likely. When you consider release dates, demographics, genres, the situations facing individual studios, previous Super Bowl ads, and even the release dates of previous trailers, it's easy to narrow down the list a bit and come up with some solid predictions.
So while we don't have any real confirmation as to which trailers will be arriving on February 2nd, here are the ones we think are the most likely:
Going strictly off of release dates and anticipation, most people will probably put Black Widow at the top of their Super Bowl trailer predictions. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is the biggest franchise in the world and its next chapter, Black Widow, arrives just three months after the game; why wouldn't there be a trailer?
Marvel will almost certainly show something during the Super Bowl, and it'll probably be from Black Widow. Don't automatically assume it's a full trailer, though. Last year, Marvel had Avengers: Endgame arriving at the end of April, one week ahead of Black Widow's current release date. The studio chose to show a 30-second TV spot instead of a trailer and that's probably what happens this time around as well.
This year's Super Bowl trailers are hard to predict, but if there's one to consider a sure thing it's the upcoming James Bond movie, No Time to Die. It would be a shock to see the entire Super Bowl come and go without mention of 007, unless a trailer is released online sometime in the next week and a half.
No Time to Die is Daniel Craig's final time playing Bond and MGM will want to market it as heavily as possible, so there's that. The film's release date is in April and its first trailer arrived back in December, so there is a good amount of time between the two ads and its far enough out from the actual premiere that a full trailer still makes sense. There's also the demographic to consider, and the heavy male audience for the Super Bowl makes it a prime advertising opportunity for an action heavy spy flick.
There could be a curve thrown in here in the way of a partnership with a car company. Craig's Bond will almost certainly be seen during the game, but his appearance may come in the form of a car commercial, which would absolutely align with the character's brand.
So this is supposed to be about movie trailers, but we're going to make a couple of exceptions in order to talk about some TV shows that could easily be represented during the big game. The first of which is the first live-action TV series from Marvel Studios, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
Marvel fans are going to be looking for an Eternals trailer sometime soon, but the first look at the new Disney+ series makes a lot more sense, at least for the Super Bowl. Disney is going all in on the new streaming service and The Mandalorian already proved that its original shows can be major hits. Combining the power of the streamer with the popularity of the MCU is a perfect move for the game.
Netflix went all out on the Super Bowl a couple of years ago when it announced that The Cloverfield Paradox would be surprise released as soon as the game was over. Last year was a little more relaxed for the streamer, with the only Netflix trailer belonging to the nature documentary series Our Planet. Look for Netflix to get back out there this year with another blockbuster-level ad.
There are plenty of 2020 titles that Netflix has yet to even announce, but when you consider the Super Bowl audience, the size of the project, and the popularity of those involved, Zack Snyder's Army of the Dead makes the most sense. A mix of military action and zombie horror, Army of the Dead is the kind of vehicle built for Netflix.
Since there is no known release date for Army of the Dead a surprise post-game drop remains a possibility, but probably not all that likely.
There is always at least one animated movie advertised during the Super Bowl and not one such film coming in 2020 features more recognizable characters than Minions: The Rise of Gru. Illumination's Despicable Me franchise is insanely popular across the globe, and the Minions sequel will be the first of its films to hit theaters since 2017, so the hype will be real.
Some may think that Disney and Pixar try to compete with Minions during the game, but a 30-second spot for Onward is probably the only thing we'll get. All of the animated fare coming from the House of Mouse this year is totally original and pretty experimental, not exactly the type of movie that has been featured in the Super Bowl in past years.
With Minions: The Rise of Gru arriving in July, and no footage or official images released to this point, this one is a safe bet.
There are few stars in Hollywood today more loved and widely recognized than Ryan Reynolds. What makes him even more bankable is his ability to appeal to viewers of every background. Middle America likes Reynolds just as much as Hollywood does, largely thanks to his two Deadpool movies.
Reynolds' mass popularity will be tested this summer with Free Guy, an original movie about a man living inside a video game. Disney's 20th Century Studios needs to make sure this big-budget adventure is a hit, so a Super Bowl ad provides the studio its best chance to make sure the entire world knows about it.
Like No Time to Die, Free Guy easily lends itself to partnerships with various brands and companies, so the new Reynolds film could appear in a number of ways during the game.
This is the second and final time we're going to break the mold and talk about a TV show. Amazon Prime Video has leaned heavily into the Super Bowl advertising in recent years and there's no reason to believe 2020 will be any different.
The biggest new original on Amazon's slate is Jordan Peele's Hunters, but that series has already received a few different teasers and trailers and premieres just a couple of weeks after the game. While there may be a TV spot or something for Hunters, look for Amazon to surprise fans with the first look at The Boys Season 2.
The Boys became one of Amazon's biggest hits after the first season was released last year, and the second installment has been in production for some time. There's plenty of opportunity next month for Amazon to release some brand new footage and announce the release date for Season 2.
Mulan is Disney's biggest bet of the new year and it will likely need a little help standing up to the feats reached by previous live-action remakes. The footage we've seen has looked great so far, but controversy regarding the film's star in China and the decision to take a more serious approach to the story than the animated movie could hinder its overall potential.
The budget for Mulan is massive so Disney needs to make sure that it's more of an Aladdin than a Dumbo. This may be a situation where the studio simply releases a short spot during the game and saves the full trailer for Good Morning America, but it would be surprising if there was no mention of Mulan at any point.
Universal's biggest release of 2020 is undoubtedly the ninth installment in the Fast & Furious franchise, but there won't be a new trailer for the film arriving during the Super Bowl. The first trailer for the highly-anticipated sequel has its own release event at the end of January, just a couple of days before the game. So while Universal might play the trailer during the Super Bowl, it won't be a new Super Bowl trailer, if that makes sense.
There's almost no way Universal doesn't advertise one of its big 2020 live-action films at this year's game, especially after two pretty substantial failures in Cats and Dolittle. With Fast & Furious 9 off the table, Universal will likely set its sights on one of two major horror titles: Halloween Kills or Candyman.
Halloween Kills is the highly-anticipated follow-up to 2018's Halloween and is almost guaranteed to be a money-printer. Folks love the Michael Myers franchise. Candyman is a reboot/sequel to the original 1991 film from director Nia DaCosta and producer Jordan Peele. Seeing as how reboots and sequels are all the rage, neither one of these would be a surprise.
It's worth noting that Halloween is the much more popular of the two properties, but Candyman hits theaters three months earlier.