Are Movie Trailers Ruining Movies? New ‘Creed’ Trailer Shows Way Too Much

I’ve said this a million times and I think film critics have been speaking out against it lately, but I’ll say it again:

Movie trailers are showing way too much these days.

The new Creed film looks surprisingly good. Hell, I loved the first trailer. It had a good mix of all the right things that make for a good trailer – good music, good acting, didn’t show too much, then reveals that Rocky’s in it and it’s part of that universe. Just enough to get my attention and think, ‘Wow, this looks really cool’. Let’s be honest, the idea of another film in the Rocky universe at first sounds like overkill – at least for me, it did. But then I saw the first trailer and was pleasantly surprised. All of this being said, I was immediately disappointed after watching the second trailer.

Yes, the acting still looks good. Yes, it still looks like it could be a good movie. But once again I’ve been let down by a trailer that shows way way way way way too much of the movie. I’m not going to say anything about what’s shown, in case you decide to stay away from the 2nd trailer (I recommend you don’t watch it), but I will say that it showed me more than I would’ve liked. I just don’t understand why the marketing teams of these films are doing this so often nowadays. How do they figure that showing more of a movie in a preview will benefit their purpose of selling tickets? As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure if you show less in an effecient and well-structured way, you’ll be leaving the viewers wanting more…thus going to see the movie, right? Well, apparently not, because a large chunk of movie trailers these days tend to include almost the entire story line of the film, leaving us with little to no surprises during the time we spend in the theater.

I’ll give you two examples: Jurassic World and Terminator: Genisys.

Stay back, spoilers.

The trailers for both movies, in my opinion, were awful. Not only did they give away a ridiculous amount of the movie, but they also completely took away my desire to see either of the films on the big screen. I’m actually still pretty interested in seeing Jurassic World (granted it’s not really in theaters anymore), to be honest, but the trailer made me go from thinking “this movie is gonna be awesome” to “eh, it’ll be ok”. It makes zero sense to me why people are deciding to go this route with trailers. I think it’s ruining a lot of movies and it makes me sad, because I love movies. They could’ve just had a random scene, then toward the end of the trailer BOOM, they reveal Arnold is back. Then, title sequence. Terminator: Genisys. I’m pretty sure a lot more people would have gone to see the movie. Because honestly, the trailer showed so much of the film that most people who watched could tell that it was incredibly cheesy and a little too gimmicky/over the top.

My point is, trailers are beginning to ruin the moviegoing experience. A great trailer is one that has just the right mix of ambiguity, tone, acting, music and editing, leaving us with plenty to look forward to and very little to no knowledge of the actual plot/what’s happening in the movie. I love being pleasantly surprised by a movie, but this can only really happen with no/little expectations or no knowledge of the film at all.

Think about it. How would some movies have changed if you hadn’t known anything about them or had any expectations? I’ll still be looking forward to Creed, but can’t help but wonder if my viewing experience has been slightly tarnished by the second trailer. What do you guys think of the newest Creed trailer? Did it show too much? Are trailers starting to ruining movies? Let’s have a discussion in the comments!

Author: Austin Adams @IamAustinAdams

Follow us on Twitter @Alldayeveryweek

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54 thoughts on “Are Movie Trailers Ruining Movies? New ‘Creed’ Trailer Shows Way Too Much

  1. I definitely agree, they are showing way too much. Not to mention they think they need to release 3+ trailers for one freaking movie! It’s ridiculous.

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      1. Yes. Like Ender’s game. They tell you the entire twist of the movie, the entire point of the book, in the trailer and the movie poster. Like why would you do this? It’s like starting the Usual Suspects by telling you who Keiser Soze is in the trailer. Stupid.

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    1. Movies themselves are so bad, who cares? The reason trailers reveal as much as they do is because film and movies are an atrocity to begin with.

      It’s like a yard sale flyer. You can make it as pretty or revealing as you want, when you arrive you are looking at a pile of trash. Same thing with movie trailers. Last good movie I saw? Might have been back in 2002. I kid you not.

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    2. Great article. Based on my experience, it can go both ways. Sometimes, it’s too much exposed in the trailer, and sometimes the trailer peaks my curiosity. It just depends. Overall, I’d rather see the trailer before investing in watching the movie.

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  2. I saw a trailer for Funny People in the theather with Adam Sandler. Not only did they reveal he gets cancer in this extended trailer, but also that he beats it! I was pretty surprised they would include that since it was a pivotal plot point.

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      1. Funny People came out 6 years ago. Spoiling a movie older than a couple years isn’t as bad as spoiling one before it comes out.

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  3. I agree. It is sometimes easier to spot a trailer which is trying to disguise a turd of a film because it’s so long! But that’s no excuse for companies to keep making “extended” trailers though.
    If you’re going to show an “extended trailer,” make it a short scene from the film or something. Don’t give away the entire story arc!

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  4. I know how you feel. I avoid looking at the TV when I see a trailer for the upcoming movie The Martian. I already saw the first trailer and I believe I’ve seen too much. Mission to Mars. Then “Houston we have a problem”. Team has to return and leave someone behind. They think he’s dead. After a few months he’s able to make contact with Earth. They send a rescue team. He goes back home.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think the trailer revealing everything made Terminator a bad movie, but imagine if the trailer for Empire Strikes Back had Darth saying he was Luke’s father?

      It was a good movie, but that reveal could have knocked people off their feet and driven more word of mouth.

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  5. I don’t understand people that get upset about things like this. Just because you saw something about the movie doesn’t mean you actually know what’s going to happen. Plus if it’s a good movie it shouldn’t matter if you know the ending or surprise twist. I knew who kaiser some was before I saw usual suspects, guess what still enjoyed the movie, cause it was a frickin good movie. People that complain about “spoilers” to me just seem like people looking for something to complain about.

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    1. I enjoy movies and TV shows because I do not know what is going to happen. It is all about the *experience*. Major plot reveals will ruin that experience for me.

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    2. Yeah thats how I feel, I rewatch movies all the time because a good movie is a good movie. Some people are all about that new experience and then never go back to relieve it, it’s always on to the next for them.

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  6. yes agreed, I also think trailers show way too much! But I think that the relationship between how much they show and how many people come to see it is well-known by marketers, and they have converged on a sweet spot. Perhaps in our day of cliche-ridden sequels of flying men in pajamas there is no harm in giving away the plot since it is always so much the same anyways, and people just want to know they are getting a reliable confection? Any surprises would disrupt the formula.

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  7. If you enjoyed the first trailer enough to want to see the movie and don’t like seeing too much why would you watch the second trailer? I can’t remember the last time I’ve even watched a second trailer because of this problem.

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  8. Exhibit A for good trailer design: Star Wars 7. A lot of people are very opinionated about the ongoing series, but the initial teaser trailer was just perfect, showing that the film is in the same theatrical tradition, but with a host of new, potentially well acted, characters. I am going to try to avoid all future trailers though. I want to go in with as little bias as possible.

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  9. I totally agree. I completely quit watching television based on this factor. If I happen to be in a room with a TV on, I make sure to hit mute the second the show I’m watching goes to commercial and then I look away to read a book! Remember those? Not only are the trailers ruining everything, but so are advertisements and Facebook in general. I quit Facebook because an E! advertisement spoiled the end of How I Met Your Mother and every any episode of Game of Thrones that comes out. God forbid you miss an episode and want to have a life. If you have a facebook account I would unlike anything that you do like, and never read any articles or go to any pages related to the shows or films you like so they can’t ruin it for you. Also if you go to the theater, just look down and ignore the trailers. You will be way more surprised and actually ENJOY a film again!

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  10. Trailers often show too much. Many comedy movie trailers showcase the best jokes. Why did I see the movie, when I already got the highlight reel?

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  11. I stopped watching Trailers for this reason while back, however after reading The Martian I decided to watch the trailer for it. I was simply shocked at how much of a spoiler the entire trailer is. I feel sorry for everyone who watches it and then pays to see the movie!

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  12. I agree with you completely. I wonder if this trend is a result of the fact that movies used to run long enough in the theatre’s for word of mouth to spread: “oh, there is a great twist in movie X, go see it!”. Movie revenue would pick up over time and studios would make more money. Now it seems like a movie has 1-2 weeks maximum to make the lion’s share of its total revenue, so the advertising folks feel like they can’t afford to hold off on spoilers or twists or secrets. They need your rear in a movie seat on day one or they lose out.

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  13. Relevant – http://www.ew.com/article/2015/07/27/trailer-spoilers-southpaw

    “There was a lot of discussion internally whether to show the death of the XXXXXXX,” says Matt Brubaker, president of theatrical at Trailer Park, the agency that edited the preview for Southpaw. “But it was decided to show more of the good, so to speak. People have felt burned in the past. If someone’s going to pay $20 to go on opening weekend to see this movie, they want to know that they are making a pretty good investment.”
    “As much as people complain that trailers give away too much,” says Brubaker, “nine times out of 10, the more of the plot you give away, the more interest you garner from the audiences. Audiences respond to the trailers with more of the movie.”

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  14. The problem is, that the millennial generation isn’t interested in teasers, or what previous generations would call a quality trailer. They want to know in three minutes whether or not they are going to spend their hard-ear-, er… parents money on seeing it. They want to be able to speak about the film without actually having to watch it (except the hipsters, they’ve been watching movies since before it was cool) if it doesn’t seem like their “thing”. Above all, they want to know, in three minutes, whether this film is going to be something they can blast seflies of themselves watching all over social media.

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  15. Imagine if in the Sixth Sense trailer, Haley Joel Osment didn’t say the line “I see dead people”. It would have made that part in the movie much more impactful to the viewer as a perfect delivery of a chilling line in a fairly unsettling moment in the story for Bruce Willis’ character. Instead I found myself anticipating the scene when H.J.O. says his most iconic line, before I had ever seen him actually say his most iconic line, in the context that Shyamalan envisioned it.

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  16. There’s a difference between what you think you feel, and how you actually feel. You may think that seeing an overly packed trailer ruins your experience of the movie, based on the idea that you want to be “surprised.” But it may be the case that you enjoy the movie even more after seeing the trailer.

    Support for this comes from a study showing that people judge a joke to be funnier not when they’re completely surprised, but when they receive spoilers/hints to the punchline in advance. (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/spoilers-can-make-a-joke-funnier/)

    Similarly, the trailer may serve as a primer to the movie, which might in turn make it even more enjoyable. It’s a stretch, but I think it’s an interesting idea — just goes to show that sometimes what we think we feel isn’t actually what we truly feel.

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  17. As much as I appreciate the content of this story the writing quality distracted me. I thought you were going to compare or contrast the two trailers alluded to but you never went anywhere with it. Disappointing.

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  18. I’ve all but stopped watching trailers for the reasons you mentioned about Creed. Trailers have become a highlight reel instead of a teaser. I find I enjoy movies so much more without the burden of expectation.

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  19. i definitely think movie trailers do reveal too much these days and it’s gotten to a point where i simply rather not bother seeing the movie because i can guess what will happen entirely from the trailer

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  20. Ive seen Creed already there is a ton of stuff that’s not in the trailer. Its a complete different take on the Rocky franchise that’s for sure. I recommend seeing it if you are a Rocky fan but if you are a first timer you should consider waiting for download/stream.

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  21. I agree trailers have a responsibility to the movie, but this has been going on a long time. Example, In the Heat of the Night’s 1967 trailer, a racially charged movie, at 1:23 the white sheriff says to the black detective, “What do they call you, boy?” and the detective says, “They call me MISTER Tibbs.” Great scene, except in the actual movie, these two lines are not in the same scene or even close to the same scene. One looks forward to a climactic scene that never appears. Nevertheless, it’s a great movie, in spite of the trailer giving away too much and misleading information. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQTvwkmwseU

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