Box Office's Big Game Spots of 2014

Posted by: Andrew Burns  //  February 3, 2014 @ 3:57pm

Filed under: Trailer Reviews 

They are the 'Touchdown Teasers', the 'Pigskin Previews', the 'Super Sunday Sneak Peaks', the 'Championship Coming Attractions' (I ran out of good alliterations on that last one). Football's biggest night of the year maybe all about the game on the gridiron to most sports fans, but to film fans like myself its all about the trailers.

Well them and those hilarious beer commercials also.

In the hopes to entice audiences to visit the box-office numerous times in the coming months a few million bucks, for a one-time 30 second slot, is the price tag studios pay up for. With the Super Bowl being one of the largest television draws going that means lots of guaranteed viewers to help with those all-important opening weekends. This year studios bought up more of that coveted television real estate than they had in years past and I'm here to show you the goods.

Quick disclaimer before we get to the videos, my rankings here are all about the hype these trailers brought (or didn't bring) in their short commercial windows. Last year (click here) I gave Iron Man 3 the top spot out of all the previews and we all know it didn't live up to the hype (click for fanboy disappointed here). First impressions might be deceiving teasers but damn are they fun to watch. Enjoy

10). Pompeii

Starring: Kit Harington (Game of Thrones), Carrie-Anne Moss (The Matrix Trilogy), Emily Browning (Sucker Punch), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (The Borne Identity, Lost)

Director: Paul W.S. Anderson (Resident Evil, Death Race)

Release Date: February 19, 2014

From what I gather Pompeii is a very loose take on the actual destruction of the great of the same name; with a bit of the premise 2000's Gladiator added to the flick for excitement. Or kind of a reverse Titanic if you will. Instead of racing towards land/life boats to escape drowning in the ocean, they race away from the land and towards the water so they all don't die from the volcano. Spoilers: everybody dies.

9). Draft Day

Starring: Kevin Costner (Bull Durham, Field of Dreams), Jennifer Garner (Alias, Dallas Buyers Club), Denis Leary (The Ref, Rescue Me)

Director: Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters, Stripes)

Release Date: April 11, 2014

Probably the most appropriately used teaser trailer previewed given that the movie's entire key demographic is most likely watching because of the Super Bowl. Appropriate placement but poorly edited. The full length trailer for Draft Day, which came out weeks ago, actually makes the film look half decent but this preview kind of butchered that trailer here to make the 30 second timeframe. I'm a big Ivan Reitman fan so I have my fingers crossed for this one.

8). Transformers: Age of Extinction

Starring: Mark Walhberg (The Departed, The Italian Job), Nicola Peltz (The Last Airbender)

Director: Michael Bay (Armageddon, The Rock)

Release Date: June 25, 2014

Back for his fourth attempt at making cars more than meets the eye, Michael Bay returns to the Transformers franchise with a brand new cast. These Transformer films have gotten progressively worse after each sequel but they keep making ridiculous amounts of money so a T4 was bound to happen.

The images of a Transformer using a parachute for a slow-mo gun fight and another Transformer riding a Transforming dragons tells me there is no plot here. The teaser here honestly looks like if Fantasia took place in a junk yard. And if that dragon is supposed to be a dino-bot there is no real connection to the source material anymore. Just Bay being Bay.

7). Need For Speed

Starring: Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad), Dominic Cooper (The Devil's Double, Captain America: The Frist Avenger), Scott Mescudi (Fright Night, 30 Minutes or Less), Michael Keaton (Batman, Jackie Brown)

Director: Scott Waugh (Act of Valor)

Release Date: March 12, 2014

Need for Speed is based off of the popular video game series where the only story line in the game is to get from start to finish faster than your opponents.

Thank god this story is finally being told.

My cynicism aside the film does have some strong cast members in it so there is a chance it could be more than just eye candy. Keaton and Cooper are almost always solid, but this will be Paul's first notable post-Breaking Bad role so we'll see if he can get out of his Jesse Pinkman shadow while behind the wheel.

6). 3 Days to Kill

Starring: Kevin Costner (The Untouchables, Wyatt Earp), Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit, Ender's Game), Amber Heard (The Rum Dairy, Drive Angry)

Director: McG (Charlie's Angels, Terminator Salvation)

Release Date: February 21, 2014

It's a McG flick so get ready for something zany and stylized. This teaser really played to its audience with the multiple sports references in honour of the Super Bowl spot and added in some cool car chases for good measure. My initial take away from this preview was first, Kevin Costner is in a lot of movies recently and second, it already looks grittier than last month's Jack Ryan flick. If you like McG's flare for the dramatic this looks like it could be a fun popcorn film.

5). Noah

Starring: Russell Crowe (Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind), Jennifer Connelly (Blood Diamond, A Beautiful Mind), Ray Winstone (Beowulf, The Departed), Emma Watson (Harry Potter series, The Perks of Being a Wallflower)

Director: Darren Aronofky (The Wrestler, Black Swan)

Release Date: March 28, 2014

What happens when you give a talented director boat loads of cash (pun intended) for his next movie? Sh*t gets biblical.

This 30 second spot almost doesn't do the visuals from the full length trailer justice yet I still got goosebumps after watching it. Aronofky has assembled an all-star cast and appears to be aiming for an epic here. My only concern with the film is the how real the animals will look. It's something the preview kind of glossed over with this teaser, so it's hard to tell, but all the animals in the film are digital. That could make or break the film but for now it still looks incredible.

4). The Monuments Men

Starring: George Clooney (Ocean's Eleven, Michael Clayton), Cate Blanchett (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Aviator), Matt Damon (Bourne Identity, Good Will Hunting), Bill Murray (Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day)

Director: George Clooney (Good Night and Good Luck, The Ides of March)

Release Date: February 7, 2014

You thought the Super Bowl had star power; take a look at this film's roster. This teaser is just a highlight reel of some of the best in the business and Friday can't come soon enough. A Clooney starring movie is always a safe bet, but movie directed by Clooney is pretty much a lock.

With names big names like Clooney, Damon, Blanchett, Murray, and Goodman 30 seconds is all you really need for hype. The Monuments Men, this Friday, 'nough said.

3). Muppets Most Wanted

Starring: Kermit, Miss Piggy, Animal, Fozzie Bear

Director: James Bobin (The Muppets 2011, Flight of the Conchords)

Release Date: March 20, 2014

I loved the last Muppets movie, with Jason Segel and Amy Adams, but I wasn't sold on this sequel till just now. The Twitter angle of advertising was a stroke of brilliance as it completely fits for this type of movie. Even if kids don't get the social media style of humour here but the older crowd watching will.

The human side of the cast seems to have changed between movies but the star power is still there. In the midst of all your favourite muppets Most Wanted has the comedy stylings of Tina Fey, Ricky Gervais, and Ty Burrell to look forward to; as well as the standard who's who of cameos Muppets movies are known for.

2). Captain America: The Winter Solider

Starring: Chris Evans (Avengers, Scott Pilgrim vs The World), Sebastian Stan (Captain America: First Avenger, Black Swan), Samuel L. Jackson (in almost everything), Scarlett Johansson (Lost in Translation, Don Jon)

Directors: Anthony Russo & Joe Russo (Community, Happy Endings)

Release Date: April 4, 2014

Game Spot:

Extended Trailer:

The best part about Super Bowl Sunday previews is the post-Super Bowl extended previews. The 30 second commercial spot during the game is just an appetizer till YouTube serves up the main course of awesomeness.

Even though this was the second preview for Winter Solider it still got this fanboy's excitement going. This new teaser gives a better look at Cap's next villain (the Winter Solider) without the spoilers giving away his identity. Also a longer look at Anthony Mackie's Sam Wilson in his full-on Falcon suit which is looks killer. Aside from Marvel's Avengers this film looks to have the most characters from the comics than any of the previous Marvel movies. There's always the worry that too many of these characters can crowd the screen and take up most of the running time just introducing them but judging by this preview it looks like that won't be a problem.

The summer movie season starts early this year with a Winter Solider at the helm.

1). The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Starring: Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spider-Man, The Social Network), Emma Stone (The Help, Zombieland), Jamie Foxx (Ray, Django Unchained), Paul Giamatti (Sideways, Cinderella Man)

Director: Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer, The Amazing Spider-Man)

Release Date: May 2, 2014

Game Spot:

Extended Trailer:

Just like my number 2 pick, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has it own extended preview up online after the game. And oh man, Amazing it is.

The extended trailer takes a closer look at Jamie Foxx's character Max Dillon and his origin into the villain Electro. But they don't just stop there. The preview has a more complete look at the full Rhino suit, Chris Cooper as Norman Osborn doing a voice over for part of the trailer, more images of the Vulture wings and the Doc Ock arms, and finally a fully suited up Green Goblin with glider. The images go by pretty quick so you can't make it out which Osborn it is as the menacing goblin; Harry or Norman. I'm leaning towards Norman.

There's plenty to geek out about here and lots to speculate on but I'll save that for another time. All you non-comic book fans need to know is The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is shaping up to be the first ever team super villain movie. The visuals here are nuts, the cast couldn't be better, and with a solid first installment in Sony's Spider-Man reboot this sequel has the potential at being the biggest box-office success movie of the year. Out of all the previews on Football's biggest night I give the game ball to Garfield for this one.

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Tags: Pompeii, Draft Day, Transformers: Age of Extinction, Need for Speed, 3 Days to Kill, Noah, The Monuments Men, Muppets Most Wanted, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Amazing Spider-Man 2

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Andrew Burns loves film and comics, and can be found writing about when those worlds converge. You can follow him on Twitter at @myAndrewBurns.

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