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Does Trailer Popularity Mean Box Office Success?

Posted: October 23rd, 2009 by WorstPreviews.com Staff
Does Trailer Popularity Mean Box Office Success?Submit Comment
It's always a big deal for the studio when the trailers for their upcoming movies do well on the internet. The "Twilight" trailer was a big hit and so was the trailer for "The Dark Knight." And both of those movies went on to become huge blockbusters.

So is that the secret formula to determine whether a movie will be successful at the box office? Silicon Alley Insider decided to take a handful of recent films and compare their opening box office results to the popularity of their trailers.

Check out the chart below which shows that "Jennifer's Body" had one of the most popular trailers and was one of the biggest bombs, while "Law Abiding Citizen" and "Couples Retreat" were the exact opposite.

Only time will tell whether "Avatar" will be able to live up to its record-breaking trailer.

Chart: (click to enlarge)


Source: Silicon Alley Insider,

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Displaying 14 comment(s) Profanity: Turn On
nope.com writes:
on October 23rd, 2009 at 4:25:31 AM

Add Avatar to that list next year
telur writes:
on October 23rd, 2009 at 4:27:48 AM

Not sure 100% but the data is good enough.
Cd_Smith0 writes:
on October 23rd, 2009 at 4:41:46 AM

I have always believed a movie having a good run at the box office depended not on trailer popularity but how good a trailer was. Most of the films up there (except law abiding citizen) that did decent had decent trailers in my opinion. I would like to see figures on opening day weekends cause I think how a trailer does affects opening day weekend.
J.A.Ottley writes:
on October 23rd, 2009 at 10:42:37 AM

Hmmmm its a good point, but further more i reckon it boils down to how much noise the film makes and how the marketing both promotional and viral works and is a success in order of targetting its auidence.

Right lets take 3 recent films

Cloverfield, took the world by storm via an untitled trailer supposdely leaked into the biggest action blockbuster of the year, and criteria'd the question, What did the clovetrfield monster look like using very intelligent viral marketing techniques.

Result - Cloverfield despite being not a massively budget film, surprised auidences using the approach of curiousity to see what the cloverfield monster actually looked like and it showed a new style of film making kind of doc*mentry merged with amateur film style making, using just the use of handy cam.
But overal the film was still an overnight success and received mixed reviews.

Now on to
The Dark Knight, well after Begins receiving positive reviews and well being a success and opening up for a sequel involving the Joker, we knew this would be a hit since its well...Batman and that we could trust the franchise in the hands of Christopher Nolan.
Now the controversy and hype obviously began with the end of Begins but exceeded to a next level when Heath Ledger was cast as the Joker, because everyone wanted a known A-list actor, but auidence were shocked to their socks when obviously, the teaser trailer rocked the world with absolutely no visuals just a Bat signal slowly visually appearing on screen with V.O's ending with Joker's voice and all were in shocked that what they were actually hearing was Heath Ledger, not to mention there was the viral campaign of Joker vs Batman vs Harvey Dent, and then obviously to top the box office record sales, it biggest cast member decided to top himself.

Result - The massive promotional and viral marketing campaign of TDK made the film what it was especially with a surprise lead and suicide from the actor played by the main antagonist, The Joker.

Now lets tackle Avatar, so far of what we know.

Avatar, with 10 years hype behind it, and a well the trailer has recieved very mixed reviews and so far it looks like its not living to the hype

Johnny Neat writes:
on October 23rd, 2009 at 11:12:41 AM

Trailers can make or break a movie's first weekend. I'm a big pusher for an Oscar/Golden Globe category that represents the best Trailer of the year.
Dre-EL writes:
on October 23rd, 2009 at 11:46:38 AM

I dont look at opening weekends anymore cause a movie can open big this week and next week its got nothin, so dispite a big opening weekend it still tanks at the box office. Case in point "Terminator Salvation".
Still trailers are the most important mediums used to create a buzz. I usually can tell if a movie is worth seeing just by the trailer. I decide right then and there if I'm going to see the movie at the theatre, on video, or not at all.
To my credit on only got it wrong one this year and that was with TS.
Peter Parker writes:
on October 23rd, 2009 at 12:35:21 PM

"Does Trailer Popularity Mean Box Office Success?"
Again, one of those questions for which there's no really good answer, I think. It does for some movies, it doesn't for others. Simple.
The actual financial success of a movie depends on so much more than trailer popularity alone, although it certainly doesn't hurt if the movie has a few good trailers.
Trailer popularity can serve as an indicator, and nothing more.
"Jenifer's Body" is a good example of that. A lot of people were interested in watching the trailer, very few were actually wiling to pay to see that crap.
nriq writes:
on October 23rd, 2009 at 1:14:10 PM

Well... Emmerich´s Godzilla had one of the greatest marketing campaign I can recall and it BOMBED at the B.O.

How about that for an example?
Ranger writes:
on October 23rd, 2009 at 1:20:06 PM

Answer: No.
Jedimax writes:
on October 23rd, 2009 at 1:22:22 PM

yeah those statistics are not really factoring in the good trailer to bad trailer ratio. But, then again sometime movies like couple retreat open on the right weekend even if the trailer is no good.
Ranger writes:
on October 23rd, 2009 at 2:09:07 PM

Megan's bare va-jay-jay would have helped ticket sales.
PrevalentMind writes:
on October 23rd, 2009 at 2:11:16 PM

Nope...it sure as hell doesn't.

Most of the flicks with awesome trailers don't make huge bank unless said trailer blankets internet and TV at least 2 weeks before the release.

If you have an awesome trailer, like say Killshot or Carriers, and you have no marketing for it and you put it into a limited release then how the f*ck does an awesome trailer help generate sales?

Why is Saw always so successful? Because even though the quality is sh*t everybody knows when to expect a new one and you can't look in any one direction without seeing some sort of marketing for it. Saw's marketing team is f*cking AMAZING at gathering exposure. I wish the films still lived up.
Ranger writes:
on October 23rd, 2009 at 2:39:10 PM

The Expendables doesn't even need trailers.

They only have to show the casting sheet.
SpookyCupcakes writes:
on October 23rd, 2009 at 5:31:00 PM

"Add Avatar to that list next year"

took the words off my keyboard

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