In the game of football, possession is everything.
When it comes to this year’s Super Bowl, one studio will dominate the field by running nearly a dozen spots for its upcoming and existing releases. Paramount is expected to unveil ads for the post-apocalyptic horror prequel “A Quiet Place: Day One,” the reggae biopic “Bob Marley: One Love” and “IF,” the live-action fantasy comedy directed by John Krasinski and starring Ryan Reynolds. The studio’s outsized presence makes sense because the big game will air on CBS, a sister company of Paramount.
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Paramount will loom large over the Super Bowl because, beyond the studio’s cinematic offerings, it will use promotional space for Paramount+. The studio’s streaming service will unspool eight ads for such titles as “Sonic the Hedgehog” spinoff “Knuckles” (a series that the studio produced for Paramount+), animated adventure “The Tiger’s Apprentice,” the Sylvester Stallone-led reality show “The Family Stallone” and the next season of “The Chi” in spots that will air before kickoff. During the game, the company will tout titles already on the streamer, like the sci-fi series “Halo,” “Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning,” as well as UEFA Champions League. The general Paramount+ ad that ran during last year’s championship and showcases the streamer’s varied offerings — from “Survivor” to the “Star Trek” franchise — will be back as well.
More than 100 million people are expected to tune in on Feb. 11 for Super Bowl LVIII, pitting the reigning Kansas City Chiefs against the San Francisco 49ers. Buying a 30-second ad during the most-watched television event of the year doesn’t come cheap; a prime spot in the first quarter could run for approximately $7 million this year. As the box office struggles to return to its pre-pandemic strength, Hollywood is hoping these massive marketing spends will translate into substantial ticket sales for upcoming blockbusters.
That’s why Disney is likely to promote several of its summer tentpoles during football’s hottest night, although the studio isn’t sharing which will get airtime. It’s possible that viewers will enjoy a first look at “Deadpool 3,” which teams Ryan Reynolds with Hugh Jackman in the buzzy comic book adventure, as well as Pixar’s anticipated sequel “Inside Out 2,” according to sources familiar with those films. “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes,” which opens in May and has already been heavily advertised, may also snag a spot.
Universal also tends to spend big on Super Bowl Sunday but is playing coy to keep the promo efforts a surprise. There’s a chance that audiences will get a glimpse of all the pink and green magic in director Jon M. Chu’s grand adaptation of “Wicked,” starring Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo. Other movies that could get a moment in the spotlight include “The Fall Guy,” an action-comedy led by Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt; DreamWorks Animation’s “Kung Fu Panda 4,” with Jack Black returning to voice Po; and “Twisters,” a sequel of sorts to the 1996 disaster epic “Twister.”
There will be some no-shows from the major studios. Warner Bros., Sony, Netflix and Amazon are not expected to run any trailers despite all having a slew of upcoming tentpoles on the calendar. However, plans could always change before the main matchup. Sony, whose absence isn’t a shock because it typically sits out the Super Bowl, won’t be offering fans a peek at “Bad Boys 4″ or the next “Ghostbusters.” Warners possibly already broke the bank by showcasing “Dune: Part Two” during the AFC and NFC Championships on Jan. 28.
It’s somewhat surprising that Amazon won’t be promoting any titles, such as the upcoming Anne Hathaway rom-com “The Idea of You,” as the tech behemoth ups its theatrical game. Last year, Amazon plunked down more than $7 million for a 60-second spot for the Ben Affleck-Matt Damon teaming “Air,” based on the true origin of the iconic Air Jordan sneaker. The sports-themed ad, which ran during the third quarter, took advantage of the millions upon millions of captive spectators.
This year, advertisers can score with more than just football fanatics. Taylor Swift, who is dating Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, has been an NFL fixture this season and has reportedly even boosted viewership ratings. She’s expected to attend the big game following a tour appearance in Tokyo, and fans will be eager to catch the multiple expected cutaway shots of the Grammy-winning singer.
With so many sideshows, who needs a tight football match?
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