Entertainment & Arts

Super Bowl premieres 2013 blockbuster film trailers

A scene from Iron Man 3
Image caption Robert Downey Jr reprises his role as Tony Stark in Iron Man 3

New trailers for blockbuster movies, including the Star Trek and Iron Man sequels, were premiered to millions during the US Super Bowl.

The coveted slots cost advertisers up to £2.5m for 30 seconds screen-time.

But film companies snap up space not just for promotion, but prestige, said Paul Dergarabedian, from box office analysts Hollywood.com.

"If you don't have a movie to crow about during the Super Bowl, then maybe your slate isn't strong enough."

Most of the major studios were represented in this year's advertising blitz, with Disney behind three of the big-budget trailers: Iron Man 3; Oz - a prequel to The Wizard of Oz, starring James Franco; and The Lone Ranger - a remake of the cult black and white TV show, with Johnny Depp.

Other films hoping to attract sports fans to cinema screens included Brad Pitt's zombie apocalypse drama World War Z, Star Trek Into Darkness, and the sixth film in the Fast and Furious franchise.

The annual sporting event, which this year saw the San Francisco 49ers go head-to-head with the Baltimore Ravens in New Orleans, attracts a TV audience of more than 100 million people - although this year's viewing figures have yet to be released.

"This is where the studios take the opportunity to plant the seeds of excitement of potential moviegoers for their biggest movies of the year," Dergarabedian added.

"Ridiculous" money

Jamie Graham from Total Film magazine, said there was a "huge" amount of competition for film studios to fill the slots and, while the £2.5m price tag was steep, it was a drop in the ocean for Hollywood marketing budgets.

He told the BBC: "If you're looking at the biggest blockbusters out there, you're looking at budgets of around $200m, so $4m compared is a very small portion but it still seems a ridiculous amount of money for 30 seconds."

Image caption Director JJ Abrams has returned to the Star Trek franchise

Mr Graham pointed out the use of social networking in widening the audience beyond the TV audience.

But trending on social networks like Twitter can be a double edged sword for film companies - whether it is unexpected praise for a film like Fast & Furious 6 or criticism levelled at Disney's The Lone Ranger.

"If you've got six movies all putting out their trailers then they're bound to be compared to each other," said Mr Graham. "But if you come out of it well and people the next day are absolutely buzzing about it, then you're pretty much set for the summer."

With perhaps the exception of family aimed films like Oz The Great and Powerful, the majority of trailers were aimed at the lucrative teen male market.

Mr Graham agreed: "The thing that united them all was action, every trailer was car crashes, explosions, spaceships, it's all big scale stuff.

"Its the tent pole summer movies with big budgets and big effects, those are the films that are being marketed."

Last year, 54% of the Super Bowl audience was male, while 23% of viewers were in the lucrative 18-37 age range.

Other attractions at the event included music star Beyonce performing at half-time with a live 14-minute set and a reunion of her former group, Destiny's Child.