By Barry Janoff
January 17, 2017: With more than 110 million people expected to watch Super Bowl LI on Feb. 5 from NRG Stadium in Houston, and even more expected to tune in to see Lady Gaga headline the Pepsi Zero Sugar Halftime Show, it is no wonder that movie studios again will vie for the eyeballs of potential ticket-buyers.
The list of potential movies to be previewed during the Big Game on Fox includes the next Star Wars global event; reboots of Spider-Man, The Mummy and Baywatch; a continuation of the Alien and Fast & Furious franchises; a sequel to a Robin Williams hit and the return after three decades of a man who hunts down replicants and says of them, "They are like any other machine: They are either a benefit or a hazard. If they are a benefit, it’s not my problem."
The movie category is among the most prolific in Super Bowl advertising history. Last year, during Super Bowl 50, studios bought time totaling nearly $29 million, according to research and marketing firm Kantar Media, NY, for six upcoming films. They included Batman v. Superman, Captain America: Civil War and The Secret Life of Pets.
The season before, during Super Bowl XLIX in 2015, studios spent a category record $35 million-plus to promote seven movies.
Since Super Bowl XLVI in 2012, movie studios have spent more than $115 million to tout upcoming releases to a Super Bowl audience.
Chevrolet has already broken a tie-in spot for the upcoming The Lego Batman Movie (scheduled to be released Feb. 10). The recreation of Chevy ads in which "Real People, Not Actors" become part of a survey group is taken to the Lego level — "Real Lego mini figures. Not actors" — with Batman having to explain why it’s necessary to have a Chevy Batmobile that is 17-feet-long, weighs nearly 1,700 pounds and is comprised of some 350,000 individual Lego pieces (and which took 222 hours to design and 1,833 hours to build).
This year’s game is expected, again, to showcase some of the most anticipated films of 2017, with such stars as Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Tom Cruise, Harrison Ford, Ryan Reynolds, Daisy Ridley and Gal Godot (not to be confused with "I am Groot").
Although these 30-second buys — going for upward of $5 million on Fox — usually come closer to the actual game, here is a Baker’s Dozen list of upcoming movies with the best chance to be previewed on Feb. 5.
20th Century Fox
Hugh Jackson, Boyd Holbrook, Patrick Stewart Dir. James Mangold
"Senior citizen" Wolverine joins with Professor X to guard a young female Wolverine clone against an evil organization fronted Nathaniel Essex.
THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS
Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Charlize Theron Dir F. Gary Gray
AKA Fast & Furious 8. The franchise to date has taken in more than $3 billion worldwide, so no reason to hit brakes just yet. This time around, Charlize Theron joins the cast as a villainess who "puts loyalties and friendships to the test." And drives like a bad-ass.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2
Chriss Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista Dir. James Gunn
Now that they have been certified as galaxy guardians (and certified as looney by some foes), Star-Lord, Gamora, Rocket, Drax and Groot (reborn as Baby Groot) are out to prove that their alliance and success in the 2014 film was no fluke. With more 1980s soundtrack.
20th Century Fox
Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterson, James Franco Dir. Ridley Scott
New crew, new mission, same unstoppable menace with many of the main cast members from Prometheus (2012) under the direction of Alien franchise godfather Ridley Scott.
Dwayne Johnson, Zak Effron, Alexandra Daddario, Priyanka Chopra Dir. Seth Gordon
The small-screen effort that ran from 1989-2001 and gave new meaning to beach blanket bingo is back on the big screen with The Rock leading a dedicated, fun-loving crew of life guards who protect the beaches of SoCal (with a cameo from David Hasselhoff, who starred in the TV series and is now one of the producers of the property).
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAN MEN TELL NO TALES
Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom, Kaya Scodelario Dirs. Joachim Ronning, Espen Sandberg
You will always remember this as the day when Capt. Jack Sparrow starred in the fifth movie in the franchise based on a Disney ride. This time: A search for the legendary trident of Poseidon.
Warner Bros.DC Entertainment
Gal Gadot, Robin Wright, Chris Pine, Dir Patty Jenkins
After a co-starring role in Batman v. Superman, we get the origin of Wonder Woman who leaves her island paradise during WWII to become a legendary heroine gets by leading the charge against those who would take over the world. Wonder Woman is also part of the DC posse in Justice League (Nov. 17) alongside Batman, Superman, Aquaman and The Flash. Gadot also stars in a Super Bowl spot for Wix.com alongside action star Jason Statham.
Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Russell Crowe, Annabelle Wallis Dir. Alex Kurtzman
Another new start for the franchise that dates back to Boris Karloff (1932) and was reincarnated most recently with Brendan Fraser (1999) and two sequels. Here, Cruise takes on the ancient Princess Ahmanet, who is awakened from death and seeks revenge in the modern world. "She will claim what she has been denied."
Tom Holland, Marisa Tomei, Robert Downey Jr., Donald Glover Dir. Jon Watts
A retelling of the story of Peter Parker, who is bitten by a genetically altered spider and becomes the red-suited protector of the unprotected. The first in what is planned as the third trilogy with the character. Following a deal between Marvel and Sony, Spider-Man will now also become part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
THE HITMAN'S BODYGUARD
Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Salma Hayek, Gary Oldman Dir. Patrick Hughes
The top bodyguard (Reynolds) in the world and the top hitman (Jackson) in the world don’t care much for each other, but need to form a bond when the former is hired to protect the latter so that he can testify at an international court of justice to bring down a dictator (Oldman).
BLADE RUNNER 2049
Harrison Ford, Ryan Gosling, Jared Leto, Ana de Armas Dir. Denis Villeneuve
Ford gets to reprise his classic role as replicant hunting blade runner Rick Deckard from the 1982 Blade Runner, set 30 years later. New blade runner, Officer K (Gosling), must find Deckard, who has been missing for some three decades, in order to save society.
STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII
Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher Dir. Ryan Johnson
Continues the story of Rey (Ridley) from Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015.) Fisher had finished her parts as Princess-turned-General Leia Organa and will have much more of a role than the CGI-implemented cameo from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016). Luke Skywalker (Hamill) also gets a bigger role than his last-scene cameo from The Force Awakens.
Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Nick Jonas, Jack Black, Karen Gilian Dir. Jake Kasdan
Robin Williams starred in the original (1995). The Rock takes the lead here in a sequel vs. reboot as Dr. Smolder Gravestone leads Hart (who starred with The Rock in 2016's Central Intelligence), Jonas and Black on an adventure that thinks out of the (game) box. The Rock has indicated that the flick would include a "tribute" to the late Williams.
Other upcoming movies that could make the cut: Cars 3, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Transformers: The Last Knight, Dunkirk and CHIPS.
Fox Eyes Biggest Ad Spend In Super Bowl History