In 2016, Ryan Reynolds‘ first Deadpool movie scored a huge marketing touchdown at the Super Bowl when using the weekend of the big game to hold a number of promotional events, culminating with a final trailer spot released during the showdown between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers.
Two weeks later, the irreverent R-rated pic turned into a box office sensation and launched a new superhero franchise for 20th Century, which was later bought by Disney, home of Marvel Studios. If you’re the betting kind, odds are good that Marvel and Disney will use this year’s Super Bowl on Feb. 11 in Las Vegas to drop the first trailer for its untitled Deadpool threequel, which hits theaters July 26 in North America. And don’t be surprised if the mercurial Reynolds — also a proven marketer — suits up himself in some fashion.
The legacy Hollywood studios have long used TV’s most-watched live event of the year to advertise their upcoming wares, but have cut back notably in recent years because of soaring costs. This year, CBS is charging $7 million for a 30-second spot, according to numerous reports. A popular option is the official pregame show, where it can cost half as much to buy time for a movie ad.
Studios are being coy as to their Super Bowl plans this year, although those who are ponying up the big bucks are certainly pleased that the Kansas City Chiefs, who will go up against the San Francisco 49ers, provide an added bonus in terms of ratings because of Taylor Swift, who is dating Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce (her presence at games this year has resulted in a notable spike in female viewership).
There’s also a Deadpool connection; Reynolds and his wife, Blake Lively, are friends of Swift’s and have attended Kansas City games this season.
The spot for Deadpool 3, directed by Shawn Levy and co-starring Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, is likely to air during the game, but Disney’s declining comment on any and all plans. Another Disney movie that could be advertised on Sunday is 20th Century’s Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes. The reboot stomps into cinemas May 10.
Paramount, whose sister network CBS is carrying the game, is sure to advertise Bob Marley: One Love — which opens on Valentine’s Day — A Quiet Place: Day One and IF, directed by John Krasinski and starring Reynolds (not a typo). In the past, Paramount has often used the pregame.
Universal will have a big presence as well. The studio is believed to have bought time for summer event pics Fall Guy starring Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt, Twisters and Illumination’s Despicable Me 4, as well as spring tentpole Kung Fu Panda 4, from DreamWorks Animation.
Warner Bros. and Sony appear to be sitting out Super Bowl Sunday entirely. Instead, Warners advertised its upcoming March tenptole Dune: Part Two during the AFC and NFC championship games on Jan. 28.