Hype: A movie trailer’s one job


With movie ticket prices going up and made-for-streaming movies increasing in quality, getting off the couch and to the big screen has become less enticing — unless a movie trailer is too interesting to pass up. Through social media, trailers can go viral.

The trailer for “On the Basis of Sex” came out in mid-July, but has been showing up before YouTube videos more and more. The movie is a biopic based on the life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, or Notorious RBG as she has come to be memed. Ginsberg has become a household name due to the current administration, Kate McKinnon’s portrayal of her on SNL, and news outlets keeping a close eye on her health and workout routine.

Come December, the trailer for “On the Basis of Sex” promises viewers an uplifting and inspiring flick set to the tune of Kesha. Felicity Jones, no stranger to the inspiring biopic genre, will most likely give an Oscar-worthy performance. But this is a trailer that leaves me feeling like I’ve already watched the movie. So, will I see it in theaters? I’ll probably wait for it to show up on some streaming site.

Nostalgia has a powerful way of bringing audiences into a theater, no matter if the trailer is compelling or not. Recent trailer releases such as “Pokémon: Detective Pikachu” and the teaser for “The Lion King” will entice large demographics. But for now, we only have the trailers.

As of writing this, the trailer for “Pokémon: Detective Pikachu” has received over 49 million views on YouTube. It’s the live-action Pokémon movie no one asked for, but with 90s kids and the continued interest in Pokémon Go, it seemingly has a built-in audience. Despite the common complaints of Ryan Reynolds (the voice of Pikachu) seemingly playing a version of Deadpool and the Pokémon looking just a bit off, there’s no way this movie won’t perform well at the box office. The trailer leaves you curious.

Speaking of live-action, Disney released a teaser trailer for “The Lion King” just a few days ago. It is currently trending on YouTube with over 36 million views. However epic this new Lion King will be, this trailer brought up a major issue with fans. Audiences were promised live-action, but the movie is CGI. Comments around social media — whether unfounded or not — theorize that the movie is simply re-animated.

Despite not living up to expectations, the only thing this trailer had to do to generate hype was play “Circle of Life” and flash the star-studded cast on the screen: Donald Glover, John Oliver, James Earl Jones, Beyoncé. With Jon Favreau directing, this cast, and impeccable graphics, there’s no question that this remake will be well done — or at least do incredibly well in theaters.