DC FanDome Trailer Releases: A Bad Idea in the Middle of a Pandemic?
Should DC have released trailers for Wonder Woman 1984 and The Batman at DC FanDome?
As we all know, DC FanDome's first weekend at the end of August was a massive success. DC gave fans the new content they were desperately craving, debuting the first looks at Zack Snyder's Justice League on HBO Max and The Batman while giving us a glimpse of the Cheetah in Wonder Woman 1984's second trailer. However, with the recent reshuffling of the DC Films slate, one has to wonder if those trailer releases were a good idea.
Marvel Studios has been very careful to not promote any of their content for the last six months, only recently ramping back up with casting news and the first look at WandaVision once it was clear that the Disney+ original series could actually release in 2020. DC, on the other hand, went ahead and released trailers for films that have now been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, our first trailer for The Batman arrived 1.5 years before we'll actually see the film in March 2022. While it was a fantastic trailer and it was great to see footage from the movie, releasing a trailer so far in advance of the film's actual release makes it hard to maintain excitement. At this rate, our next trailer for The Batman won't arrive until fall 2021, over a year after seeing the first one, which is advertising a now non-existent 2021 release date. While Wonder Woman 1984 hasn't been delayed yet, it's still very much up in the air due to the U.S.'s mishandling of the pandemic and Dune's recent departure from the 2020 holiday season.
Marketing movies in the middle of a pandemic is obviously difficult. However, given how touch-and-go the film industry is right now and how valuable trailers are (especially for superhero movies), I think it was a mistake for DC to promote movies like Wonder Woman 1984 and The Batman at DC FanDome. Trailers can only be released once - with Wonder Woman 1984 having already released two, if it's delayed again, the marketing budget for the film will have to increase and another trailer will need to be released. More trailers means more new footage will be released to differentiate them from previous ones, which can lead to fans feeling like they've seen too much of the movie. This was the case with Batman v Superman's third trailer, in which Doomsday was revealed, or the trailers for Avengers: Infinity War, which showed practically every scene of the movie, including the ones where popular characters died (albeit without the visual effects).
Personally, I like being surprised when I go see these movies in theaters, and I'm not dying for content during this pandemic. While it's obviously disappointing to not be getting these movies when we expected, time has also basically frozen for a large number of people. Does it feel like Black Widow was supposed to come out 5 months ago? It certainly doesn't to me. There's still so much to watch and catch up on, even if it's not new superhero films that we want to see. I'd rather not see trailers for movies I'm excited about right now, because when they get delayed like this it only makes it harder to hold onto my excitement. I'm definitely more excited for Eternals than I am for Black Widow right now, and I'm glad that Marvel didn't release a trailer simply for the sake of doing so. While DC FanDome was a lot of fun and gave fans so much to discuss, it doesn't seem like the trailer releases were a great idea in retrospect.
What do you think? Comment below!