This sort of thing tends to happen all the time lately. Studios push to have more footage included with their trailers that are already long enough and in doing so, end up showcasing way too much of the film. Effectively, they ruin the entire point of going to the theater to see it. For this week, I'll be counting down my top five picks for trailers that gave away the plot of the movie and resulted in low attendance, poor ticket sales, and scathing reviews from fans and critics alike. So, without further spoilers, let's begin.
5) Double Jeopardy (1999)
This film had it all. Great cast, great action scenes, and even a great story. It has to be one of Ashley Judd's finest performances in the last two and a half decades, or certainly one of her most memorable. What the film didn't have was a good trailer. Literally the entire plot of the movie is spelled out right in front of your eyes. Not a single moment of this film was a surprise to anyone who witnessed this preview. Thankfully, by the time I saw the film, I was too young to remember there was a trailer.
4) Avatar (2009)
There was no need for this trailer to be as long as it was. This movie was going to make metric tons of money without this obvious release of oversharing. This film literally had every ingredient necessary to secure the record for highest grossing film of all time. James Cameron directing, amazing CGI, Sigourney frigging Weaver, it goes on and on. Honestly, a one-minute montage of three-second clips from the film probably would've done the trick just as easily.
3) Carrie (1976)
Ugh...come on. They had the voiceover guy explain the entire movie to the audience. No surprise at all. They focused on every moment of the film that should've been left a mystery until opening night. Listening to that preview was like having someone talk me through the book as slowly as they possibly could, without emotion and like they had done it a million and five times already. What a drag....
2) The Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
Who is this White Wizard? Who? Oh my God! It's Gandalf! Wait...damn it. Thanks a lot. I mean, anyone with access to the internet or who had read the books knew what was going to happen in the sequel. But that doesn't mean the rest of us did! So much about this great film was spoiled in the trailer, you can't even begin or want to forgive the insane obsequious person who cut it together. I mean, come one, leave a little to the imagination, huh?
Before the top pick is unveiled, here are a few (dis)honorable mentions....
What Lies Beneath (2000)
Cast Away (2000)
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
1) Dark Shadows (2012)
In the end, the trailer was the least of this film's problems. But it certainly didn't help very much either. Tim Burton put together an all-star cast, rebooted an iconic franchise, and was given an insane amount of money to put it together. What could possibly go wrong? Low attendance and poor ticket sales resulted directly from Warner Bros. including far too much of the film, well basically the entire plot of the film, in every trailer released. Following Burton's massive success with Alice In Wonderland, they thought, "What's the harm?" Months later when Dark Shadows was fighting for attention in this world obsessed with The Hunger Games and The Avengers, it became pretty evident what the harm was.