One of the biggest forces in the film industry that can sway audiences' money towards their movies is trailers. While many people love to complain about having trailers before movies, we all know we love getting to see them, whether it's to introduce us to an upcoming movie for the first time or to remind us that movie we've been hyped for is almost out.
Aside from intriguing plot lines or favorite actors, one of the best things about trailers (and movies) is the music. Whenever a studio knows how to blend a good song with a trailer — whether it's a fast-paced song with an action film, or a sad song for a drama — that studio has won in getting people excited for their films.
So, let's take a walk down memory lane and list some of the best song uses in a movie trailer.
15. 'Hooked On A Feeling' By Blue Swede — Guardians of the Galaxy
Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel's 10th film in their Cinematic Universe, was a huge success upon release with critics and audiences, garnering a 91 percent approval rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes and earning over $700 million at the box office. One of the aspects everyone praised in the film is the soundtrack, which sold over 2.5 million copies worldwide in 2014, and made history by being the first album to feature previously released songs to top the Billboard 200 chart that year.
While the entire soundtrack was praised, the one song that became immensely popular once more after the film's first trailer was Blue Swede's 1968 hit "Hooked on a Feeling." The song worked in its blend with the action trailer, as well as accentuating the comedy element in both the trailer and the movie. Here's the trailer that uses the song well:
14. 'Dream On' By Aerosmith — Argo
Argo was Ben Affleck's third directorial effort, and it was a major success both critically and commercially, receiving seven Academy Award nominations (winning three, including Best Picture), and earning just over $230 million at the box office. Set in 1979, any song in the film aside from the score had to be from the time or earlier, but the best song for the film was the one that didn't appear in the full product: "Dream On" by Aerosmith. The 1973 classic rock song was featured in the latter quarter of the film's trailer, and it helped to enhance some of the film's more intense moments and dramatic elements for the trailer. Here's the "classic" thrilling trailer:
13. 'Dirty Paws' By Of Monsters and Men — The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Unlike the previous films on this list, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty had a very moderate success, both critically and commercially, earning almost $190 million off its $90 million budget, and earning a 50 percent approval rating from critics, but 70 percent from audiences on Rotten Tomatoes. One of the film's more intriguing and fun elements was its soundtrack, which featured many surreal and upbeat pop songs, one of which being "Dirty Paws" by the Icelandic band, Of Monsters and Men. The song was also featured in the trailer, and helped to really accentuate the adventurous feel of the movie. Check out the trailer and its use of the wondrous song:
12. 'X Gonna Give It To Ya' By DMX And 'Shoop' By Salt-N-Pepa — Deadpool
If you haven't seen anything about Deadpool after all these months, let's face it, you had to have been living under a rock. But, for those who have seen the ads and the movie, you know how big of a hit this movie was, and how awesome the soundtrack was. The movie earned over $782 million at the box office, placing it as the highest-grossing R-rated film of all-time, and the soundtrack earning the No. 30 spot on the Billboard 200 at the time of its release. Many trailers tend to feature at least two songs, even if one is a piece of a score from the film itself, but this one featured two fast-paced tracks that helped audiences get even more pumped for the film's release. Check out the fast-paced, and hilariously NSFW, trailer for the comic hit:
11. 'Wrecking Ball' By Miley Cyrus — The Night Before
Now, I know what you're thinking, and believe, it's not easy to write that something by Miley Cyrus is positive. However, the editing team behind the trailer for the Seth Rogen Christmas comedy, The Night Before, looked at that song and said "Challenge accepted." The song is not only used as a running gag in the film between Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Lizzy Caplan and Mindy Kaling, but it also ends up being performed by the artist herself with the help of JGL's character during a funny cameo moment. In addition to the film's use of the song, the trailer used it to the advantage to add a level of upbeat partying vibe for the trailer, as well as show some of the film's truly hilarious moments. Here's the funny and definitely NSFW trailer:
10. 'Sabotage' By Beastie Boys — Star Trek Beyond
When the first official teaser trailer for the latest entry into the rebooted Star Trek film franchise was released, many people were divided on their thoughts, even co-writer and star Simon Pegg, who thought that the trailer did not portray this as being Star Trek. However, personally, I found the teaser to be immensely entertaining, and though I can absolutely see how it doesn't feel like the original series or films in the trailer, it definitely keeps with the tone of much of the first Star Trek reboot featuring the current cast, with much of the humor and fast pace that drew in new and younger audiences. One of the best parts about the first trailer was also its stylish and effective use of the song "Sabotage" by Beastie Boys, as it makes this trailer more thrilling and fun and calls back to the first reboot film — an apparent inspiration for this film. Check out the fast-paced trailer and judge it for yourself:
9. 'Bohemian Rhapsody' By Queen And 'Ballroom Blitz' By The Sweet — Suicide Squad
This was a tough choice for this list, trying to decide which song/trailer to feature, but because both songs work so well in their trailers, I just have to choose them both. The upcoming Suicide Squad will be the third installment of the DC Extended Universe, and the level of excitement for the film is growing immensely. So much so, that box office predictions for the film are looking at a $100–135 million opening weekend. The film received much interest when the first trailer for the film leaked from last year's Comic-Con that Warner Bros. even took legal action and then released the same trailer for the film.
The hype level hit an all-time high when the second trailer featuring the ever-popular "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen was released, which worked so well due to its slick editing blending the music with the action in the trailer. The third trailer worked just as well as the second, truly focusing on the hard-hitting action of the film, and using the fast-paced classic rock hit, "Ballroom Blitz" by The Sweet. Here are the trailers for your enjoyment:
8. 'Feel Right' By Mark Ronson And Mystikal — The Nice Guys
When Warner Bros. dropped the first trailer for The Nice Guys, which coincidentally was also the Red Band NSFW trailer, it took the media by surprise. For those who knew of its production, they were finally glad to see what was coming for this. For those who didn't (myself included), it was a welcome surprise, as it showed a return for Shane Black to his crime noire home, and it showed some hilarious comedy for stars Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe.
While the film wasn't a huge hit upon release, earning only $57 million at the box office off of a $50 million budget, it was a huge critical success, earning a Certified Fresh rating of 91 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. In addition, those who saw the movie or wanted to no doubt got hyped by the hilarious and stylish NSFW trailer, which also was teamed up with the pop track "Feel Right" by Mark Ronson and Mystikal so perfectly that if you didn't know they were modern performers, you would think they performed during the film's time period of the '70s. Here's the slick and unrestricted trailer for your enjoyment:
7. 'House Of The Rising Sun' By Heavy Young Heathens — The Magnificent Seven
Whether your a fan of remakes or not, there is no denying that The Magnificent Seven will be an action-packed thrill ride, especially after the first trailer for the Western remake. Directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, The Equalizer) and starring Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D'Onofrio, Lee Byung-hun, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo and Martin Sensmeier, the latest remake of the Western classic is certainly getting attention not only because of its talented cast and director, but also thanks to the thrilling trailer featuring the Heavy Young Heathens' cover of "House of the Rising Sun," which was also previously used in the Chinese-American crime drama, Revenge of the Green Dragons. Here's the thrilling look at the upcoming remake:
6. 'It's Tricky' By DJ Fresh — Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows
When the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles remake came out, I did just about everything to avoid it. After seeing the trailers, it looked nothing like the original film or the actual source material, but when Stephen Amell was announced as Casey Jones for the sequel, I made sure to give the first one a chance, and was surprised to find it was mediocre. When the first trailer for the second film dropped, I watched it hesitantly, and was overjoyed by how much fun it looked — the action, the humor, it all looked so awesome. In addition to the actual content, the trailer was also made even better by the DJ Fresh cover version of the Run DMC song, which made the trailer feel even slicker and more fast-paced and only adding to the hype level for the film. Here's a look at the entertaining trailer:
5. 'Ante Up (Robbin Hoodz Theory)' By M.O.P. — Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse
When this film was still in production, there was a lot of interest surrounding it, from the wacky original title of Scouts vs. Zombies to the insanely hilarious idea of boy scouts saving their town from a bunch of zombies. Sadly, when the film came out, it failed to do much review-wise or box office wise, but for those who were interested in the film, the Red Band NSFW certainly got people hyped for it, especially thanks to the remix of the hit rap track, "Ante Up" by M.O.P. The song helped to add a party element vibe to the zombie-battling theme. Here's the hilarious and stylish trailer for the film:
4. 'Hey Mama' By David Guetta Ft. Nicki Minaj, Bebe Rexha And Afrojack — American Ultra
This is actually one of the few movies in which the song/trailer combination is phenomenal, "Hey Mama" adding an intense and fast-paced feel to the hilarious Red Band trailer for the movie, but the actual movie itself is a letdown. While Nicki Minaj's vocals definitely get one interested in the action and comedy that seem to go together well in the American Ultra trailer, the film itself is ultimately disappointing. Here is the awesome trailer, though, for your viewing pleasure:
3. 'Phenomenal' By Eminem — Southpaw
This spot on the list is a bit of a cheat, seeing as how this film was written with Eminem in mind to play the lead character, and he wrote this song specifically for the movie. But, it still earns its place, as the trailer is truly supported by not only good editing, but a solid featuring of the track "Phenomenal" by the rap artist. The song truly helps to add to the dramatic element of the preview, making audiences believe in a comeback for Jake Gyllenhaal's character, as well as even serve as a good motivator for audience members looking to maybe hit the gym hard. Here's a look at the moving and hard-hitting trailer:
2. 'Burial' By Skrillex With Yogi, Ft. Pusha T, Moody Good And TrollPhace — Entourage
Sadly, it's no secret that the Entourage movie was no success, making only about $50 million off of a $39 million budget, and earning a low rating of 33 percent from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. However, true fans of the show had a lot of fun in the movie, and leading up to its release were definitely hyped thanks to its upbeat trailer featuring the very party-centric Skrillex cover of "Burial," which helped give the trailer the crazy antic feel that the show was known for. Check out the trailer for the HBO show follow-up:
1. 'Guts Over Fear' By Eminem — The Equalizer
That's right, Eminem has appeared on this list again, and for good reason. Though he focused the song primarily on his own struggles as an artist, the song was definitely tailored towards this film, and it works. Its feature in the action-packed trailer definitely fits with the hard-hitting thrills, as well as keep a dramatic element and mysterious nature to Denzel Washington's character. Here's the moving and stunning trailer for the action hit:
What are some of your favorite song/trailer combinations? Are there any films you think should be included on this list? Let me know in the comments!