Why do movies so rarely live up to the trailer hype?


Aidan Block, Staff Writer

To any avid movie goer, the story is familiar. You’re walking out of a movie, one that you might’ve been anticipating for months or even years, only to feel like you’re missing something. You might’ve turned to your friend walking out with a shrug, and in return you hear the classic phrase: “The trailer was better.”

Oftentimes, that conversation may not even include the movie you just watched, and instead you find yourself talking about how excited you all are for the upcoming movies that were advertised before that two-and-a-half-hour disappointment.

Here lies the problem of movies these days: are we enjoying the movies we’re watching, or the buildup to them? What movie could live up to years of hype? The answer, unfortunately , is not many.

Just this past week, two major movie trailers were dropped, adding to the flames of hype for one release and igniting that of another. These, of course, are yet another trailer for the upcoming ‘Avengers: Endgame’ film, and the first full-length trailer for the newest depiction of Batman’s greatest foe in ‘Joker,’ coming from director Todd Phillips of the ‘Hangover’ trilogy.

The former has already shattered presale records, defeating the first day earnings of the previous record holder, ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens,’ in just six hours. The latter, despite not being released for another six months, is enjoying a very respectable amount of attention, considering the distraction of ‘Endgame.’

This is part of why some people believe films are getting worse and worse. It might be that Hollywood has been flooded with remakes, reboots and sequels that strip the industry of creativity and originality, but that is probably more of a symptom than the problem itself.

The reason why we’re seeing most movies as sequels or parts of series (the 22-movie Marvel Universe being the worst offender of this) is that these are the movies that get the most hype. Original screenplays just aren’t breaking presale records, that’s the unfortunate fact.

This is why we can’t blame Hollywood for the constant hype train that it seems movie lovers can never get off of: the problem is ourselves. The next time we show someone a trailer we’re excited for, it could help to ask ourselves: why am I excited for this movie? Am I just continuing to wait for a payoff that the first, second or even third movie should’ve had, or am I genuinely interested in the new and unique ideas that it has to offer?

Hype around movies isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but when it replaces genuinely enjoying the movies we’re watching, and holding them to a higher standard than their trailers or teasers, then comes a time when we need to start focusing on quality over quantity.