Hollywood isn’t shying away from the steep cost of Super Bowl ads this year — up to $5 million for a 30-second spot, per CBS president, CEO, and now board chair Les Moonves — as Disney, Fox, and Universal attempt to reach the biggest TV audience of the year. Last year’s Super Bowl attracted an average of 114.4 million viewers, or more than six times that of TV’s current top-rated scripted series, “NCIS” (17.5 million).
In the ad for “Eddie the Eagle” (20th Century Fox, Feb. 26), the “secret” Sundance title starring Taron Egerton as intrepid British ski jumper Michael “Eddie” Edwards, NFL stars Russell Wilson, Drew Brees, and Kurt Warner praise the inspirational, true-life sports drama, comparing it to “Hoosiers,” “Rudy,” and “Remember the Titans.” The “Alice Through the Looking Glass” (Disney, May 27) spot features the voice of the late Alan Rickman, in his final film role, as the voice of the Blue Caterpillar, as well as faces familiar from Tim Burton’s 2010 “Alice in Wonderland”: Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, and Anne Hathaway.
And on Facebook, series author Eric Van Lustbader indicated that Universal would unveil the title and first footage of this summer’s Matt Damon/Paul Greengrass “Bourne” revival: looks like it’s called, in all simplicity, “Jason Bourne” (July 29). Damon is in fighting shape. And the sequel features one hell of a highway-crumpling car chase.
Big-name stars continue to turn up in buzzworthy ad campaigns for the likes of Coca Cola (Marvel stars Hulk and Ant-Man), Hyundai (Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Hart), Budweiser (Helen Mirren), Snickers (Willem Dafoe, Marilyn Monroe), Shock Top (T.J. Miller), Amazon (Alec Baldwin, Dan Marino), Apartments.com (Jeff Goldblum), Kia (Christopher Walken), Bud Light (Amy Schumer, Seth Rogen), LG (Liam Neeson), and more—all of which hit the web before the game has even begun. Mirren and Schumer’s spots are among several spots atypically featuring strong, not objectified women.
Fox went for four Super Bowl spots: the aforementioned “Eddie the Eagle,” R-rated Marvel movie “Deadpool” (February 12), “Independence Day: Resurgence” (June 24), starring Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman and an attack of CG aliens, and Marvel’s “X-Men Apocalypse” (May 27), starring Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence and Olivia Munn. Disney showcased Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” (May) and live-action “The Jungle Book” (April 15), directed by Jon Favreau, complete with animated talking bear Baloo (Bill Murray). And Paramount promoted Michael Bay-produced “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” (June 3) and JJ Abrams’ latest production “10 Cloverfield Lane” (March 11). Lionsgate highlighted “Gods of Egypt” (February 26), with Gerard Butler, during the pregame show.