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An In-Depth Superbowl LVIII Trailer Roundup: Hollywood’s Prospective Year

In anticipated order of release, here are the movies Hollywood hopes to win audiences back with.
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Marvel Studios’ “Deadpool & Wolverine” (Courtesy Disney/Marvel)

 

Coming off one of the worst weekend box offices in years, Hollywood used their allotted time this Superbowl to gear up for an attempted return to form. It’s no small expense considering just a 30-second Superbowl ad could cost upwards of $7 million

However, with a potential IATSE strike on the horizon, so soon after the combined WGA/SAG-AFTRA strikes of last year could do irreparable damage to the industry. After a disastrous slate of nonstop failing blockbusters in 2023, this new slate must deliver. 

Here, in anticipated order of release, are the movies Hollywood hopes to win audiences back with.

Kung Fu Panda 4

An official trailer premiered last month featuring the titular hero once again voiced by Jack Black. It features a new character voiced by Awkwafina, a new shape-shifting villain voiced by Viola Davis priming the return of the series’ past antagonists, and no Furious Five. It was met with mixed reactions, not the hype Dreamworks may have expected.

This teaser shows Po being attacked by a trifecta of kid rabbits who all declare, “We love violence!” Showing the franchise’s wacky humor is still intact. Where else is there to take Po’s story after becoming the esteemed Dragon Warrior and finding inner peace? Could having a rematch with previous villains bring anything new that audiences haven’t already seen?

“Kung Fu Panda 4” is expected to arrive in theaters on March 8.

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire

Technically there was not a trailer for this movie during the Superbowl. There weren’t trailers for any upcoming Warner Bros. Discovery projects, they simply don’t have the money for that. However, it’s no surprise that this trailer was only released a few days later.

Godzilla Minus One” was a smashing success for its alternate take on a monster movie, focusing on human drama and portraying the titular kaiju as a monster. This trailer shows more of the same from the last few Warner Bros. Kaiju movies. Big action setpieces in a destroyed city and hand-wavey sci-fi explanations justify the insane plot and human characters’ inclusion. 

To its credit, this entry will be a “buddy-cop” tale as the two Titans team up to fight off a new kaiju threat. The last entry, “Godzilla vs. Kong,” was a financial success despite being released during the pandemic. It remains to be seen if audiences will want to return to this franchise so soon after they’ve seen what a kaiju movie with effort looks like.

“Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” arrives in theaters on March 28.

Monkey Man

This Dev Patel-led and directed actioner seems to be following in the footsteps of “John Wick” as the studio, 87North, is also producing it. This teaser shows quick snippets of action set to an ominous beat as Patel’s character embarks on a revenge quest against the men who harmed his wife and son. Part of what led to Wick’s original success was the story being so straightforward, maybe the same could be said for “Monkey Man” which arrives on April 5.

The Fall Guy

Ryan Gosling has had success in his past comedic roles with “The Nice Guys,” but middling returns on “Blade Runner: 2049” have shown that audiences don’t care for him as an action star. If “Barbie” has proven that Ryan Gosling is a strong comedic actor, then “The Fall Guy” could show audiences that he could at the same time be an action star.

This humorous teaser shows Gosling’s character, a retired stuntman, accompanied by Emily Blunt, being thrust back into the business in a high-octane adventure to locate the star of a film his ex is directing. 

“The Fall Guy” arrives on May 3.

IF

This teaser opens up with John Krasinski — wait sorry — Randall Park and Ryan Reynolds introducing a children’s live-action/CGI hybrid movie about a little girl (Cailey Fleming) who can see people’s imaginary friends (IF). The teaser prominently features Blue (Steve Carell), fittingly a big blue IF and Blossom (Phoebe Waller-Bridge), a daintier IF in a Tootoo. 

From what can be gleaned from the teaser, the trio will have to care for the IFs. If all else fails, however, there’s always “Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends.

“IF” will arrive in theaters on May 17.

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

Without Director Matt Reeves or actor Andy Serkis, can the “Apes” franchise retain the level of quality the initial prequel trilogy enjoyed? Based on this trailer Director Wes Ball may have the cinematic eye to keep the ball rolling as a new generation of apes take the reigns.

This teaser shows a rudimentary kingdom of Apes, still growing from the bones of humanity. The remaining structures and rusted cargo ships are seen used as bases of operation as these Apes hunt down the remaining humans.

“Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” is expected on May 24.

Inside Out 2

Not much has been previewed for this upcoming sequel save for several teases of new emotion, Anxiety, voiced by Maya Hawke. Hawke joins the original returning cast of Amy Poehler as Joy, Phyllis Smith as Sadness and Lewis Black as Anger. The other newcomers include Tony Hale as Fear, and Liza Lapira as Disgust replacing Bill Hader and Mindy Kaling respectively. Both Hader and Kaling decided not to return after being offered oddly low salaries.

This sequel will see Riley as a teenager dealing with the good, bad and the ugly that comes with adolescence. Enough time has passed that the children who saw the first movie in theaters could be just experiencing those feelings as well. This effect could be similar to the gap between “Monsters Inc” and the prequel “Monsters University”.

“Inside Out 2” arrives in theaters on June 14.

A Quiet Place: Day One

This prequel will show how exactly humanity fell to the invading aliens in an almost Spielberg-level of terror and visual flair, without John Krasinski directing or Emily Blunt starring. Instead, Director Michael Sarnoski will continue this franchise but not without Krasinski’s help with writing.

This insanely well-edited and sound-designed teaser shows Lupita Nyong’o and Stranger Thing’s Joseph Quinn running through the streets of New York City as swathes of people are hunted down by the sound-driven aliens. A stinger at the end shows Djimon Hounsou, who also appeared in“A Quiet Place: Part II,” shushing Nyong’o’s character lest she give her position away to an alien creeping outside.

“A Quiet Place: Day One” arrives June 28.

Despicable Me 4

The Despicable Me franchise is a certified money-maker thanks to the marketable yellow Tic Tacs small children and wine aunts everywhere love. This trailer shows Gru (Steve Carell) and super-spy Lucy Wilde (Kristen Wiig) raising their daughter alongside their adopted daughters Margot, Edith and Agnes (Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gaier and Madison Skyy Polan). There’s no tease for the new villain, Valentina (Sofia Vergara), or the other new character, Maxime Le Mal (Will Ferrel). Instead, there is a clever jab at AI “art” that criticizes people who rely on it.

“Despicable Me 4” arrives in theaters on July 3.

Twisters

Continuing Glen Powell’s string of success from the surprising box office hit “Anyone But You,” the Sundance premiere of “Hit Man” and his brief appearance in “Top Gun: Maverick” it seems there’s a new charismatic leading man in town. 

This teaser harkens back to the original Twister by showcasing the destructive power of tornadoes and the storm chasers who admire them. Along for the ride are Katy O’Brian (The Mandalorian), Anthony Ramos (In the Heights, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts), Brandon Perea (Nope) and the DCU’s future Superman, David Corenswet.

“Twisters” comes to theaters July 19.

Deadpool and Wolverine

With superhero fatigue and a drastic decline in the quality of recent Marvel projects, can the Merc with a Mouth save the genre? Well, not without help because a version of Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine will return to accompany Ryan Reynold’s Deadpool on a multiversal adventure. 

This teaser shows Wade Wilson being shepherded by Succession’s Matthew Macfadyen as Agent Paradox into the Time Variance Authority (TVA) from the Disney+ series “Loki.” Agent Paradox says, “This is your chance to be a hero among heroes.” Then shows Wade a highlight reel of scenes from back when the MCU was peak, to which Wade replies, “I’m the messiah[…]I…am ‘Marvel Jesus!’”

The last shot of the trailer sees Deadpool thrown onto the ground by a mysterious assailant who approaches so his silhouette covers him. Deadpool groans and says, “Don’t just stand there you ape, give me a hand up!” The attacker obliges by unsheathing his adamantium claws with a nice schwing!

Kudos to anyone who spotted the torn issue of “Marvel’s Secret Wars” lying next to Deadpool.

The trailer won the night with a record-breaking 365 million views across multiple platforms only days after its release. Maybe this movie could reach the coveted billion-dollar mark.

“Deadpool and Wolverine” arrives July 26.

Wicked

Wicked” is a beloved Broadway musical meant to add depth to “The Wizard of Oz” story by casting a sympathetic light on the witch characters. The film adaption sports Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande as Elphaba and Glinda. This fantasy musical could be in good standing based on Wonka’s box office success. Maybe audiences are ready to embrace musicals again even though studios have intentionally not advertised them as being such.

This teaser does not give away much in terms of plot, just vibes as multiple callbacks to “The Wizard of Oz” are shown like the titular wizard, the yellow brick road and the emerald city.

“Wicked” arrives in theaters Nov. 27.

Looking Ahead

It seems 2024 will largely remain a year of sequels, prequels, reboots and requels to bank off of audience familiarity with existing IP. There’s plenty to be excited about without a doubt, but with the Barbenheimer craze over, maybe more audience members are willing to give original movies a shot.

This year’s Superbowl match between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers has reached an incredible height in viewership with 123.7 million viewers during the telecast. It’s safe to say that a substantial amount of people have seen these trailers and will see at least one of these upcoming movies. There’s an entire year to see how Hollywood’s latest gambit plays out.

 

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@apm_andre

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About the Contributor
Andre Montoya, Arts Writer
Andre Montoya is a senior at the University of Utah double majoring in English and communications with an emphasis in journalism. He began writing for the Arts Desk at the Daily Utah Chronicle in Fall 2022. Previously, he has written for the West View Media and Voices of Utah, formerly run by now retired U professor Dr. Kim Mangun. He can often be found around campus glued to his laptop working on assignments or at the Student Life Center exercising. In his free time, he enjoys reading novels, photography, binge-watching shows and movies, or spending time with friends.

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