Culture Crash 18-13: Spoilers in Trailers

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Movies trailers are celebrated in the internet age with a passion. Studios hype up the release of new trailers days in advance and many fans post videos reacting to the trailers instantly after they’re released.

But other fans are hesitant to even watch the trailers in the first place, because they’re so afraid of catching spoilers.

It’s not a new problem, back in 1994, the movie Speed had a trailer that totally gave away the ending and, yes, people complained.

But the problem has matured in the current era of YouTube and internet message boards. Trailers are dissected and anaylzed to such a degree that people can pick up on even the smallest details.

What does that mean? It means weeks before The Avengers: Infinity War is even released, fans are predicting which characters die by comparing the cinematography to certain comics where characters died on the page. It means fans complaining back in 2016 that the Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer spoiled the main villian and the would-be surprising reveal of Wonder Woman.

While some fans love predicting the movie’s beats, other fans can’t stand it.

Some trailers have tried to subvert this effect. Last year’s It Comes At Night trailer intentionally misled fans into thinking it was an entirely different kind of movie which, again, came to mixed results. Some people loved the misdirection while others called it false advertising and lamented buying their ticket in the first place.

Movie trailers are obviously not going anywhere anytime soon. The bigger tentpole movies mean even more dollars on the line and bigger incentive for movie studios to hype up their movies.

But fans complaining about trailer spoilers isn’t going anywhere, either and it’s a tough balance to strike.

I’ve tried to mitigate the trailer-spoiler problem by avoiding trailers for the movies I can’t wait to see. But inevitably, the hype machine gets to me and I can’t help myself. In that case, I have no one but myself to blame. Such is life as a movie fan in the age of the internet.

I’m Evan Rook.