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Blockbuster trailers: How the Internet and social media have changed movie marketing

Get your first look at Star Wars: The Force Awakens in the new 88-second teaser.
Get your first look at Star Wars: The Force Awakens in the new 88-second teaser.
Star Wars (via YouTube)

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With nearly a year to go until its blockbuster release, Star Wars VII already is enjoying a massively successful marketing campaign with more than 87 million YouTube views of its teaser trailer released by Disney in November. In 2014, it was the second most viewed trailer of the entire year, according to The Hollywood Reporter, just after the “50 Shades of Grey” trailer, which had a much longer run online.

Millions of eyeballs have also seen trailers of two other fan-favorite franchises: Jurassic World starring Chris Pratt and Terminator Genisys with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Those films are several months away, but the studios were pressured into early campaign launches both by the force of the Star Wars marketing beast and a leak of the Terminator trailer. The film blog said the Star Wars trailer was a defining moment in 2014, adding: "Not only did the trailer views shoot up with terrifying speed but the delay between the inevitable parodies and breakdowns was far shorter than in previous years."

How has the Internet and social media changed movie marketing? How do you tease and sell a movie over the course of a year? What makes a great trailer? And how do they influence your inclination to see a movie?


Matt Brubaker, President of Theatrical and Theatrical Home Entertainment for Trailer Park, one of the top trailer producers in the industry; Trailer Park has won a Golden Trailer Award every year since its inception in 15 years ago & countless Key Art Awards.

Andy Lewis, Book editor of the Hollywood Reporter who also  writes about trailers for THR; Contributor to recent book “75 Years of Marvel Comics: From the Golden Age to the Silver Screen