When Are Movie Trailers Considered False Advertising?

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Movie Trailers False Advertising Paranormal Acitivity 3 Drive e1319484041810 When Are Movie Trailers Considered False Advertising?

Like young singles hoping to land a date by the end of the night, a movie trailer hopes to stand out from the crowd and make you take notice – make you want to approach it and learn more about it, ultimately leaving you with a sense of curiosity, wanting more. It wants you to call back, plan a date to come see it, invest your time, attention – and yes, your money – to get the full show.

But what happens when the deed is done, and in the aftermath you see that what you got isn’t at all what you thought it was? The makeup and dressings of marketing were used to cover up the reality – and that reality is something you’d never be interested in, had you known the truth  going in. In that case, what is typically beautification becomes illusion – what is typically careful presentation becomes an outright lie, and our anger at being tricked is all we’re left holding on to.

Advertising is an industry that has been built on selling a vision or dream in a place of a real product. Everybody lies in advertising to some degree – just as people lie to some degree when they first court one another. Few people are honest upfront about their baggage or damage or raw, unsculpted appearance, and movie studios are the same way. All of us have experienced our fair share of movie duds – how many of them came out and told you they were duds upfront, rather than trying to show you some pretty picture first?

It’s one thing when a unattractive film tries to show off its best parts in a trailer, thereby creating the impression that whole show is as gorgeous or fun or witty. We get that. (Hell, its practically the written law of dating.) But when does a trailer go from being on the safe side of “good salesmanship” and fall into the territory of “con artist?” Lately we’ve noticed an uptick in the number people crying foul about what they thought were misleading trailers luring them into bad movie experiences; we decided to look at a couple of recent cases and examine what happened, and if there was truly a case of false movie advertising.

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DRIVE

News hit a few weeks back that a Michigan woman named Sarah Deming is suing studio FilmDistrict over what she considers to be a case of false advertising for Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive. The film stars Ryan Gosling as a getaway driver who gets caught up in some bad business with a local mob, and the trailers for the film sold it at as a gritty flick full of car chases, violence, thrilling action and suspense. Basically, according to Sarah Deming, she was expecting another Fast and the Furious-type flick – a sentiment that many other disgruntled movie goers have since echoed.

In our Drive review here at Screen Rant, we let it be known in no uncertain terms that Drive was no Fast and the Furious. Refn is more of an artistic director, and while the film had its fair share of action moments (and some serious violence), it was largely a slow-burn and understated piece of cinema, with characters who spoke very little dialogue and long scenes of imagery set to offbeat ’80s pop music. In short: it was “weirder” or more “boring” than your average movie goer is used to from an “action film.”  So did the trailers lie, promising something that wasn’t there?

While Drive did seem like more of an action/thriller in the trailer above, in this case it’s hard to see Deming’s accusation holding much water. First of all, no one should walk into a movie these days with such a large false impression. For all their downsides, one great thing the Internet and social media have done is widen the scope of public discourse; if you want to know if a product is good, or a movie is worthwhile, you don’t just have to listen to what the ads are selling you, or what those “snobby critics” complain about – you can get the lowdown from other average Joes who now have the platform to share their thoughts alongside the industry elite. You don’t even have to read some basement-dweller’s novel-length blog on a product or film  - a quick keyword search on Twitter or Facebook can bring you loads of public opinion on just about anything – including the truth behind any misleading advertising. Just imagine if you could do that for dating – who wouldn’t use that service?

Drive Movie Ending When Are Movie Trailers Considered False Advertising?

That’s all to say: Deming didn’t do her due diligence, in my opinion. I myself threw a big WARNING in my own Drive review, letting people just like Deming know what they would and WOULD NOT be getting with the film. My review was posted well in advance of the film’s release, and I was preceded by many other reviews and people who had been to festival screenings, so the information was waiting out there on the Interwebs, just one search away from telling Sarah Deming what she needed to know.

More to the point: every single shot and moment featured in the Drive trailer was shown in the theatrical film. There are movies that never get accused of false advertising, yet they feature trailer moments that didn’t make it into the actual theatrical cut of the film. With Drive, what you were promised was what you got – even though the way you got it may not have been equal to initial expectation. So, was this trailer misleading, or just smart about how to show itself off and highlight its best qualities? For my money, it’s the latter case: and as with the dating scene, it may be annoying, but it’s far from illegal.

However, I can’t say the same for Paranormal Activity 3….

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TAGS: drive, paranormal activity 3

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  1. “A case can be made for the fact that too often these days, movie trailers show too much of a movie. Not only do we get a detailed account of what the movie is about, we often get a pretty idea of how everything in the film is going to play out.”

    That’s what 90% of movie reviews are like to. This site has had some spoiler-free reviews, but there are plenty of times on here where I’ve had to avoid reading a review until after I’ve seen the movie cause it pretty much tells the entire story except the ending.

    • Mike,

      I disagree. We do NOT spoil movies in our reviews except when it simply cannot be avoided due to the nature of a particular film – and then we go to GREAT lengths to warn people and provide “skip over” space within the review.

      Now if you consider a general outline of a movie a spoiler, then I suggest that you should probably avoid movie news sites in general.

      Vic

    • I disagree completely.

      Screen Rant has an excellent review format, in my opinion. There are usually a couple of introductory paragraphs, then an outline of the movie’s plot, and then closing paragraphs that sum up why it worked or didn’t work. If I want to be left completely in the dark about the movie’s plot, which is often the case, then it’s easy to skip the outlines and get a general feel of how the movie went over.

    • CAN YOU SAY: “SPECIAL EDITION BLURAY DISC” ??? CAN YOU SAY: “UNRATED DIRECTORS CUT” ??? CAN YOU SAY “NOW WITH ADDITIONAL FOOTAGE DEEMED TOO SCARY FOR THEATERS” ??? CAN YOU SAY: “PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4″ ???

      • Someone once said… It’s not called show entertainment, it’s called show “BUSINESS”

        • Well as Coolidge said “The buisness of America is Buisness” so yes you are right

      • If those scenes will be in the special edition and/or unrated directors cut DVD versions, then why even put those scenes in the movie trailer like they are going to be in the movie? Save those scenes for the DVD release commercials.

  2. You HAVE to appreciate the style of Drive to like it. Because frankly, the few action scenes it did have, were not really that awesome. It was more of a drama/thriller than an action film. That car chase scene between the 2011 5.0L Mustang GT and the Chrysler 300 was retarded. According to that, a POS 300 can catch up with a 412hp Mustang GT that can keep up with a BMW M3 on the track?? Especially with a professional driver behind the wheel?? Highly unlikely is an understatement. More like completely impossible… They should have at least made the chase car a new Challenger or something that might be modified or something, but a 300?? Please… But I liked the movie overall, but my friends and I still make fun of that scene, even though we all enjoyed the movie as a whole. :-D

    • While it is all well and good to go and name the advertised car specifications of the Ford Mustang used in the film, you are ignoring the potential specifications of the Chrysler 300. Unless you are one of those “Ford ‘Til I Die” guys, you should be aware that a Chrysler 300 SRT8 of the generation used in the film has a 6.1L Hemi with 425hp, which in a straight line has numbers surprisingly similar to that of the Mustang that Driver was in. In addition, while said 300 may not be able to keep up with the Mustang on a race track (the Mustang is lighter, lower, and has stiffer suspension), it is worth noting that the majority of the car chase scene between the Mustang and the 300 take place on a highway, where apart from swerving to avoid traffic, the cars remain straight. Also, if my memory serves me correctly, in one section of the film, Driver’s Mustang was actually driving backwards, further hindering any advantage it may have in a straight line over the 300. Finally, you may have noticed that the way in which the 300 was disposed of was by Driver sliding around a turn that the 300 was unable to make. It was at this point where the weakness of the 300 in relation to the Mustang and was finally seen. In closing, while there may be a few factual inaccuracies when it comes to the vehicles in the film –a stock Mustang is unable to upshift while in reverse [reverse is only one gear], and as the viewer is able to witness Driver stealing the Mustang, it is assumed that the car is still stock– the ability of the 300 to keep up with a Mustang is not one of them, and therefore should not be referred to as a “retarded”.

      • Ok, a Chrysler 300 and a Mustang GT with similar horsepower/torque numbers still means the Mustang will be faster. If you’re a car guy, you’ll know why… I’ll tell you anyway. It’s something called “weight.” You know, the thing gravity does to objects with mass…

        Also, the 300 was catching up to the Mustang not just in straight lines, but they were driving on roads with turns as well. So we’re supposed to believe that a normal driver in a heavy Chrysler 300 4-door sedan can catch up and be faster than a professional driver in a 2-door coupe Mustang GT that can keep up with a BMW M3 on the track. So I take it according to you, the Chrysler 300 can beat a BMW M3 on the track right? Yah, didn’t think so.

        So yes, the concept that the 300 can keep up with him in that movie is indeed retarded… Sorry.

        • Actually, if you read my response in its entirety, I did say that eventually the weakness of the Chrysler in turns (I.e. where it crashes) was because of its lack of track viability (weight, suspension, etc.). At no point did I suggest that the 300 was a superior car or that it would be able to beat an M3 on a track. What I am suggesting, however, is that it is not unrealistic for a SRT8 300 to be able to effectively give chase to a 5.0L Mustang GT. Also, you should realize that while weight does adversely affect the performance of the 300, its 0-60mph is quite comparable, with the new 5.0L having a reported 0-60mph time of 4.6s, and the SRT8 300 having a reported 0-60mph time of 4.6s as well. These figures were both taken from zeroto60times.com. In addition, Car and Driver observed an ungoverned top speed of 173mph in the 300 SRT8, while the top speed of the 5.0L GT Mustang was observed by the same publication as being governor limited at 146mph. It should also be noted that the SRT8 is an automatic, making it much easier to drive.
          In other words, it is still not “retarded”. Please stop trying to insinuate that I am an idiot when it comes to cars, as I have been more than willing to support my arguments with published data.

          • Ken thats what it would feel like if i agreed with you, which i dont cuz your wrong, and i dnt like you. i agree with everything the other guy said. Ken wont respond anytime soon though because hes sitting in his moms basement playing bf3. but when and if he responds he will most likely attack youf grammar, because thats what he does. Ken, ladies and gentleman, is a grammar nazi.

          • Ok, again, even if it does 0-60 in the same amount of time, they were not racing on a runway or a drag strip. Also, the Mustang had a headstart, so for the 300 to CATCH UP (I swear I’ve said this about 15 times…) would mean that the 300 is FASTER, not just “as fast in a straight line” as the Mustang. And they didn’t only turn once, they encountered several obstacles and turns and the 300 was able to match, and CATCH UP on several occassions. Again, good driver in better car versus a worse driver in worse car, yet the worse driver in worse car is able to catch up to the better driver in better car. Do you still not see the impossibility in this? Or are you just such a Chrysler fan that you’ll seriously want to compare a 4-door sedan to a 2-door coupe??

        • Im with ken on this one. no way that 300 was on the gts bumper. If you believe that you could probably be convinced it runs on rainbows and unicorn turds.

    • I loved DRIVE and am happy it was an original film unlike anything else I have seen. You want FAST and Furious? There are 5 of those already and two coming down the pipe. HAVE AT IT!!! Drive will be in my DVD collection for sure!

  3. There are many cases of false advertising in trailers but
    I’ll never forget the bastards who created the ‘Predators’ trailer…especially the part where Brody’s character stands there with
    at least 8 separate set of predator style laser sightings only to watch the movie and find out how impossible that scene is for the rest of the movie to work. Then the scene jumps in and bam—a dud. False advertising accomplished.

    They still play that trailer when they want to advertise it on HBO and Cinemax. Scoundrels.

    • Becaue that is Robert Rodreguiz, the master of lying about his movies and creating deceptive Trailers. Add that in to him lying in interviews about there being three clans of predators and up to twelve predators in the upcoming movie. That alone pissed me off so much I will never pay to see another piece of trash he puts out.

    • Amen to that. I could also not believe that they would actually blatantly lie in a trailer like that. I think that the Predators trailer is actually the best example yet of false advertising in a trailer.
      Its not even like its a scene they did not use in the movie – its blatantly different and there is no excuse other than that they did it for the “wow” factor and to impress.

  4. This site does go through a great effort to NOT spoil the movie. In the titles and the beginning paragraphs they even tell you if this is a spoiler or nonspoiler article. And they request that the comments dont spoil it either.

  5. I saw that trailer for Drive several weeks ago, and then I saw the movie. I admit that the movie was nothing like I expected it to be but it was still good for what it was. Just watched the trailer again and sat here thinking, “wow… basically every major plot element in the movie is condensed into that 2:30 trailer…”. By watching that trailer you basically get the entire movie without all the drama and extended scenes of silence.

    As for PA3. Did the same thing. watched the trailers, saw the movie, then watched the trailers again. WOW. trailers really do show a completely different movie. It’s almost as if they shot the movie twice and just scrapped one of them.

  6. The trailer is the advertisement for the film, no different to advertising a product or service. Drive’s trailer, while using only scenes from the actual film itself, impliedly advertised it to be a faster-paced action film, leaving a false impression in the consumer’s mind. Certainly, movie-goers can read critiques in advance, but does the average Joe do that? Should he?

    The trailer is used to market the film and entice movie-goers to see the film, therefore it should be accountable if the way it presents itself (having regard to the particular scenes used, the music etc) implies that the film belongs to a different genre than how it would actually be categorized. Just as a consumer is entitled to purchase a product based on a TV or Print advertisement without reading reviews, he is entitled to purchase a ticket to see a film based on the trailer. .

    Think of it this way…. Did the trailer for Driver advertise to it’s actual audience (those who enjoy a slow paced part action part drama piece) did it attempt to entice the audience of films such as Fast and the Furious? I would say the latter, and therefore it is accountable to it’s audience. Personally, I would never have purchased a ticket for drive if the film had been accurately portrayed in the trailer.

    Excuse the typos, I’m not familiar with typing on an iPad yet! :)

    • To respond to your first paragraph, I’ll say “no”. I don’t think it’s necessary for the average Joe to read movie reviews before going to the theater to see a film. However, filing a lawsuit is something that should be considered as a last resort. Lawsuits require time, energy, money, and passion.

      One would think that a person willing to expend that much time and energy on a lawsuit, would be willing to reach out and skim a few reviews of their choice as a preventative measure. It’s much more practical. To the person who would expend a great amount of resources on pursuing such legal endevors, I’d definately say “Yes Madame or Sir. Please. Do yourself a favor and read some reviews.”

      To your second paragraph, I’d say this situation gets a little hairer. In a statement I posted further down on the page I gave an opinion about the trailer itself. In short, I don’t think the trailer was misleading. It sports a Cannes film festival nod for best director (who’s reputation is out there for anyone willing to look) and ballet music. It’s not a blockbuster type musical score, it’s ballet music a la Nutcracker. That should’ve have tipped the lady off a little bit. A lot of people didn’t read into this, which is fine, but then again, they’re not filing lawsuits.

      And finally, I conclude with the fact that there are multiple outlets for people to use to express their disappointment if they are indeed upset with the final product. There are times when the full force of the law is necessary to maintain order. I don’t think that this situation with Drive warrants that though.

      • I appreciate your response and I completely agree that the lawsuit is absoutely frivolous, no doubt. But it does highlight a legal-marketing issue which I think is both important and interesting to explore.

        Certainly, those in the film industry, movie buffs and film students would understand the implicit indications of the film’s genre – such as your examples, the ballet score and Cannes acknowledgment – however the average Joe, mum or dad, or everyday moviegoer sometimes doesn’t even know of the Cannes film festival and won’t read into the artistic clues to properly gauge the film’s genre (as you acknowledge). I’m not a movie buff or film student or a critic, and I saw the trailer maybe twice before seeing it. I still don’t believe it accurately ‘captures’ the film; I feel that the action is overplayed in the trailer to make it appear more of a ‘blockbuster film’ than it was.

        However, I’m not saying that trailers need to market to the lowest common denominator (those who watch films purely for entertainment), but I do believe trailers should portray a film as accurately as possible. Films make A LOT of money, and their trailers are the honey to the bee. Without trailers, it would be a very small audience. It would be sneaky to present a trailer geared towards a somewhat more mainstream audience to generate mass-appeal, if a film is better suited to a more artistically niche audience. Ultimately, a paying audience should get what they were enticed to pay for, not something significantly different.

        On a side note, I thought the cinematography was simply awesome, and Ryan Reynolds was fantastic, even if I didn’t particularly enjoy the film.

        • Well that’s cool. I must admit, I probably see more trailers than the average Joe, but I’ve still got a way to go before I could consider myself a movie buff.

  7. Try listening to the original news report. She wasn’t just upset about the movie trailer….

    http://www.clickondetroit.com/video/29422658/index.html

    I do not believe she is suing under false advertisement. Right now it is a complaint filing under the Michigan Consumer Protection Act.

    Your date comparison against PA3 is stretching it. What movie did the trailer advertise? The trailer advertised a movie that:

    1. Had 2 young girls in it.
    2. Had a mom and dad (or parent figures) in that movie.
    3. By appearances the family was being haunted by an entity.
    4. The father figure recorded the events.

    You are comparing specifics. You are saying a trailer or advert for an item has to 100% follow what you (or the viewer) perceives (percieves being the big word) it to be. I see a scary movie involving 2 little girls. Did you see a different movie?

    Back to your failed date analogy. Imagine showing up for a date seeing Sarah instead of Sally. Yet the date was with a girl. If both were girls and you expected a date with a girl where is the foul?

    To try and make your analogy more fitting you should have made it a specific. You still would not be able to compare it though because…

    A scary movie about 2 girls and their family was advertised.

    Was that presented? How does %75 of the trailer not being shown in the movie change the movie to something entirely different? It doesn’t. The question is were you misled? Did you not get a scary movie? Did it not contain 2 girls? Did it not follow the story of all the other PAs before it?

    No false advertisement. No misleading. Just people finding stuff to complain about.

    • Not saying YOU are complaining about it Kofi…. I read that and did not want you to think I tohught you were complaining about it. Just people in general…

      Unless you are complaining about it… :D

    • So for example, if they peiced together a trailer for Alien Resurection with deleted scenes from the first three Alien movies, you wouldnt have cared? Still had Ripley and aliens so it would still be the same sort of movie as the trailer advertised.

      • No because it was not the same (age wise Ripley). You are taking something completely not the same and attempting to say it is.

        The girls were the same, the parents, etc. While things that were not in the trailer were not in the movie the characters and event relating to the movie (demon, kids, parents etc) were all the same.

        The parts in the trailer at least appear to be the same movie and were cut or not included for some reason or another. They were not taken from a different movie with the same characters.

        However there are some teasers I have seen that use the older movie to promote the following movie…using clips from the older movie only slapping a “2″ after the title. That is until they have current stuff.

    • Aknot….please do us all a favor and never become a lawyer. Your points are baseless.

      • Nice contribution. I appreciate the response it must have taken a lot of power to muster that thought into words.

        Thanks!

    • People watch a movie trailer specifically for those scenes they want to see. If those scenes are not in the movie then you feel like you went to a movie you dont want to see. Even if you say that the movie was just about 2 girls being scared [in the trailer] makes a somewhat valid argument but still you want to watch the movie because of what you saw in the trailer, at least I do and I think that a majority of people think the same thing.

      • I tend to disagree. Reason being is a trailer is to entice you to get the viewer into the seat.

        What if (this is pure speculation on my part) everything we saw in the trailer(s) is what the sisters THOUGHT happened to them, to include the burning down of the house.

        They were brain washed (so to speak) and remember a fire (the one sister mentions the picture being lost in a fire). Yet people are saying there was no fire in the movie……

        Or vice versa.

        You shouldn’t watch a movie based on the trailer. IMO it should be subject matter that gets you interested first. Story following that up. Special effects (if any). Possibly the actors.

        The trailer only gives you a look at the style and direction cementing all the above.

        I have asked this question before and no one seems able to answer it.

        What difference did it make in not seeing what was in the trailer?

        Did the story change? Did the ending change? Did the acting, effects, subject matter change?

        I remember seeing people recorded using nightvision technology… were they in the movie? (joke.. ;) )

        I dont want to watch a movie because whats in the trailer. I already know if I want to see a movie before a trailer comes out or not. The trailer only allows me to solidify my decision seeing that all the other stuff that make up the movie (story, effects etc) seem to work.

        Case in point The Thing… Even in the initial write up before any trailer or scene was cut I was on the fence. It seemed like JCs The Thing with a female lead. Not bad if it was a remake but it was being sold as a prequel. It had some elements I was interested in however after starting to see on set pics my mind was made up. There was no way I was going to spend money to see this.

        The trailer came out and I was right. Had the trailer shown something different then what I had previously knew I would have been skeptical.

        So lets take PA with that same example. I knew about and have seen the previous ones. I knew who was writing it what the subject matter was but (like most others when it was mentioned) was leery about the whole ‘found’ footage thing. Had it run its course? How were they going to do this one…..

        I mean back in the late 80s the Cam Boom had struck so a lot of times you couldn’t turn a corner without someone having one of those things at a party, pool, park etc. (the next back step is super 8)

        Well a father and his video camera from his job….. time wise it made sense.

        The rest is gravy. It was a previous ‘system’ if you will that works. I have no reason to believe otherwise.

        Ok now the trailer comes out. I get to see exactly what I expect ‘art’ wise. I already know the base to the story. Now I get to see how they are going to pull it off.

        The little girls seem convincing as little girls, the style of shooting looks good, no shaky cam, I learn that the demon is a physical entity….. etc.

        I want to see this movie. Seeing it this weekend. I dont see how what was in the trailer will affect what I see in the movie. Im going to see the movie not the trailer.

        It was not like they showed that trailer and NOTHING scary happened in the movie. It wasnt like the trailer was shown and it ended up being a heartbreaking story about the mother and father breaking up and then getting back together.

        The trailer was about 2 girls, their family and how they recorded and dealt with a demon in their house. The movie was about the same thing.

        • @ Aknot: Your reasoning makes no sense. Your defense of basically fraud is amazing.

          If the scene is not in the theatrical release of the movie, it should not be in the trailer. The trailer gives a potential customer a chance to view “the goods”. If they are not delivering “the goods” then the implicit contract with the customer is broken.

          If I made an advertisement of hot, fresh baked chocolate chip cookies and you ordered them, how would you feel if your cookies had a substitution of melted mouse droppings rather than chocolate chips? They both might appear the same and have ostensibly the same nutrition value.

          That is kind of the outrage expressed when studios do that same kind of bait & switch in a trailer.

  8. That example of suing Drive movie because of misleading trailer makes me smile. How possibly you can sue a piece of art? I didn’t feel that trailer is misleading at all. OK, mentioned lady probably didn’t see Valhalla rising (if she did, Refn will be probably haunted by her) so she just choose a movie with car and car chases to kill a time. And ops, she was bored. It’s pretty sad as well to see what some viewers become. Just another customers which complain that that burger look different that one on menu. I member when I saw Hancock how badly I was disappointed and mislead by trailer, so I tell myself to be carefur what I will pay for. But suing them?
    By suing Drive move studio, she just admit that she never enjoy and appreciate an art, that all she need is bucket of chicken drumstick under her nose followed by litres of Coke.

  9. I can’t speak for PA3, I never saw the first two and probably won’t be seeing this one. I did, however, see Drive with a friend and we both left the theater rather cheated from of movie experience we expected.

    I will preface my comment with this, though; I did see the trailer, and my friend did go online for info before we went to see it. We understood it was more of an action/drama more so than a straight up action movie.

    Now, you did mention movies giving away the whole story in the trailer, this one instead gave viewers a glimps of all of the 3 action sequences in the movie. Each of which lasted roughly 5 minutes. For us it was more that the premise was framed as that of a stunt driver running ‘jobs’ during the night who gets caught up in a mafia plot and must fight to save the girl he fancies in his apartment complex. Was that what we got, yes; but it was nowhere near as exciting as even my short description made it sound. In short, we saw a boring version of what we were promised, but didn’t expect.

  10. i guess i was the only one who was happy that there was nothing from the trailer in the movie of p.a. 3 .. i felt like the producers did it on purpose to surprise and scare us … but yeah that was the first thing i said out of the theatre to my gf was none of the stuff from the trailer was in the movie …but i thought the movie was good very good . i still think insdious was better though …

    • You’re not alone! I avoid previews for movies I want to see and therefore saw “Paranormal Activity 3″ with only viewing knowledge of 1&2. After I saw Part 3, I watched the preview and thought it was clever that they had saved those scenes — even more so with all of the consumer entitlement outcries I’ve read.

      A movie meant to frighten audiences is only as effective as its scares, just like a comedy movie is only as effective as its jokes. Comedy movies like “Due Date” and “The Hangover 2″ are *killed* by detailed previews, just as horror movies are killed by marketers showing what situations the characters are placed in.. and yet, the average preview-viewer insists on seeing as much as the multiple preview versions will show — I would say that they insist on ruining it for themselves due to impatience stemming a normal anticipation. What studios get is an abundance of reviews from would-be fans who were unimpressed with the horror and -not- because of the movie; the same soft effect you could imagine if Bruce Willis’ full situation were explained in previews for “The Sixth Sense”.

      With “Paranormal Activity 3,” I think they chose an interesting compromise. They maybe couldn’t expect to lure enough new viewers with vague, teaser trailers which showed none of the scares (from an investment vantage), but they wanted to have something to show preview-viewers without losing the effect of the in-theater experience at release. What you get is a sort of trick preview. Personally I respect them for doing it, even if it’s just further marketing that they hope to bring to their later DVD sales (extras and uncut); because I respect undisclosed looks as part of real, ominous foreshadowing.

      I think previews show too much, which is why I don’t watch more than a few seconds of them. Those who watch them expect too much, and are often disappointed. With previews having to be more and more over-the-top with montage screen flips and ‘all explosions known’ editing that hopes to permeate the bad memory of the casual consumer, it’s very refreshing to see that the studios can still be sneaky if they want.

  11. Every scene in the drive trailer was in the film, so it can’t be false advertising. It’s just using the art of editing to do what it is supposed to do.

    However, lately there has been many films that have scenes in the trailer that did not exist, or had lines/takes changed in the final film ( Iron man “, The Incredible Hulk etc…)

    The worst I remember was the early trailers for “Grindhouse” (“Planet Terror” and “Death Proof”) These were advertised as being a double bill. The trailers actually said “Two movies for the price of one!” ( it said this in the UK trailers). And yet when they were released in the UK, they were released as seperate movies. I know why they did this but I just can’t understand how they didn’t get sued for false advertising!???

    • “The trailers actually said ‘Two movies for the price of one!’ ( it said this in the UK trailers). And yet when they were released in the UK, they were released as seperate movies. I know why they did this but I just can’t understand how they didn’t get sued for false advertising!???”

      That’s a bad example. The studios were actually screwed on that one. Those movies were released in The States as the trailer stated: two movies back-to-back with some [then]-fake trailers in between. The advertisers made previews marketing that truth. The studios ended up losing money to the State-side release because — despite being the home of the Grindhouse tradition — not enough people showed up for the double-feature. They lost money on the release.

      Months later, when they started releasing in Europe — where there is not even the extra boost of a Grindhouse tradition to support a double feature — they were in the hole and weren’t in a position to book the double-feature. Not having a double-feature in Europe was more due to the lack of cultural support for it there and with that the additional financial burden on an already failing release: They lost something like $30 million on that movie.

      I would say that for “Grindhouse” it was less about false advertising in Europe, and more about the studio not being able to compete with an unsuportive culture and a lack of funding for EU-taylored advertising.

  12. Personally, I don’t think the trailer for Drive was all that misleading. I watch a lot of trailers, but I’ve never seen any trailers for popcorn flicks (not even the really good ones) use “ballet” music in the middle of intense action clips.

    Plus, this movie was boasting its film festival nod. That should have been a dead giveaway, even if it was for Best Director. What simple, summer time action thriller does that that isn’t Oscar bait?

  13. This only bothers me when the ad re-frames the movie to be something it isn’t and that negatively impacts the viewer perception of the movie. Take Cloverfield, The Mist or even Super 8, for example. If you watch it as a monster action/thriller like the ads claim them to be, you’re going to leave disappointed. But if you watch them with the realization that it is a human story from the perspective of not knowing what’s going on and how everyone reacts, then you actually get an interesting fresh take on a an overdone genre.

    Perception is key and tricking the audience to come in with the wrong perception can be devastating to the enjoyment of a movie.

    • Its called a lie. You can glamorize the words up, but if you portray something differnt than what it is in reality then it is a LIE.

      • That makes a lot of people liars. Painters, sculpters, … actually anyone who possesses any manner of pretense (most everyone). They’re not just euphemisms and false portrayals; they are for varying degrees of truth. It would be easy to see the simple black/white version of things, but life would be pretty uninteresting. Not being gullible in face of these variations is a cultural survival mechanism. Consumer Protection and rights won’t keep people from watching QVC with a credit card.

  14. A trailer is there to just entice people to go see a movies, so taking that as a complete representation of what will be in the movie is not always going to work. You have to figure some of these films aren’t even finished or edited when these trailers come out, so there could be a few things missing in the final product.

  15. haaa you have to be kidding me! what happened to the days when you go to a movie and come out pissed off because it let you down so much? now we are suing when things aren’t what they seem? there are many, many movies that i would love to sue over but that’s just stupid. they didn’t make you go watch the movie. sure they planted an idea in your head and you took the bait but it was your free will that bought that ticket and sat in the seat. i guess i should sue when i pay 4 bones for a bag of chips and half the bag is air, i mean c’mon. maybe i’ll sue for when i buy dvds and before the menu fully loads they are showing clips from the movie and ruin it because i haven’t watched it before. i’m going to sue because i was hoping for a dry fart but it ended up being wet. how about READING WHAT THE MOVIE IS ABOUT!!!! i didn’t see drive yet but from reading the synopsis it sounds no where close to a fast and furious type feel. why stop at movies though? i’m already filing my papers to sue ghost hunters because i’ve never seen any on there. haaaa get over it!

  16. the woman suing for Drive has to be pretty dumb the movie is advertised as a tribute to film noir where’s the correlation to the fast and the furious,….

    • I like all sorts of movies, spanning many genres and styles, including the rather mindless blockbusters (such as the Fast and Furious movies) and the most artsy, and often bleak foreign melodramas that can only be found on DVD.

      But in no way did I ever even entertain the notion that “Drive” was cut from the same cloth as the “Fast and Furious” flicks.

      It sounds like this woman just wants to take the fast lane to riches.

  17. Basically what a lot of people here are missing is that false advertising is why you pay your hard earned money to see something that is not what they are advertising it to be. That is not art, that is blatant bait and switch. No one has the right to deceive a consumer into buying a product by falsifying what it is they are purchasing. Only Hollywood could have the balls to tell people they simply misunderstood the content of a film when they produced advertisements that were contrary to what the actual film contains.

  18. I say it’s false advertising when the studio actually makes it seem like they made a movie as opposed to a 2-hour infomercial hanging on a thread of a plot.

  19. same deal with predators and machete:
    machete – showing jessica alba full nude (side on), but in the movie she had her bra/underwear on in that same scene. it’s nothing major but even so, they got cash for teasing at alba being nude (lets face it there isn’t a man out there who doesn’t wanna see her skin only).
    predators had the scene with pinochio getting like 20 predator lasers all over his body, yet there was only one in the actual movie, the trailer gave the impressions that they’d be up against a whole clan, not just 3-4.

    resident evil afterlife was another one that punched me in the crotch, the original trailer made it seem so action packed, yet the final product bordered on boring and stupid.

    with all that being said, it comes down to the viewers interpretation of what they’re seeing (in trailers), it’s happened to me alot of times, where the trailer makes the movie seem epic, then when you watch it, it’s no where near as fun (alot of recent statham movies, expendables, machete, res4 just to name a few).

  20. Once you hit middle age, bs trailers should be as easy to spot as fake breasts.

  21. “with all that being said, it comes down to the viewers interpretation of what they’re seeing (in trailers).”

    Thanks jwalka.

    However we are probably going to see some type of warnings on trailers now.

    Like the contents are hot on the coffee cups.

    • could you elaborate please.
      nowadays its pretty easy to spot bogus trailers/movies, i’ve basically raised my expectations and if a movie/trailer doesn’t meet those expectations i pass it (like xmen frist class, and alot of the garbage that’s been released this year). not only that, but my experience in the editing room (minor stuff, like editing blue screen footage, or adding vfx into projects etc) also allows me to see past the bs they throw at us (viewers) in their trailers.

      the same garbage happens to games as well, for instance MW3 seems like it will be action packed beginning to end and makes bf3 look like trash (going off trailers mind you), but the reality is that the campaign will be a chaotic mess of scripted events and dodgy michael bayesque moments of bs. another e.g is rage, the whole game is scripted, yet the trailers make it look like some open world RPG full of action and chaos.

      • Sure can. I concur with your comment I quoted.

        Following up with I can see trailers in the future stating something along the lines of a warning people that what they see in the trailer may not be their interpretation of the film.

        That’s all.

    • I don’t think this lawsuit has any merit. I mean what’s to stop someone from saying they want their money back for a movie because they expected a plot. People just need to grow up, everyone has been burned by a bad movie, or one they just didn’t like. There are about 50 things more important to worry about in life….

  22. What’s almost as bad (or maybe worse) is when a comedy’s trailer shows all the funny parts of a movie, and then when you see it you expect something that’s even more funny (or at least has more funny parts like you saw in the trailer) and it’s a disappointment because you saw all the good parts already. You could go as far as saying that they advertised a movie that’s supposed to be funny, whereas the end product was not so much.

  23. The woman is clearly just out to make a buck. Another useless lawsuit it’s what this country has become in recent years.

    “I got a smart well written artistic film rather than mindless garbage I’ll sue.” Oh” McDonalds made me fat I’ll sue them. ”

    Combine people suing over dumb things with the fact that people saw Drive and hated it actually wanting garbage like Fast and Furious instead and my opinion on people in general is even lower. It really does seem that the worlds average person is getting more and more greedy/sue happy and also getting more and more dumb with increasingly bad taste.

  24. Drive misleading lol.This was lready brought up by john campea.Ill give my same response.Plenty in the trailer suggested this isnt a fast and furious type.Every actor in the movie is a character actor for one,not one is known for action.second the scenes in the trailer show car chases but also explain the plot.WHICH IS NOTHING LIKE FAST AND FURIOUS.Even one piece of dialogue from the trailer tells u it isnt an action movie.you shouldnt be able to sue for being dumb.

  25. You know, I should sue the studio that released Battlefield Earth. That movie hurt my brain and my eyes…

  26. So, I can’t sue WB for false advertising of Green Lantern?

    • There wasn’t false advertising in Green Lantern; they advertised a horrible CGI movie and they delivered.

  27. green zone is another movie that was falsely advertised, it came across as a straight out action movie set in the middle east, yet it turned out to be a conspiracy movie with hardly any action.

  28. Yeah, but that was just emphasizing what little action they did have because Matt Damon was their star,
    They sold it as Bourne in Iraq .
    And IMO ,
    They would have been crazy not to.

  29. Meh, don’t mind the trailers. since I followed Drive since I first heard of it, and I was familiar with Refn’s directing style and read reviews that described how the movie had a slow-burn feel, I knew what to expect. I wonder why viewers can’t research the movies they’re about to watch instead of just judging it based on the trailer.

    I mean, if the woman had done that she would have read all the reviews that its a slow burn “arty” movie and NOT an action film like she wanted. And by the way, i still don’t understand how people saw it as a staright up action film, I mean I saw the trailer and didn’t see anything that painted it as a “Fast and Furious” or Transporter” like like others did. Or was it just me.

    and I doin’t mind the “misleading” in Paranormal Activity 3. I mean we were promised a prequel and in the end that’s what we got.

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