The 18th annual Golden Trailer Awards were held Tuesday night in Beverly Hills, with current box office champion Wonder Woman taking home “Best in Show.” Every year, the awards honor the best in film and TV marketing. Nominees are broken down by genre, advertisement type, and technical aspects like sound editing and graphics.
Warner Bros’ latest DC Extended Universe installment may have only just released, but the studio kicked off promoting the Patty Jenkins-directed film at last year’s Comic-Con International in San Diego with the first trailer for Wonder Woman. The Gal Gadot-starrer has since been the subject of multiple teasers, but Open Road Entertainment and AV Squad took home the top prize for the “What She Is” trailer, which also won the award for Best Fantasy/Adventure trailer.
According to Variety, Wonder Woman defeated the trailers for upcoming films Blade Runner 2049, Dunkirk, and Atomic Blonde along with the previously released The LEGO Batman Movie, Manchester by the Sea, and A Cure For Wellness. Each of the nominees won a subsection category themselves. LEGO Batman won the most awards overall with five, including Best Animation/Family trailer and Best Animation/Family TV Spot. Atomic Blonde took home three trophies, including Best 2017 Blockbuster Trailer.
Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver took home Best Action Trailer, while the remake of Stephen King’s It won Best Horror Trailer. Upcoming Will Ferrell-Amy Poehler comedy The House scooped up Best Comedy Trailer, and Michael Fassbender-Alicia Vikander drama The Light Between Oceans won Best Romance Trailer. The teaser for Logan won Best Music for its use of Johnny Cash’s “Hurt”, and (like at the Academy Awards) La La Land took home Best Original Score.
There are over 115 categories that are handed out, but only 17 of the awards were handed out live. The ceremony was hosted by Wayne Brady and drew more than 1,000 attendees. The judging panel included high-profile names such as directors Kenneth Branagh (Thor), Jonathan Vogt-Roberts (Kong: Skull Island), Chad Stahelski (John Wick: Chapter 2), and Jon Watts (Spider-Man: Homecoming).
Major films that have won the “Best in Show” award in the past include The Matrix, The Dark Knight, and Furious 7. The Wonder Woman trailer that won the big award was a major point of the marketing campaign, a series of promos that earned the film over $100 million domestically on its opening weekend. It’s an effective trailer that helped sell the strengths of the film, in particular Gadot’s fantastic lead performance, the excellent action beats, and the unexpected comedy.
The power of that movie at the box office showcases how much of a positive impact that evocative, memorable and accurate advertising can have on the common movie-goer. The LEGO Batman Movie’s marketing sold how exceptionally meta and clever that film ended up being, and a small movie like Manchester by the Sea picked up some much-needed buzz by looking like a heartbreaking drama. It’s hard to say whether the trailers for the upcoming films accurately portray their respective film’s strengths, but at the very least they serve as small pieces of emotional art on their own.
Golden Trailer’s official website features a full list of the 115 winners beyond Wonder Woman, which you can see here.