[Update: James Gunn say no Superbowl spot for Guardians of the Galaxy.]
Traditionally, the Super Bowl is the most-watched program in the nation. For instance, last year's event attracted an estimated 108.4 million viewers, but aside from the big game itself, the Super Bowl has evolved into a much more widespread event, with even non-football fans tuning in for other highlights, such as the half-time show (headlined this year by pop star Bruno Mars) and the fun commercials. For movie fans, it usually means a closer look at some of the year's biggest upcoming blockbusters.
We already know that the first footage from Michael Bay's Transformers: Age of Extinction is set to debut during the big game, and other anticipated releases like Robocop and The Expendables 3 are expected to come into play. However, one of the biggest gambles going into this summer (as Screen Ranters surely know) is Marvel's full-on launch into the cosmic side of Phase Two with Guardians of the Galaxy. Now we have an idea how Disney and Marvel may plan to give the film a monstrous marketing push.
According to Screen Crush, Disney is "actively trying" to acquire a third spot during this year's Super Bowl, presumably to air the first trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy. The studio has already secured commercial time for Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Need for Speed (a Dreamworks production that Disney is releasing).
UPDATE: James Gunn says that the first official Guardians footage won't debut during the Super Bowl, though his Tweet includes a silver lining:
For those of you asking about a #gotg Super Bowl spot, there will not be one but we will have something incredibly awesome for you soon.
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) January 24, 2014
The prospect that Marvel would capitalize on the massive Super Bowl audience to push their films, of course, makes perfect sense. The studio has opted for that approach in years past, even debuting the first trailer for Captain America: The First Avenger during the game in 2011. The fact that Guardians of the Galaxy is perhaps the most ambitious project that Marvel has taken on means that it can use all the exposure it can get.
After all, Guardians of the Galaxy is the first non-sequel, non-team-up the studio has attempted since the four core members of the Avengers received their first solo films. It's also features a cast of mostly non-human characters - none of which have been featured in a Marvel film to date - and features unproven leading man Chris Pratt in the lead. Furthermore, the film reportedly has close ties to The Avengers: Age of Ultron and could mark the beginning of a whole new wing of Marvel films.
Guardians of the Galaxy is still firmly planted near the top of our most anticipated films of 2014, but if Marvel and Disney hope to entice casual moviegoers to go out and see the film in August, they need to start selling the movie now. A Super Bowl spot is definitely a strong start.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier hits theaters on April 4, 2014, followed by Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014, The Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on July 31, 2015 and unannounced films on May 6, 2016, July 8, 2016 and May 5, 2017.
Source: Screen Crush