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New jurassic world dominion trailer is surprisingly spoiler-free


Just 14 hours after their impressive CinemaCon presentation (fun fact: Michael Wincott has a full-fledged supporting role in Jordan Peele’s Nope), Universal put the latest trailer for Jurassic World: Dominion online for everyone to see. As with the first teaser from a few months ago, this one mostly relies on the status quo set by Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (dinosaurs now live among us in the wild) and the fact that Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum are all back, along with Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard. And to be honest, the movie doesn’t need to offer much more since tickets go on sale today (Fandango has released the IMAX poster and some cast interviews, which you can see below). It opens in the U.S. on June 10.

Yes, it’s again a little strange to see a franchise for the general public and non-obsessive moviegoers marketed in the same “Don’t spoil a damn thing!” way as Disney’s Star Wars sequels or the most recent MCU movies. As someone who spent years promoting the art of marketing without spoilers, I think we’ve reached a point where even telling audiences basic plot and character information is considered too much. When you have a movie (like “Frozen”) or an intellectual property (like “Star Wars”) that will bring people in anyway, that’s fine. After all, if you can get people to go to the theatre without giving away the game, word of mouth will be even better because people will feel like they own the movie and are discovering the twists on their own.

We now see large-scale marketing campaigns for movies that are so vague that they make the movies look and feel harder to understand than they really are. The most obvious example is No Time to Die, which made a pretty straightforward action-adventure drama look like a labyrinth and left people wondering what the movie was about beyond “Hey, another James Bond movie.” Also, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which comes out in theatres next week, doesn’t tell people even the most basic things, like what Doctor Strange did to get in trouble with his time overlords, what’s at stake, and who the bad guy is.

Since I saw the first reel yesterday, I can say that the beginning of the movie is much simpler than I would have thought. I’m sure Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will do fine, but I find it funny that the marketing is trying so hard to hide the basic act-one plot information (very vague details: a person goes to Doctor Strange for help with a fantastic problem) that almost every review will have to give it away. This isn’t necessarily a criticism, but I do wonder if a more traditional 007 marketing campaign (Skyfall’s ads weren’t exactly free of spoilers) would have made a difference in its first weekend in the U.S. Most people don’t care about spoilers nearly as much as fans, who are always online.

For every Spider-Man: No Way Home, which cleverly used villain reveals in the first act to hide hero reveals in the middle, there’s Sing 2, which made over $400 million despite giving away every major plot point and character arc. The first teaser for The Matrix Resurrection was great, but both it and the second trailer went out of their way to confuse moviegoers. This would have worked if The Matrix were an A+ brand, but it’s not. Even though it was clear right away that Oscar Isaac would live through his first-act ariel crash, the marketing for The Force Awakens was so vague that it made people think that John Boyega’s character Finn would be the “chosen one” Jedi hero. As shown by the backlash (at least online) to Hancock and Brave’s second-act plot twists that weren’t revealed until the end, the new norm is to call normal storytelling “plot twists.”

Anyway, I don’t think there’s any trickery going on with the Jurassic Park campaign. It’s just a second trailer that doesn’t give away much. Even though Universal can sell Jurassic World 3 as a mystery box movie, they don’t have to. I still think Dominion will be the highest-grossing movie worldwide this summer, but that doesn’t mean it should be. The only risk, and it’s a very small one, is that people will judge it differently if they expect mind-blowing reveals and it turns out to be a pretty normal Jurassic Park movie. Oh no, it might not make “all the money,” but only 94% of it.


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