When I was young, movie trailers were always one of the most exciting parts of going to the theater, especially since it was a special treat I didn’t get to enjoy often. I liked that you got to see a hint or taste of what was to come — enough to make you want to come back.
These days, I wish they left a little more mystery in the trailer, especially for major film studio productions. I feel like once you’re barely 60 seconds into a three-minute trailer, you’ve seen the entire film and the plot has been ruined. Do you agree with moviegoers who said these trailers spoiled a significant storyline?
1. Terminator (Multiple Films)
Terminator 2 started the “trend” for the franchise, showing major spoilers within the trailers by spoiling that Arnold Schwarzenegger's Terminator wasn’t a killer robot. Terminator Salvation continued this trend when they revealed Sam Worthington was a Terminator. Likewise, during the Terminator Genisys trailer, they let it slip that John Connor was a Terminator. One viewer on a popular online forum said, “Terminator and revealing trailers are an iconic duo.”
2. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
One moviegoer pointed out that Batman v Superman’s trailer both showed the two characters teaming up after their fight, as well as doing a full reveal for Wonder Woman. Another said that the only reason they didn’t know Doomsday was in the film was because they skipped the trailer. Unfortunately, many felt the movie was “a trash heap,” whether the trailer spoiled it or not.
3. Cast Away (2000)
One of the main reasons the trailer shows much of the movie linearly is because focus group participants said they wanted to know how it ended. Isn’t that the whole point of seeing a movie — not knowing how it ends? Another moviegoer argued that if a movie looks too depressing, fans need to know how it ends to determine whether they want to spend their time and money seeing it.
4. Soylent Green (1973)
The trailer for Soylent Green didn’t leave anything to the imagination — fans called it too long and pointed out that it “gives away the big twist at the end.” Although one film lover tried to argue that this was an attempt to draw in people who had been a fan of the book, another disagreed, stating that the twist spoiled in the trailer was not in the book.
5. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
Several Spider-Man franchise fans were upset at the marketing for The Amazing Spider-Man 2. One person said the fact that they showed Peter Parker crying with a clear shot of Gwen Stacy’s blonde hair revealed — and, therefore, spoiled — her death. Another fan said the trailer was cheap, teasing a final battle with Rhino in the trailer, only to discover that this was a last shot before the end credits.
6. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
A fan argued that if the trailer and promotional material for Thor: Ragnarok hadn’t given away the spoiler about Hulk, people would’ve been much more excited to discover this on their own. Another Marvel fan stated that since Thor: The Dark World did so poorly, they needed something to draw fans back in.
7. Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999)
One person mentioned that people bought tickets to the film Meet Joe Black solely because they knew they’d get to see the trailer for The Phantom Menace. Unfortunately, those people paid to have a significant plot point of the latter movie ruined for them.
8. Get Out (2017)
I’m grateful I skipped the trailer for Get Out and, despite hearing some spoilers, was able to enjoy the movie and the many twists. People who watched the early trailers said that several plot points got spoiled, including showing the true nature of one of the main characters.
9. Quarantine (2008)
While you may have a general idea of what will happen based on the genre alone, showing the final scene of a movie in the trailer should never be allowed. Although one fan said that the trailer copied the idea from the original Spanish movie REC, others agreed that while it was an excellent shot, it ruined the entire movie.
10. Shutter Island (2010)
One movie fan said they remember watching the trailer for Shutter Island and thinking to themselves, “No way it’s that obvious,” only to realize it was that obvious. Another person said that the commercials advertised a twist, which they felt ruined the point of including a twist. The consensus is you should go into it without watching the trailer — if you’ve somehow made it this long not knowing what the movie is about.
11. How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)
Some film fans felt the “entire emotional punch of the movie” was ruined by the trailer showing Hiccup’s mother returning. However, other fans said that they were still emotionally touched by the film despite knowing it was going to happen.
12. The Truman Show (1998)
Several people agreed that the trailer showing that Truman “escapes” in any way ruins the entire movie. One movie lover suggested this film to a friend and told them to “go into it blind,” for which their friend thanked them later. Others who skipped the trailer said they had some idea that he escaped and looked forward to seeing scenes of what life was like for him in the real world, only to be sorely disappointed.
13. Free Willy (1993)
Although fans will argue that the film’s name was enough to spoil what it was about, the trailer certainly didn’t help hide the plot. One person said that perhaps “the movie was about the journey and not the destination.” Still, they felt robbed of finding out for themselves since they made the mistake of watching the trailer.
14. Oblivion (2013)
Although fans said it’s not the only twist in the movie, they felt strongly that the film would’ve been better appreciated had they not blown the exciting twist in the trailer. People who skipped the trailer had a better experience, which left them wondering what was happening — and the twist blew their minds.
15. Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (2010)
One film fan said that the trailer included every single good joke, and another argued that you’d be able to skip the movie if you watched the trailer since it showed everything. I’m glad I never watched the trailer for this one because it quickly became one of my favorite movies, and I still enjoy it, knowing what will happen every time.