With 10-20 new movie trailers coming out weekly, studios and independent producers depend on movie marketers to cut through the noise and get their projects noticed.
Movie trailers can make or break a movie's reputation long before it reaches cinemas. As easy as it might sound, there's an art to putting together the most enticing parts of a film to make it more provocative to audiences.
Not all movie trailers are created equal. Some trailers are downright disliked by audiences, leaving viewers to express their disappointment, frustration, or even anger online.
Here are some of the most disliked, misrepresenting, or just thoroughly awful film trailers ever imagined.
The Little Mermaid (2023)
This one never stood a chance. From the teaser to the trailer, The Little Mermaid received considerable backlash.
Although YouTube has changed its site to no longer reflect the number of dislikes a video gets, a mere look at the comments for The Little Mermaid‘s live-action adaptation is all you have to see to notice that the dislike for the trailer has been nearly universal. The film is the latest in a long-running Disney tradition of bringing its classics to live-action, with mixed – and generally negative – results.
Beyond the criticism towards actress Halle Bailey, fans complain that the movie lacks the charm of the animated original. Considering how long the film has been in production and the unprecedented backlash from fans online, the future looks bleak for The Little Mermaid.
Suicide Squad (2016)
Marvel and DC have been butting heads in the comic book industry since the medium's early days. However, it's safe to say that Marvel has won the battle regarding its live-action films, leaving DC in the eternal second place. With movies like 2016's Suicide Squad, it's easy to see why.
The original trailer for Suicide Squad featured a somber tone that some fans found incompatible with the source material. Coming from the gritty realism of Zack Snyder's DC cinematic universe, there was no way that a film like Suicide Squad could ever work – and it didn't, despite multiple reshoots.
Remakes are never a safe bet. Cashing in on nostalgia might sound like an easy way of recapturing the love for a particular franchise, but you have to have a certain “tact” to ensure fans love the remake as much as they did the original. As far as remakes and reboots go, 2016's Ghostbusters is anything but nostalgic for older generations.
Featuring an all-female cast and Paul Feig in the director's chair, this version of the classic paranormal comedy lacked the charm and soul of its predecessors. The trailer broke all sorts of dislike records on YouTube and remains one of the most disliked videos on the platform.
The Mummy (2017)
With the juggernaut that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the smaller but still impressive magnitude of the DC Extended Universe, every studio wanted a piece of that sweet “cinematic universe” cake. Universal was not about to remain idle while other studios launched their connected movie franchises, which prompted the creation of the so-called Dark Universe, beginning with 2017's The Mummy.
Unfortunately, the movie's trailer was a disaster, making the film look like a cheap Mission Impossible rip-off rather than the start of a serious and more “sinister” cinematic Universe. The cherry on top of this sundae of awfulness has to be Tom Cruise's repeated scream, which only proves that the trailer was put together with as much care and thought as the rest of the ill-fated Dark Universe.
Transformers: The Last Knight (2017)
By 2017, the Transformers saga was finally beginning to run out of steam. After a decade of nonsensical plots and meaningless explosions, fans were about ready to say goodbye to Optimus Prime and his friends once and for all.
The trailer for Transformers: The Last Knight echoed that sentiment by being the most disliked in the franchise's long history. With two new entries already slated for release, time will tell if The Last Knight will remain the most disliked entry.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 (2012)
It seems like a lifetime ago when Twilight was “the worst thing that ever happened” to film. Since its first film, the Twilight Saga was the object of ridicule for its vapid teen romance and even duller characters.
The final entry in the series, Breaking Dawn Part 2, was not well-received by critics, as was to be expected. However, fans of the novels disliked the film's trailer, who found that it lacked the usual “tone” that defined the rest of the franchise's flicks.
Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)
Not even the provocative subject of Fifty Shades of Grey saved its trailer from online ridicule. To make matters worse, it's not even the film's fault – mostly. The dislikes for this one come from a considerable number of critics who despised the novels and saw the film as a way for the book's message to reach a larger audience.
A surface-level analysis of Fifty Shades of Grey suggests that the story glorifies abusive relationships and unhealthy ideals about sex, precisely what the terribly-edited trailer seemed to promote.
Sonic the Hedgehog (2020)
2020's Sonic the Hedgehog might be one of the most impressive turnarounds in film history. The initial trailer showed us a horrifying version of the beloved video game character, complete with eerily realistic human eyes that were positively out of character for Sonic.
The trailer sparked some unprecedented online backlash, reaching near-universal levels of disgust from fans and anyone with good taste. In the end, the studio was forced to postpone the film's release, which gave them time to re-do Sonic in a way that was more faithful to the games.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice further proves that the DC cinematic universe can't catch a break. While some of the most die-hard fans weren't pleased with Zack Snyder's version of Superman in Man of Steel, nearly everyone disliked how he portrayed Batman in Dawn of Justice.
Millions of fans were disappointed by a trailer that portrayed Batman as a trigger-happy vigilante, breaking the character's iconic “no killing” rule. The overall presentation – which was even darker and more depressing than Man of Steel – also caught fans by surprise, who were expecting something a bit closer to what the MCU was releasing.
Sadak 2 (2020)
While we've seen some genuinely terrible trailers in this list, none of them has a Guinness World Record to certify their awfulness – none of them but Sadak 2‘s trailer, that is. This Bollywood film found itself submerged in controversy right from the start, leading to many dislikes that must be seen to be believed.
With over 13 million dislikes on YouTube, Sadak 2‘s trailer sits comfortably as the second most-disliked video on the platform that's not a music video. With the dislike button and counter now gone, it also means that Sadak 2 will officially remain the most-disliked film trailer uploaded to YouTube for the foreseeable future.
Power of Audience Opinion
These ten most disliked movie trailers of all time are a testament to the power of audience opinion. They were either due to poor marketing decisions or simply failing to connect with audiences and were met with significant backlash and negative feedback.
While some of these films may have gone on to be successful despite their trailers, others suffered at the box office due to the negative buzz generated by their previews.
Only time will tell whether The Little Mermaid falls in the former or latter category.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.