great movie bad trailers

Don’t worry ‘Ghostbusters’, these great movies also had bad trailers


With the Ghostbusters reboot having the most disliked trailer in history, we look at a track record of great movies that suffered from bad trailers. Read more after the jump.

The Ghostbusters reboot has gotten some serious press today for all the wrong reasons. Paul Feig‘s re-imagining of the classic franchise has garnered its fare share of negativity ever since it was announced. Whether that was for the all-female cast (stupid reason) or because the remake was being made all (justified but still stupid), there are already some anti-fans. That negativity has taken a weird turn with the trailer for the Ghostbusters reboot’s trailer being the most disliked trailer in history. The fact that this is being called a bad trailer at all is an overstatement anyway. But the most disliked trailer ever? That’s gotta sting. Some people who had high hopes for the film (the cast and crew and included) may be getting cold feet given all this negative “bad trailer” press. So now seems like a good time to go back and look at some awesome films that were misrepresented by bad trailers.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

It’s not the easiest job in the world to make a trailer for a Charlie Kaufman film that does it justice. Since Kaufman has become more and more revered it’s become and easier job (check out the Anomalisa trailer). But Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind wasn’t quite so lucky. The amnesiac love story is a complex take on dealing with heartache and the nature of memory and the laminated nature of love. So what route did they take with the trailer? The quirky rom-com route. Jim Carrey was a comedic powerhouse and hadn’t been seen in many dramatic roles yet, so this didn’t really sit well with Carrey fans. The scenes are some of the simplest of the movie, which makes sense in a lowest-common-denominator way but did the film a real disservice. Fortunately the film was brilliant enough to have won back any viewers who saw the trailer and wrote it off.

Cabin in the Woods

Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon‘s meta-horror project was one of the classic “what if…?” movies. What if the horror movie templates were just a government agency sacrificing teenagers to appease enormous angry gods? Well, there’s a chance that no one would have ever found out. Because Cabin in the Woods has such a juicy premise it’s understandable that the people marketing it didn’t want to give everything away too early. So they didn’t mention much in the trailer. What makes it a bad trailer is that they didn’t mention anything about the premise. What we’re left with is a trailer for a bog-standard horror movie that follows every cliché, without explaining why. I can imagine a lot of tears were shed by Buffy fans the day this trailer came out.

John Carter of Mars

Of course John Carter had to make the list. Still reigning as one of the biggest box office flops in cinema history, there are debates over what killed this movie faster: the marketing or the movie itself. General opinion now is that the not-too-shabby epic sci-fi movie got given an unfair treatment by critics, but you’ve also got to assign some blame to a truly bad trailer. This sneak peak at John Carter got the mood of the film totally wrong, branding it as a gritty, emotional affair. The bleak music combined with arguably some of the milder scenes in the movie would be enough to shut down any glimmers of hope for John Carter living up to its potential as a box-office bait franchise.

End of Watch

Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña play two police officers balancing committed family lives and risking their lives in one of the most dangerous areas of LA. Instead of misrepresenting the movie, the trailer for End of Watch was just a mess. Where a good trailer has one big tone change working in its favour, the End of Watch trailer has three or four. The pacing also left a lot to be desired, making it hard to tell if the movie was going to be all  guns-blazing or a more heartfelt affair. In reality the movie was a stunning blend of both, but the trailer made it look like End of Watch suffered from an identity crisis.


Warrior falls into the category of great sport movies with a no-holds barred emotional core. Focusing on the world of MMA, the film really boils down battling with personal demons like family, alcoholism, insecurities and living up to the person you need to be. For the trailer, they decided to forego the heart of the movie and focus on the sport side of things. What we’re left with is a stereotypical sport movie trailer with all the twists and turns included (two brothers forced to face each other to win). As a result a lot of people who would’ve really responded to the movie missed out because of a bad trailer, and a lot of die-hard MMA fans left theatres feeling a little sucker-punched (pun).

So there you have it. All these movies ran the risk of being utterly forgotten because of one bad trailer. Today they all have a strong critical showing, with the exception of John Carter which never really recovered from its marketing blunders. So if you’re feeling sceptical about about the Ghostbusters reboot because of bad trailers press, just remember how entertaining any one of these movies is.

Ghostbusters stars Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones, and is is scheduled for a July 15 2016 release. Watch this space for all the latest Ghostbusters movie news.

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