There’s no denying that trailers are important to a movie’s success. While some people try to avoid trailers so that they go into a movie completely blind, the vast majority judge a movie based on its trailer and make up their minds based on this first impression. Trailers can compel cinemagoers to watch absolutely horrible movies that seem great on the surface… and, unfortunately, this works both ways.
As a result, there are times when great movies are undermined by trailers that are either poorly edited, misleading, uninteresting, or a combination of all three. It’s a shame since most people write off certain great pieces of cinema as nothing more than complete wastes of time when the truth is anything but. Thankfully, the vast majority of these movies still managed to be successful through great reviews and word-of-mouth.
It was hard to look at drive‘s trailer and not think that it would amount to nothing more than a rip-off of the Fast and Furious movies. However, the actual movie turned out to be a deep and thought-provoking movie with excellent characters.
The character development and direction present in drive is truly amazing, and it’s a shame that so many people wrote it off based on its trailer alone. Viewers who decide to give drive another chance will be pleasantly surprised by how brilliant the movie really is.
9 How To Train Your Dragon
Dreamworks is a company notorious for making great animated movies with generic and borderline insulting trailers. Such was the case with How to Train your Dragonwhich looked like nothing more than a run-of-the-mill children’s movie if people went by the trailers alone.
However, people who love the movie know that How to Train your Dragon is way more than what’s conveyed in the trailers. It’s a coming-of-age story about adulthood and acceptance, with the movie being an emotional and engaging rollercoaster from start to end.
8 Kung Fu Panda
Another Dreamworks movie that received a horrible trailer was Kung Fu Panda. The movie is a laugh-out-loud riot with an amazing message about self-acceptance and one of the best climaxes in any animated movie.
Unfortunately, the trailer did a horrible job of conveying its themes and made the movie look like a generic action-comedy movie featuring anthropomorphic characters in a martial arts setting. Thankfully, the movie was enough of a raving success that most people came to appreciate its brilliance.
7 Edge Of Tomorrow
Edge of Tomorrow is an incredible sci-fi action movie that sees a privileged Tom Cruise as Major William Cage, who’s dumped into the frontlines in a battle against aliens that can apparently warp time itself. Bill experiences this firsthand and gets powers that let him restart the day where he dies over and over again trying to better himself.
It makes for a riveting tale, with Cage slowly coming into his own as an adept soldier and admirable character. It helps that Emily Blunt is a pretty great lead in her own right and elevates the movie to a whole new level. Of course, none of this is conveyed in the trailer, which makes the movie look like a generic mech action flick with no draw whatsoever.
6 Pitch Perfect
Pitch Perfect is a brilliant musical comedy with a bevy of enjoyable characters and great writing. The issues that the Barden Bellas face are pretty grounded and hilarious, making them quite relatable.
With the trailer, all that is conveyed is that the movie has over-the-top comedy and the music isn’t even that much of a focus. It’s a shame, and thankfully the movie wasn’t affected by the poor quality of its trailer.
5 The Lego Movie
Most people wrote off The Lego Movie before it even came into existence. After all, the common consensus was that this movie was just meant to appeal to kids and would take a cautious approach, and the trailer did nothing but reaffirm this notion by playing it a bit too safe.
However, the actual release of the movie took viewers by surprise with just how clever and well-executed the movie really was. the Lego brand had already done a great job of making great video games, so it was pleasing to see that their cinematic venture had also been a resounding success.
4 Inglorious Basterds
Tarantino movies have a long-lasting history of having mediocre trailers where characters just say epic lines that lack any substance without context. Of course, most people just flock to theaters after hearing the phrase “Tarantino Movie,” so perhaps these trailers don’t really need to make that much effort anyway.
Even then, the trailer for Inglorious Basterds was a whole different level of bad. The movie is chilling and intense, while the trailer makes it look like an action romp that feels downright goofy at times.
castaway is one of the best movies that Tom Hanks has acted in, with his performance being truly legendary. Seeing him struggling to survive on an island and wondering whether he would ever return home is one of the biggest hooks of the movie.
Of course, if people saw the trailer, then they already knew the answer to this question. The fact that this trailer spoils one of the biggest questions that the movie poses (and executes brilliantly as well) makes it one of the most egregious insults in the history of cinema.
2 John Wick
John Wick was one of the freshest and most engaging action movies to come out of the mid-twenty-tens. The fact that this movie spawned a series of its own shows just how iconic it really was.
However, the trailer made most people think that the movie was just another generic action flick that was trying way too hard to look badass. It missed the whole point of the movie, which was that John Wick is just effortlessly cool and doesn’t need to be augmented by anything special.
1 The Martian
Trailers that spoil the plot of the movie itself can prove to be the biggest annoyance for any cinemagoer. Such was the case with The Martianwith the movie losing a lot of its impact if people had seen the trailer beforehand.
After all, a bunch of important plot points are shown in the trailer, which ruins most of the suspense from the get-go. Thankfully, the amazing direction and Matt Damon’s brilliant performance helped to salvage the legacy of this movie.
MORE: Live-Action Movies Based On Anime That Are Actually Great