Mr. and Mrs. Smith
Tagline: “Brad Pitt. Angelina Jolie.”
The Gist: Positioning its product as The War of the Roses with heavier ammunition, the studio gives film’s reigning sex bomb the trailer she deserves, complete with garter belts, bustiers, nightgowns, and fabulous dresses. All that, and tabloid fodder, too.
Does it Work? Hubba hubba.
Kingdom of Heaven
Tagline: “From Ridley Scott, director of Gladiator.”
Translation: A respectable battle film.
The Gist: Perhaps fearing the bad mojo of Troy and Alexander, this trailer sells the Crusades as a weepy romance between Eva Green and Orlando Bloom.
Does it Work? No. And Bloom isn’t a big enough star to carry the trailer on his shoulders. Yet.
Tagline: “I just don’t think war should become some kind of video game.”
Translation: War should become some kind of Hollywood blockbuster.
The Gist: Top Gun meets War Games (with a killer robot plane and Jamie Foxx), plus Jessica Biel in a bikini. Dumb fun, until Josh Lucas starts prattling about robot philosophy.
Does it Work? Yes, up until the Matrix metaphysics.
Tagline: “Celebrate the sanctity of marriage.”
Translation: A chick flick for guys.
The Gist: The fast-moving trailer showcases the crossover gender appeal of its two leads—Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn—as players who use weddings to get laid. Some respectable zingers: “You know how they say we only use 10 percent of our brains?” Wilson coos. “I think we only use 10 percent of our hearts.”
Does it Work? Yes. By skipping the tired player-finds-true-love story line (which must be in the film), this trailer positions itself as a perfect date movie.
War of the Worlds
Tagline: “The last war on Earth won’t be started by humans.”
Translation: Close Encounters of the Genocidal Kind.
The Gist: The 30-second teaser, which debuted during the Super Bowl, is terrifying. A trademark Spielberg setup: Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning crawl into an Everyman minivan. Then the world explodes behind them.
Does it Work? Yes! And the carnage is good news for moviegoers who fear Spielberg might soft-pedal H. G. Wells’s horror.
A Lot Like Love
Tagline: “Relationships are complicated.”
Translation: This isn’t another dumb romantic comedy. Okay, maybe it is.
The Gist:Shamelessly poaching from the Garden State and Eternal Sunshine campaigns, this horrible trailer cues up an indie-feeling soundtrack to introduce Ashton Kutcher and Amanda Peet—then shows us Kutcher hamming it up.
Does it Work? Nope. By trying to walk the line between two demographics, it fails both.