My Year Without Movie Trailers

iron_man_3_new_poster (1)I get really, really excited about movies. Especially tentpole films. Movies about tentpoles are the best.

Back in the day, I would do two things when I was really excited about a movie: I would read every early review about the movie, and I would watch every trailer multiple times.

I don’ t know why I did that for so long. After all, I knew I was going to see Lord of the Rings. No review or trailer was going to convince me otherwise. But it was my way of getting caught up in the hype. The unfortunate side effect was that I knew the exact plot of every movie before I even saw it.

So I stopped reading the early reviews, which helped to a certain extent. But I couldn’t not watch the trailers. It’s like if I put a box of your favorite chocolates in front of you and said you could eat one of them now and the rest in a few weeks. You obviously eat the sample now, right? Why wait when you can have some deliciousness now?

The problem is that movie trailers have become exceedingly good at revealing third-act plot points. I don’t know why, but I’ve had way too many movies spoiled by this. Prometheus from last summer comes to mind. There is a shot in the trailer from a scene that happens in the last 5 minutes of the movie. You don’t know that when you watch the trailer, but it’s such a distinctive image that you keep waiting for it to happen while you’re watching the movie until you reach the point where you know exactly what the image means, and then it’s a huge spoiler.

I didn’t want that to happen anymore.

So I pledged to stop watching movie trailers for movies I’ve already decided to see. Which is a lot of movies.

The most notable of all of them, though, is Iron Man 3. I LOVED the first Iron Man, greatly enjoyed the second one, and I enjoyed the second second one, also called The Avengers. I’ve spent the last year avoiding trailers for Iron Man 3, literally closing my eyes in the theater when the trailer appeared in front of other movies.

I finally saw Iron Man 3 this past Thursday. It was a new experience, going in blind like I did. Although the movie didn’t live up to the hype for me, I’m glad I didn’t watch any trailers. Because I pulled up the final trailer on YouTube after I saw the movie, and sure enough, there are tons of third-act images in it. The trailer would have had a significantly negative impact on my viewing experience, which is a shame.

Call me what you will–a rebel, a rogue, a revolutionary. This is who I am now. I’m the guy who won’t watch movie trailers of movie’s I’ve already decided to see.

2 thoughts on “My Year Without Movie Trailers”

  1. Do you make exceptions for movies based on books that you have already read? It seems like there’s no way to spoil the ending of a movie if you already know its source material. Or is there?

  2. Very rarely. I only ready most books once, and I often forget about plot details (I don’t like holding a movie hostage to the constraints of the book). So, for example, with The Hobbit, I haven’t watched any of the trailers because I want to look at everything with the same wide-eyed wonder that I felt when I read the book for the first time as a kid.


Leave a Reply

Discover more from

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading