For movie nerds, the Super Bowl is one giant movie preview interrupted by four hours of football and not enough cutaway shots to cheerleaders.
Every year, Hollywood spends millions of dollars on 30 seconds of air space to promote its future box office hits or misses. Throughout the years, we’ve been treated to everything from Lost in Space to Fast &Furious 6, from top-shelf titles to bargain-bin fodder.
With this Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVIII on the way, here are 10 of the Big Game’s most memorable movie spots. (And to see what spots will air this Sunday, click here.)
Stallone? Check. John Lithgow chewing scenery? Check. Stallone air-tackling a mountain? Check and mate!
2. Independence Day
“Enjoy the Super Bowl. It may be your last.” This tagline, and the ad preceding it, leveled up the way movies are sold during the Big Game. Independence Day set the standard for how to turn 30 seconds into an event.
3. The Lost World: Jurassic Park
Before we knew how disappointing this sequel would ultimately be, this TV spot got us more than pumped to go back through those big dino-sized gates once again.
Like ID4 before it, this ad incorporates watching the Super Bowl into its tagline, pointing out that while everyone is watching the game, “someone should be watching the sky.” Then 60 seconds later, after CG meteors, explosions, Bruce Willis' face and more explosions, you were halfway out the door to buy your ticket.
5. The Matrix
Use this to show your kids a time when movie plots still relied on pay phones.
This ad’s thesis? If you like watching athletes catching footballs, you’ll love watching gladiators throw tridents! Quiet possibly the only ad for a Best Picture winner to ever feature unironic use of Kid Rock’s “Bawitdaba.”
7. The Matrix Reloaded
One of the most anticipated sequels ever, matched by an equally anticipated ad. We wanted to watch this more than the game.
8. Bad Boys II
No Super Bowl is complete without a visit from Michael Bay’s Explosion-arium. A good case can be made for this ad being better than its movie.
9. Star Trek (2009)
Quite possibly the only time jocks and nerds gathered to watch Trek without it ending in a mass wedgie.
10. Fast & Furious 6
This is either last year’s best Super Bowl ad, or the best one in the history of always. Either way, it proved that more commercials must end with cars getting fireballed out of the nose cone of a moving plane.