Screenshot: Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny/Paramount
A 30 second Super Bowl ad will set you back somewhere in the range of $6 to $7 million, and that’s just for the airtime. You still have to actually make an ad, which is at least a little easier when we’re talking about a movie trailer—you don’t have to pay Ben Affleck a few million to hold a Dunkin’ cup when he’s already in the dang movie.
Either way, it’s money movie studios seem more than willing to shell out, at least for certain tentpole releases, whether in hopes of hyping up audiences for a major sequel or putting a more questionably marketable film onto moviegoer’s radars. Not surprisingly, 2023 is primed to be yet another year of big sequels and reboots, and so that’s almost exclusively what we saw advertised during the big game. Here are all the game day trailers, as well as a list of the other movies you need to watch (and where to watch them) before the films hit theaters.
Release date: March 3
Creed himself, Michael B. Jordan, steps into the director’s chair for the third film in the Rocky spinoff series, the first film in the entire pugilistic franchise that doesn’t feature Sylvester Stallone (except as a producer). The training wheels are well and truly off, but I don’t think anyone’s particularly worried. The franchise looks to be in very good hands.
Where to catch up: The first two Creeds are streaming on the TNT/TBS/TruTV apps.
Release date: March 10
Astronaut Mills crashes on an unknown planet…which turns out to be Earth, 65 million years in the past. I feel like everyone keeps forgetting about the Adam Driver versus dinosaurs movie, which isn’t to say that it might not be a hit.
Where to catch-up: There’s no predecessor here, but Planet of the Apes, which is likewise about an astronaut who winds up on a different Earth than he left, is widely available for digital rental. Or just watch Adam Driver in anything; I hear White Noise (on Netflix) is quite timely.
Release date: March 10
Releasing on the same day as Adam Driver’s dino-drama, but presumably with a very different viewer demographic in mind, Scream VI follows last year’s successful series return, moving the action to New York City…but this time without Neve Campbell. If it can overcome that hurdle, it should do well.
Where to catch-up: Most of the films in the series, including 2022’s Scream, are on Paramount+; Scream 4 (which introduces Hayden Panettiere’s returning character) is on Netflix.
Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves
Release date: March 31
The Chris Pine/Michelle Rodriguez adaptation of the role-playing game looks a bit like Fast & Furious at a Medieval Times. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing remains to be seen.
Where to catch-up: The 2000 D&D movie is widely rentable, if you should care to see just how low the bar has been set for this franchise flick.
Release date: April 5
Erstwhile besties Matt Damon and Ben Affleck reteam for this bio-drama, directed by Affleck, about Nike show salesman Sonny Vaccaro, who tries to convince Michael Jordan (who wisely does not appear onscreen as a character) to sign a deal with the company back in the day. I’m honestly not sold on a movie about Michael Jordan with Affleck, Damon, and Jason Bateman at the top of the marquee, but the trailer suggests an off-court drama at least as compelling as the spreadsheet-based antics of Moneyball.
Where to catch-up: The Last Duel was the last time we saw Affleck and Damon onscreen together. It’s streaming on Hulu and HBO Max.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Release date: May 3
One of the best sub-franchises in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is back for one last (maybe?) classic-rock filled journey. James Gunn has been pretty adept at bringing the fun alongside the feels, so hopefully Guardians 3 sticks the landing.
Where to catch-up: The previous films are on Disney+; watching Vols. 1&2 seems a lot more reasonable than watching all 25 preceding Marvel movies.
Release date: May 19
The Fast saga moves toward its endgame with the trailer for the penultimate film in the series (not including, presumably, future spin-offs). Having already been to space in the previous film, there’s apparently no where else to go…but Rome.
Where to catch-up: There’s no one-stop shop for catching up on this series, but the most recent previous movie, F9, is on HBO Max.
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts
Release date: June 9
What better way to maximize your Super Bowl ad bucks than by teaming up the Transformers with Porsche for a sort-of dual commercial. The trailer doesn’t do much by way of setting up the movie, but this one’s technically a sequel to Bumblebee, the most recent Transformers film, and the best by quite a distance. Maybe there’s hope for a franchise based on toy robots that turn into toy cars after all.
Where to catch-up: Bumblebee is streaming on Paramount+
Release date: June 16
The much-delayed DC film with the rather problematic star is also a carryover from a previous regime at Warner Bros., so it already feels a little past its expiration date, even months before release. Still, the powers that be seem confident enough to give it a big Super Bowl slot, and it’s undoubtedly thrilling to see Michael Keaton kicking butt as Batman once again (to bad we didn’t already get to see that happen in the canceled Batgirl, originally planned for release last Christmas). Sasha Calle’s Supergirl looks to be a highlight.
Where to catch-up: Ezra Miller’s Flash had cameos in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and the 2016 Suicide Squad, and played a larger role in both cuts of Justice League. They’re all streaming on HBO Max.
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
Release date: June 30
Indy’s back to go hunting for the Dial of Destiny (whatever the hell that is), and despite the debatable merits of his last adventure (2008’s Kingdom of the Crystal Skull), it’s still kind of a thrill to see Harrison Ford back in the hat. The Super Bowl spot doesn’t offer much more than the theatrical teaser, but we get a couple of moments with newcomer Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s as Jones’ goddaughter Helena Shaw, as well as a peak at John Rhys-Davies’ returning Sallah.
Where to catch-up: The previous Indiana Jones movies are all streaming on Peacock and Paramount+; if you want to go deeper and catch up with the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, you can buy episodes on Vudu.