I’ve been reluctant to weigh in on the “when is the trailer coming?” apart from putting in the occasional “soon”. But it kinda feels as though there’s a mob of very hungry dwarves piling up at the front door right now (and me without so much as a seedcake in the pantry), so we recently put out some feelers to try and gauge what’s going on.
And, honestly, no-one knows for certain right now. That’s what it boils down to — it will come when it appears and as soon as we know, you’ll know.
However, here is a summary of what we’ve learned:
- It seems that VFX work has been holding things up otherwise we may well have seen it debut in conjunction with the USA release of The Edge of Tomorrow.
- We’ve been in touch with a reliable source who tipped us off about the Youtube debut of first trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug around this time last year (June 11, 2013, to be precise) and gave us the low-down on the very first trailer for An Unexpected Journey. As recently as Sunday, our source hadn’t heard anything about when we might finally see a trailer for The Battle of the Five Armies (BOTFA).
- For those who play watch-this-space over on the Alberta film and trailer classification website, we had a quick chat with them too. They didn’t mention The Hobbit when we asked, but did mention that they almost always review trailers and post their classification the same day they receive them. One concludes that, as late as Friday last week, they did not have it in hand.
This is a pretty much the extent of our knowledge. So now you know what we know, too.
Wild mass guessing
I am loathe to make predictions (if only because the law of infinite perversity means WB will inevitably do something else to make me look a giant idiot), but (personal opinion!) I wonder if we might have to wait just a little bit longer.
It’s well-known that the next Warner Bros. film the studio might suggest theatre owners attach a BOTFA trailer to is Jersey Boys.
Yet, that would almost certainly entail an internet unveiling early this week — as early as Tuesday. And that’s too close now — we would have known Friday (as we did last year) via official channels that something was coming. And the rumour mill would have been running before that. For example, last year we had a trailer rating from the BBFC on June 6, well before the debut on June 11.
Instead we have dead silence.
That’s why I urge caution for those saying “Oooh, this week for sure!”.
There’s an additional complication, too.
I don’t think many fans have heard about it, but in January/February of this year, the National Association Of Theater Owners (NATO – hah!) enacted new guidelines for studios for marketing their movies.
In a nutshell, these guidelines:
- Reduce the maximum running time of theatrical trailers from 2 minutes 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
- Restrict when marketing for a film may begin: five months (150 days) out from a film’s release date
for a trailer; four months (120 days) for posters and standees.
According to the reports that I’ve read, these guidelines apply to any film being released after October 1, 2014 (and I think we all have December 2014 firmly marked on our calendars for BOTFA by now).
There is a get-out clause for studios: they can waive the guidelines for two films each year. We don’t know if Warner Bros. are using that waiver for The Hobbit: the Battle of the Five Armies.
However, if they weren’t, where does that leave us?
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies debuts on December 17, 2014. Count back 150 days from December 17 and you get … July 20. And guess what starts four days after that? San Diego Comic-con.
And Into the Storm debuts a bare fortnight after that.
That’s merely an observation. It’s not a prediction. It’s not even a guess. So please don’t go around saying TORn says the trailer will come on July 20 — because I’m not.
Still, it is an interesting coincidence.
Demosthenes has been an incredibly nerdy staff member at TheOneRing.net since 2001. The views in this article are his own, and do not necessarily represent those of other TORn staff.