Movie trailers can often be a load of fun; selling you on a new flick in three minutes or less with as much action and intrigue packed in as possible. But in that quest to continue putting butts in seats, editors can sometimes go a little crazy with the footage they include in the trailers. How much of a movie should audiences really be seeing before the movie comes out? That depends on the movie, but sometimes the line between trailer and 3-minute supercut is crossed and there's just no going back.
Sometimes twists that should stay secret are included. Sometimes the entire structure of a film's story is teased. Sometimes cameos appear early. These eleven movies felt the need to broadcast whatever twist or surprise they had coming in trailers that dropped months in advance. Their quality varies, but that doesn't mean they're above telling on themselves.
**MINOR SPOILER WARNING. CONTINUE READING AT YOUR OWN RISK**
You can blame J.J. Abrams' success at reviving Star Trek for the big screen for the flubbing of one of the series' most iconic characters. Abrams' patented Mystery Box promotion tried to play fast and loose with Star Trek Into Darkness' plot, but it was painfully obvious that Benedict Cumberbatch's "John Harrison" was a smoke screen hiding the fact that he was really Khan Noodien Singh. The team insisted it was anything but that, but there Khan was; whitewashed and unhidden.
Of all the things that contributed to the dumpster fire that was Dawn of Justice, spoilers are a small but integral part. A late trailer not only lays out the plot structure of the entire movie, but reveals Doomsday as the main villain that Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman face off against after fighting each other. Using a trailer to sell the entirety of a movie coming from a nearly universally despised project isn't the best marketing strategy. Just about the only thing the BVS trailers didn't spoil was Lex's jar of piss.
The hook of the first Terminator movie was the fact that the T-800 was an unstoppable killing machine. Flipping the script by making the T-800 the good guy fighting an even more challenging bad guy is a great idea, but maybe not the best thing to give away in the trailers. Surprise might've made this very good moment an even better one.
This one is technically more of a foreshadowing than an outright spoiler, but every Spider-Man fan who knew what to look for went out and spoiled Gwen's death in Amazing Spider-Man 2 all the same. Gwen's death was heavily foreshadowed in multiple trailers before the film came out, and what could've been a surprising Act III gut punch winds up landing with a thud (no pun intended).
There are few recent sci-fi movies as confusing as the post-apocalyptic Oblivion, but at least the trailers tried to make it easy for you. The movie follows Jack (Tom Cruise) and Victoria (Andrea Riseborough), two humans working with a robot space station to try and save what's left of planet Earth...until it's revealed that the station actually destroyed the planet and created clones of Jack and Victoria based on the first humans it came in contact with. The trailer even lets go that there's other human survivors who are trying to fight the machines off. Unless you're really into flying circle robot action scenes, there's not much left to see once the trailer's done.
Sean Bean dying in a movie? Not a surprise. Sean Bean's character dying in the James Bond flick Goldeneye? Would've been a slightly bigger deal had we not already seen him die in the trailer.
Cabin In The Woods is an excellent example of modern horror deconstruction at its finest: sharp observations on horror tropes that actually remembers to bring along some scares with the satire. If we didn't go in expecting the behind the scenes tinkering hinted at in the trailers, it might've been an even more effective reveal. Then again, the movie would've looked like any other horror movie otherwise, so you hopefully see the bind I'm in.
Hiccup from How To Train Your Dragon taught his viking lord father how to tame dragons in the first movie, so naturally Hiccup had to learn that understanding doesn't always win the day in the sequel. However, the emotional core of How To Train Your Dragon 2 comes from Hiccup learning that the mother he thought was dead is not only still alive, but a dragon trainer just like him; a fact that the trailers spoiled like it was a fart joke. Luckily the rest of the movie was engaging enough that this wasn't a huge problem, especially considering that this isn't even the only twist on offer.
Coming to grips with your sanity while trying to solve a case at a mental hospital might make for hair-rasing thrills, but spelling out too much of Teddy Daniels aka Andrew Laeddis' (Leonardo DiCaprio) psychosis gives the movie away. Laeddis is actually a patient at the Ashecliffe Hospital for the ciminally insane and the doctors are letting him act out the role of detective in an effort to cure him. Once again, good twist that's telegraphed way too far in advance if you put pieces of the trailer together.
Spider-Man 3 isn't great. It's also pretty good, considering the Amazing company it keeps. Outside of the character overload and bloated story, the film's trailers also reveal that Peter Parker's Uncle Ben was actually killed by new villain Sandman (Thomas Haden Church) instead of the mugger from the first movie. They tried to pull at heartstrings and failed, but it might've fared better had it actually been a surprise instead of a marketing gimmick. e
Skynet has tried to eliminate Jon Connor many times, but in Terminator: Salvation, they decided to go a different route: send a cyborg to infiltrate war-time Connor's ranks and take him out in the present...future...wherever. What should've been a moment of emotional heft is instead left for you to pour over while you're finishing the first quarter of your bag of popcorn.