Paramount dropped its game-day spot for “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” a little early Friday.
The 30-second clip has a few new bits of footage, but otherwise works as a nice summation of the film’s plot — Chris Pine gathers an eclectic group of warriors, magicians and thieves to defeat a supernatural villain — while giving brief spotlight moments to each member of the film’s stacked cast.
That cast includes Michelle Rodriguez, Regé-Jean Page, Justice Smith, Sophia Lillis and Hugh Grant, all of whom also got character posters this morning in conjunction with the commercial debut. Alas, Chloe Coleman and Daisy Head did not get their own spotlight posters.
We also get just a hint of the film’s gee-whiz, comic tone, even if the TV commercial isn’t as self-winking or farcical in tone as the previous theatrical trailers. Like many Super Bowl spots for films that are well into their pre-release marketing campaign, it’s a reminder that the film is coming while also being aimed at those who might be hearing of the film for the first time while watching Sunday night’s football game.
We are seven weeks out from the film’s March 31 domestic debut, and thus far Paramount’s marketing seems to be selling something similar to Sony’s “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.”
Yes, the Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley-directed film is IP exploitation, arguably an example of “IP for the sake of IP” that doesn’t always result in a shiny new franchise. However, it’s also selling a family-friendly, self-aware, colorful escapist fantasy comedy featuring a cast filled with recognizable names and faces. The film is, thus far, pitching itself as worth seeing whether or not you know or care about the table-top role-playing game on which it is based.
It’s premiering at this year’s SXSW film festival, which presumably means Paramount and Hasbro are happy with what they ended up with. The only concern is that its release moved from March 10 — with Paramount and Spyglass’s “Scream VI” taking its place — to March 31, where it has just a week before Universal and Illumination’s potentially massive “The Super Mario Bros. Movie.”
March 3, beginning with “Creed 3” through April 7 featuring the Nintendo toon, is as busy a month as theatrical has had since pre-COVID times. If “Creed 3,” “65,” “Scream VI,” “Shazam: Fury of the Gods,” “John Wick: Chapter 4,” “Dungeons & Dragons” and “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” all achieve some measure of success, that will be an indisputable declaration that theatrical moviegoing is “back.”
Check out the “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” trailer above, and character posters below.