For many, the ads that run during the Super Bowl every year are as important as the action taking place on the field. And with the Big Game less than a month away, a picture of what to expect during the commercial breaks is beginning to emerge.
Relativity Media announced Monday that it has purchased four 30-second Super Bowl Sunday spots for its upcoming Navy SEALs action offering "Act of Valor" — one to air during the fourth quarter of the game itself, two spots in the pre-game coverage, and a final spot in the post-game coverage. A big investment, to be sure — but Relativity has had success with Super Bowl advertising in the past. Last year the studio ran an ad for the Bradley Cooper film "Limitless" — which came out on top of the box office in its mid-March opening and went on to gross $79 million domestically on a $27 million budget, according to Box Office Mojo.
The Super Bowl spots for "Act of Valor" — which opens Feb. 24 — might even be more beneficial for Relativity, given the heavy male orientation of the movie. And Terry Curtin, Relativity's president, theatrical marketing, sees the movie's theme meshing well with the drama of the game.
"Not only is 'Act of Valor' an incredibly entertaining action film, but it is a true testament to the heroism and sacrifice that makes America great," Curtin said. "What better place to feature a spot for this movie than on the Super Bowl, which is one of our country’s biggest events.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, Paramount Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures and Universal Pictures have also purchased ad time for the Super Bowl. Universal's buy-in isn't terribly surprising, since this year the game will air on corporate sibling NBC.
Though none of the studios aside from Relativity have revealed what they have purchased the ad time for, a look at their upcoming release schedules offers several clues.
"John Carter," Disney's action-oriented Edgar Rice Burroughs adaptation, appears a good match for the gladiatorial action on the field — and it hits theaters on March 9, a month after the Super Bowl's Feb. 5 air date. A high-profile spot in the Super Bowl couldn't hurt the $250 million film's chances.
On Paramount's end, "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" (out June 29) and the superhero epic "Marvel's The Avengers" (out May 4) would seem likely possibilities among a roster that also includes the Eddie Murphy film "A Thousand Words" and the Sacha Baron Cohen offering "The Dictator."
Universal's "Battleship" — which hits theaters May 18 — is also an apt candidate, unless they decide to raunch up the proceedings with an "American Reunion" spot.
20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros. and Lionsgate are not purchasing ad time for the Super Bowl, according to the Times, which estimates that 30-second spots are running for $4 million each this year.
On the non-studio front, shoe company Skechers — which last year ran an ad featuring reality TV star Kim Kardashian — will air an ad featuring a French bulldog and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
NBC has not yet responded to TheWrap's request for comment.