In Hollywood these days, it is all about the marketing. Create a buzz-worthy trailer, maybe let it leak or show it at Comic-Con, and then let fan enthusiasm work its magic. As we’ve seen over the past few years, this formula doesn’t always lead to success (just look at “The Last Airbender” or “Watchmen” for proof), but it does give us the opportunity to get boatloads of amazing trailers year round, and 2010 was definitely no exception.
With the end of the year quickly approaching, we’re sentimentally reflecting on all our favorite film-related things of 2010 here at MTV Movies Blog… and it seems only fair that we round up our list of the top 10 trailers of 2010. Some of the films have yet to be released, some came out so long ago we almost forgot that they debuted this year, but all of them are guaranteed awesome. Check out our list (and watch the trailers) after the jump!
Full disclosure: The “Thor” trailer edged out the “Cowboys & Aliens” trailer on this list, mostly for this reason. And while some of you might disagree with that choice, it’s Asgard, man. Freakin’ Asgard. The trailer could have stuck with those shots alone and still been awesome. But the “Thor” trailer is all the more impressive because it manages to blend Norse mythology, comic book villains (hey there, Destroyer) and modern-day science into a seamless package, and one that’s getting us even more excited for another Marvel hero to unleash his awesomeness on the big screen.
9. “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”
After “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” came out, I swore I would never again willingly give my heart to that series. And when Disney announced they would be coming out with a fourth movie in the “Pirates” series, I said no way Jose am I being sucked down that rabbit hole again. But then something magical happened: The “On Stranger Tides” trailer came out, and I realized how much I missed good ol’ swashbuckling Captain Jack Sparrow. “On Stranger Tides” hearkens back to everything that was so good about “Curse of the Black Pearl” and seems to include everything that was missing in the later two films. And it’s got Blackbeard!
8. “True Grit”
This “True Grit” trailer tells it all without giving away too much. The beautiful cinematography mixed with the haunting version of “Where No One Stands Alone” playing in the background and great performances by Jeff Bridges, Hailee Steinfeld and Matt Damon all make this look like another awesome package of Oscar bait from the Coen Bros. And the best journey we’ve had back to the Wild West in a long time.
7. “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World”
This might be another case of a trailer being better than the actual movie, or at least containing the best parts of it. The second “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” trailer truly captured the quirky, hilarious essence of the story, with enough emphasis on its graphic novel and video games influences to make it nerdvana. Plus, any trailer that ends on an Anna Kendrick one-liner (or I guess two-liner in this case) is a win in our book.
6. “I Love You Phillip Morris”
With a trailer like this, how is it possible that “I Love You Phillip Morris” took so long to get distribution in the United States? Clearly, the joke’s on us in this trailer, though, and it couldn’t be more hilarious. First fashioned to look like a classic Jim Carrey Christmas movie, the trailer quickly reveals its true colors as the quick-witted, hilarious and boundary-pushing story of Stephen Russell and Phillip Morris, two men who meet in prison and fall in love. The fact that it’s all true just makes it all the more entertaining.
5. “Sucker Punch”
It’s no coincidence that Zack Snyder always makes the most badass trailers for his films — he made music videos and commercials before he made the jump to features. And he’s triumphed again with the trailer for “Sucker Punch.” It might not be better than the “Watchmen” trailer, but it certainly comes close. We’re still not entirely sure what’s going on in the movie, but six levels of alternate realities that include machine guns, prostitutes, giant samurais, robots, zombie soldiers and dragons? Yeah, we can handle it.
We’re still trying to figure it all out, but it was the first theatrical trailer for “Inception” that opened our minds to this cinematic dream. The teaser was awesome, but when we saw a city folding in on itself in the full trailer — that’s when we knew for sure that this movie would knock our socks off. The theatricality of this trailer still takes our breath away.
3. “Black Swan”
Did you ever think a trailer about a ballerina performing in “Swan Lake” would blow your mind? Probably not. But you can thank great performances by Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, the terrifying Barbara Hershey and Vincent Cassell for catapulting the “Black Swan” trailer to number three on our list. Plus, thanks to some great editing and a whole lot of WTF?! moments, this trailer had us trying to puzzle out what was real and what was not. But it’s Portman, red-eyed and terrifying, pulling a feather out of her back that totally won us over.
2. “The Social Network”
The opening of this trailer is 100 percent pure, unadulterated brilliance. Honestly, has anything captured the essence of Facebook better than that opening montage of profiles, pictures and statuses set to the Scala and Kolacny Brothers’ Belgian women’s choir singing “Creep”? I would argue no. Then the actual trailer for “The Social Network” kicks into effect, teasing the story of Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg. Honestly, words cannot describe every element of greatness that went into the creation of this trailer. Want to know what’s better? The film lived up to the hype.
1. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”
Still, no trailer this year could possibly top the theatrical trailer for both parts of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.” Maybe it’s because this actually is the motion picture event of the generation, or maybe it’s because I’m such a huge “Harry Potter” fan, but that opening shot of Harry and Voldemort confronting one another in the woods still sends chills down my spine. By the time the “Potter” theme plays and the title card comes up, I think we can all agree that we’re ready to watch those films back to back. Immediately.
Do you agree with our list? What were your favorite trailers of 2010?