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Movie Trailers

Studios heavily rely on movie trailers to attract audiences to their new movie.  But, with so many movies coming out each month, the sinking economy, and rising movie ticket prices, what distinguishes one trailer from the next?   Some studios try to place a song, popular or not, to try and draw the audience into the movie and to help them feel more connected.

Sure, there's the standard Harry Potter-Dark Knight-Star Wars trailers that only use composed music performed by orchestras and since the books/previous movies of these movies are already so vastly popular, there's no need to make the trailer stand out in a musical way.  However, more independent movies or movies with a less solid fan base sometimes try to catch viewer's attention through music.

The "Watchmen" trailer debuted at comic-con this year, with "The Beginning is the End is the Beginning" by the Smashing Pumpkins playing in the background, and with the song the trailer attracted some much deserved buzz.  The movie itself does not boast a celebrity cast and cannot rely on the fan base of the graphic novels and therefore by creating this dark trailer with dark images and an even darker song, the caught people's attention.  Personally, I had never heard of the novels and I was never a fan of the Smashing Pumpkins until this movie trailer.  Now, I love the song, I love the trailer, and I plan to see the movie.  Maybe I'm just an easy sell.

Garden State now has a cult fan base, however, when the movie was in production, there were no paparazzi staked out in between scenes on the set to see Zach Braff and Natalie Portman hanging out.  And so, when it came time for Fox Searchlight to release a trailer, they called on the help of the Postal Service's song "Such Great Heights" for background music.  Maybe the movie became so popular because of the acting and the killer script, but I like to think it had something to do with how well the song went with the trailer theme and made you think, "Huh.  This movie is totally about my life."

And then there's this summer's comedic hit, "The Pineapple Express."  The trailer not only brought back M.I.A's song "Paper Planes," but the trailer also hinted at the genius of James Franco, who has never been cast as a strong leading figure in a movie before.  For the greater part of August, "Paper Planes" was played on the radio and I caught it as some people's ringtones too.  Also, the movie was a success (the trailer song was not played in the movie, though that would've have been so cool) and James Franco now has a legit career (maybe).

Does the music that's played in a trailer sway your decision to go see in theater?  I would say sometimes it does.