For fans who have been paying even the slightest amount of attention, they would know that the third Spider-Man movie in the MCU is set to release in December, and there is still no teaser trailer. With less than four months until release, the time between the first trailer and the film's debut is reaching unprecedented territory, and MCU exec Kevin Feige knows it.
This is amplified by the simple fact that this is quickly becoming one of the most anticipated comic book movies in history. There are so many factors that go into this, the least of which being that Spider-Man is one of the most beloved heroes in the Marvel universe. Add in the cliffhanger from Spider-Man: Far From Home, the rumors of unthinkable cameos, and the current trajectory of the MCU, and you have a cocktail of anticipation and excitement for the fans.
The "why?" to the lack of a Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer is a tough one. There really is no clear-cut answer behind the decision to hold it off. One thing that is for sure, this is very out of character for the MCU, even for a Sony-shared Spider-Man movie, and even when adjusting for the pandemic.
Looking through the release dates of MCU teaser trailers compared to that of the movies themselves, it's now possible that the No Way Home trailer could break an MCU record that fans do not want to see broken (that is, if the teaser doesn't release during Sony's Cinema-Con presentation on Monday, August 23).
TRAILERS BY NUMBERS
A teaser trailer is the audience's first look at footage from the movie, with the goal of building hype and anticipation for a project. Often released after the bulk of filming is complete, a teaser trailer typically offers very little in the realm of plot or story, more so serving as an excitement-building announcement to audiences far and wide that this movie is releasing in the year ahead.
Teaser trailers for Marvel Cinematic Universe films typically drop between five to seven months ahead of their respective theatrical premieres. Below, fans can find the exact "Days Before" value for each of the MCU's first 26 movies (The Days Before metric represents the amount of time between the release of a movie's first trailer/ teaser and the debut of the movie in the U.S.):
Iron Man: Trailer released September 10, 2007, 235 days before May 3, 2008 debut.
The Incredible Hulk: Trailer released on March 12, 2008, 93 days before June 13, 2008 debut.
Iron Man 2: Trailer released on December 16, 2009, 142 days before May 7, 2010 debut.
Thor: Trailer released on December 10, 2010; 147 days before May 6, 2011 debut.
Captain America: The First Avenger: Trailer released on March 23, 2011; 121 days before July 22, 2011 debut.
The Avengers: Trailer released on July 29, 2011; 280 days before May 4, 2012 debut.
Iron Man 3: Trailer released on October 23, 2012; 192 days before May 3, 2013 debut.
Thor: The Dark World: Trailer released on April 23, 2013; 199 days before November 8, 2013 debut.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier: Trailer released on October 24, 2013; 162 days before April 4, 2014 debut.
Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 1: Trailer released on February 18, 2014; 164 days before August 1, 2014 debut.
Avengers: Age of Ultron: Trailer released on October 22, 2014; 191 days before May 1, 2015 debut.
Ant-Man: Trailer released on January 1, 2015; Movie released on July 17, 2015 192 days before
Captain America: Civil War: Trailer released on November 24, 2015; 164 days before May 6, 2016 debut.
Doctor Strange: Trailer released on April 12, 2016; 206 days before November 4, 2016 debut.
Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2: Trailer released on December 3, 2016; 153 days before May 5, 2017 debut.
Spider-Man: Homecoming: Trailer released on December 8, 2016; 211 days before July 7, 2017 debut.
Thor: Ragnorak: Trailer released on April 10, 2017; 207 days before November 3, 2017 debut.
Black Panther: Trailer released on June 9, 2017; 252 days before February 16, 2018 debut.
Avengers: Infinity War: Trailer released on November 29, 2017; 149 days before April 27, 2018 debut.
Ant-Man and The Wasp: Trailer released on January 30, 2018; 157 days before July 6, 2018 debut.
Captain Marvel: Trailer released on September 18, 2018; 171 days before March 8, 2019 debut.
Avengers: Endgame: Trailer released on December 7, 2018; 140 days before April 26, 2019 debut.
Spider-Man: Far From Home: Trailer released on January 15, 2019; 168 days before July 2, 2019 debut.
Black Widow: Trailer released on December 3, 2019; 150 days before the original release date on May 1, 2020.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings: Trailer released on April 20, 2021; 136 days before scheduled September 3, 2021 debut.
Eternals: Trailer released on May 24, 2021; 165 days before scheduled November 5, 2021 debut.
THE TRAILER RELEASE DATES OVER TIME
This graph visualizes these numbers to show how consistent Marvel Studios has been in their releasing of the teaser trailer ahead of a movie's scheduled release date. On average, MCU teaser trailers are released 173 days before their respective movies. To build an "average window" of 31 days (more or less), 15 of 26 MCU movies dropped a teaser trailer between 142 and 204 days before the original release date of the film.
With more than half of MCU teaser trailers keeping within this average window of around 173 days, it is interesting to note the variance with teaser trailers released sooner or later. 6 of the 26 films had teaser trailers debut more than 204 days before the release, but that is not what is going to get fans riled up. The sooner a teaser trailer is released, the quicker broad speculation and guesswork is curved. The idea of a teaser trailer is to give a hint of a project and build interest to learn more based on what has been shown.
Trailers that fall in the average window, and trailers released sooner than that, accomplish the same goal of building anticipation. It is these first tastes that are released closer to the release date of the movie that turns anticipation into frustration. 5 of the 26 MCU teaser trailers have been released 142 days or less before the movie. However, three of those five are less than 10 days away from falling into the average window for MCU trailers.
All of that to say, to see an MCU movie trailer for the first time less than four months out from the release date is an incredibly rare thing. The Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer has already passed that point with only 119 days remaining until the threequel's release (from the time of this article's initial publishing).
MCU TRAILERS RELEASED THE EARLIEST
Honorable Mention: Black Widow (582 days before ACTUAL release)
This is already cheating, but it would be wrong not to mention the Black Widow situation in an article about trailers and release dates. In the data above, Black Widow's teaser trailer came middle of the road 150 days before the original release date of the film. In that time, COVID-19 took hold of the world, and the movie was then pushed back more than a year and a half putting the actual time between the first teaser and the movie's release at 582 days. This was not the plan for Marvel Studios and Disney, but it did influence how early a trailer could be released moving forward.
As the world is inching toward another potential round of mass movie delays, this huge window would be a cautionary tale as to why it may be best to wait on the teaser until the release date is more certain.
4. Spider-Man: Homecoming (211 days before release)
Right away audiences are given precedence for how Spider-Man teaser trailers specifically are handled. Most die-hard fans are aware of the Sony/Disney situation with Peter Parker. For those who do not, in short, they share the IP. Disney and Marvel Studios make the movie while Sony handles the distribution. One of the primary factors of that distribution is the promotion and trailers.
Seeing the first MCU Spider-Man teaser on the list of most days before release sets the tone that even with the Sony factor, the Spidey IP is handled just like the rest.
3. Iron Man (235 days before release)
While the Homecoming addition to this list offers insight and precedent that helps figure out the No Way Home trailer status, Iron Man does the opposite because it had to start somewhere. Iron Man was made, promoted, and released before anyone knew what the Marvel Cinematic Universe would become. This teaser was dropped amidst some incredible comic book movie hype and disappointment with The Dark Knight and Spider-Man 3 respectively.
An outlier for Phase One solo movie teaser trailers.
2. Black Panther (252 days before release)
Black Panther was a phenomenon that took the world by storm. This is the second character on this list to have been introduced in Captain America: Civil War. Getting a soft debut in another project is an efficient and resourceful way to hit the ground running for a character. This makes the job of the teaser trailer that much more fun. It also allows studios to gauge excitement for a character before deciding when to release the teaser.
One has to imagine Marvel Studios knew they had something special with T'Challa and couldn't get the buzz started for this Oscar-Nominated project soon enough.
1. The Avengers (280 days before release)
Fans who understand why this trailer's release date being the furthest away from the movie's release date probably just chuckled. For those who do not know, this teaser was actually debuted in the post-credit scene of Captain America: The First Avenger. Nuance and practicality have taken over ever since, but no one will ever forget when the post-credit scene of Cap one was simply a trailer for Avengers.
This almost guaranteed a number one spot on the list, but it also shows how Marvel Studios adjusted their strategy after Phase One.
MCU TRAILERS RELEASED THE LATEST
5. Avengers: Endgame (140 days before release)
On the flip side of things, the Avengers Endgame teaser release was a strategy that was earned through three phases of movie-making. Marvel Studios knew they were releasing Endgame a year after Infinity War. They knew that the Infinity War cliffhanger was enough to get people to see the next movie. With Ant-Man and the Wasp and Captain Marvel in between, there was no rush to get this teaser online before Endgame.
Realistically they could have released this teaser a week before Endgame hit theaters and nothing would have changed. If that amount of "word-of-mouth" hype seems unrealistic, Google search "Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer".
4. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (136 days before release)
This is the first look at what the pandemic delays, the Black Widow promotional journey, and the new mindset of teaser release look like in the MCU. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is one of many Phase 4 projects that has had a moving and fluid release date. With Shang-Chi, Marvel Studios showed fans that they are willing to wait until a project is more locked in. At least for now.
The Eternals teaser was released 165 days before it's scheduled to release, which falls right at average. So nature may be healing in the promotions department.
3. Captain America: The First Avenger (121 days before release)
There is really no telling how or why Captain America: The First Avenger released a teaser so soon before the movie hitting theaters. Being a Phase One project, it is one of three in the bottom 10 days before release for the trailer. However, both Iron Man and The Avengers fall in the top five for the same category. The interesting note here is that The First Avenger's predecessor, Thor, was released just 2.5 months beforehand.
This could show that maybe the science of juggling multiple movies in the same universe within a calendar year just hadn't been figured out yet.
1. The Incredible Hulk (93 days before release)
This is the record mentioned in the headline. This is the bar at which short-turn teaser trailers are judged. Mentioned above is the science of multiple movies in one year for Marvel Studios. This trial and error process was highlighted with Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk. Released less than 5 weeks after Iron Man, there was no room to breathe for the Incredible Hulk promotional campaign. Call it not wanting to step on toes, or call it being conservative with one and aggressive with another.
Either way, this movie is a representation of the most extreme cases of a teaser being released so close to the movie... and it may be getting more extreme in a few weeks.
2. Spider-Man No Way Home (120 days before release... and dropping)
That is right. Spider-Man: No Way Home has already surpassed Captain America: The First Avenger for the second-shortest time between the teaser trailer and movie release. As the data shows, this is not a result of Sony/Disney democracy as Homecoming's teaser is in the top five most days before release. It is also hard to say this is primarily pandemic related due to Eternals incredibly average placement. However, Venom: Let There Be Carnage being delayed may give that argument more legs.
It is quite unlikely another month goes by without a teaser being dropped. If it does, there will be a new record holder in the MCU for the quickest teaser/release turnaround. This shows how strange this promotional decision is. Especially when you factor in the insanely high demand for the spot.
That might just be it. There is so much buzz surrounding this teaser that it has made #NoWayHome a weekly occurrence on Twitter trending pages. For a movie to have so much buzz and hype before even getting the first look is unheard of. Sony is taking their sweet time with this teaser, and it is hard to imagine where the hype levels rise to once it is released.
A piece from Murphy's Multiverse was used as a resource for this article.