Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz and Jack Reynor in "Transformers: Age… (Andrew Cooper )
As the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos prepare to face off at the Super Bowl on Feb. 2, movie studios are lining up for an unofficial showdown of their own over whose trailer will make the biggest splash. The tab isn't cheap, with 30-second spots reportedly going for $4 million, but the big game is generally the most watched broadcast of the year, capable of drawing well over 100 million viewers.
While studios tend to remain tight-lipped over their Super Bowl plans, a handful of high-profile films have emerged as those likely to make a showing.
"Transformers: Age of Extinction," the fourth installment of Paramount Pictures' rock-'em-sock-'em robot action series, appears poised to release its first footage during the game. All three of director Michael Bay's previous explosion-filled "Transformers" movies have run Super Bowl ads, and Bay let the cat out of the bag regarding the fourth film back in December, writing on his website, "I think the first piece comes out for the Super Bowl and a teaser right after that." (The post has since been deleted.)
TIMELINE: Best superbowl commercials
"Transformers: Age of Extinction" is set to open June 27.
Sony, meanwhile, will advertise "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," the second film in its Spider-Man reboot starring Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, according to Deadline. The appropriately named Marc Webb ("500 Days of Summer") will once again direct, with franchise newcomers Jamie Foxx and Paul Giamatti coming on board as the villains Electro and Rhino.
The presumed Super Bowl ad won't be the first glimpse of the film, which has so far released a teaser in July, a trailer in December and another spot earlier this month. "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" is set to open May 2.
Disney also has a Super Bowl slot booked and may be shopping for another, according to the Hollywood Reporter. At first glance, it would seem to have three candidates for game day: the street-racing flick "Need for Speed," opening March 14; the superhero sequel "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," opening April 4; and the ensemble superhero movie "Guardians of the Galaxy," opening Aug. 1.
PHOTOS: Super Bowl halftime performers
"Guardians" director James Gunn, however, put to bed speculation about his movie, writing on Twitter, "For those of you asking about a #gotg Super Bowl spot, there will not be one but we will have something incredibly awesome for you soon." That leaves "Need for Speed," starring "Breaking Bad's" Aaron Paul, and/or "Winter Soldier," in which Chris Evans will once again take up Captain America's shield.
Also according to the Hollywood Reporter, Lionsgate has secured a spot during the pregame show and will flog its NFL drama "Draft Day," taking advantage of a receptive audience for a football movie. Directed by Ivan Reitman, the film stars Kevin Costner as the general manager of the Cleveland Browns who trades for the No. 1 pick and has the burden of trying to save football in his city.
Earlier this month, the film won an appeal to get its initial R rating overturned by the MPAA. It is now rated PG-13 and will open April 11.
The Super Bowl can be an important if fraught platform for upcoming releases; some ads quickly fade away but others, like Paramount's well-received spot for J.J. Abrams' "Super 8" a few years ago, can be instrumental in putting a movie on the path to blockbusterdom.
Quentin Tarantino mothballs 'Hateful Eight' after script leak
Suspect arrested in Lufthansa heist made famous in 'Goodfellas'
Cannes 2014: Nicole Kidman's 'Grace of Monaco' to open festival
PHOTOS AND MORE
PHOTOS: Faces to watch 2014 | Movies
ENVELOPE: The latest awards buzz
SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL: Photos, features and video