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Super Bowl Film Ads Get Buzz on Summer Tentpole Season

While companies like General Motors and FedEx had to bow out of Super Bowl advertising this year because of a combined poor economy and a record average $3 million per 30 seconds charged by NBC, almost every studio except Warner Bros. will promote a summer tentpole, reports VARIETY.

The Feb. 1 game will air on NBC and is traditionally one of the few televised events every year where the commercials are as talked-about as the football action.

Already confirmed for spots are: Paramount's TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN, STAR TREK and G.I. JOE, Sony's ANGELS AND DEMONS, DreamWorks Animation's MONSTERS VS. ALIENS 3-D spot, Universal's LAND OF THE LOST and THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS 4 and Disney-Pixar's UP.

Paramount is expected to reveal footage of the TRANSFORMERS sequel for the first time during their Super Bowl ad spot. NBC allegedly raised the price for a 30-second spot from a record $2.7 million charged by FOX to a reported $3 million.

NBC said it had sold 85 percent of its ads as of September, and studios got reduced fees because the network needed to fill 67 spots. Any time not filled will be run with in-house show promotions, allowing NBC to "reintroduce" them to the close to 100 million viewers who watch the game.

Fox has yet to buy up space, but would probably promote WOLVERINE, NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM 2 or ICE AGE. Disney could also buy up time for their in-house films RACE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN and G-FORCE.

Warner Bros. has not purchased any time either, and may not at all. Its TERMINATOR: SALVATION, HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE and WATCHMEN would all appeal to the Super Bowl crowd.

NBC told some advertisers recently it still had 10 spots to sell, and could go for much-reduced rate, something that could result in more film spots than ever. If the studios believe their film will get lost in the noise, they'll go elsewhere to promote. Sony is going with Google to launch promotion for their disaster flick 2012 from director Roland Emmerich, including viral marketing that revolves around the apocalypse. Doomsayers believe the world will come to an end on December 21, 2012, based on the Mayan calendar and astronomical events.

Among smaller distributors, MGM has no film to promote for 2009 and Summit Ent. will not spend money to promote TWILIGHT's sequel NEW MOON or its other film slate, including Nicolas Cage's KNOWING and action film PUSH.