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‘Godzilla,’ Warner Bros. Lead the Year’s Top TV Ad Spend for Movies

In this special year-end edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by iSpot.tv, we are ranking the top 10 movies by advertising spend on TV for 2014.

All told, 66 film distributors aired more than 577,000 national TV ads, at the estimated cost of $3.38 billion. Warner Bros. accounted for approximately $727 million of that spend, airing close to 95,000 national ads, followed by Universal Studios, which spent $395 million on 59,000 airings, and Sony at $335 million to air just shy of 55,000.

And in the spirit of “bigger is better,” it seems not at all surprising that “Godzilla” led the pack for the biggest advertising spend, with an estimated $61.8 million spent on 5,115 national airings.

A few items of note from the top 10 list:

Warner Bros. handily owned the top 10 list, with six of the entries all under the movie studio’s umbrella, including the top four. No other movie studio had more than one title on the list, with Marvel, Universal Pictures, Paramount Pictures, and Sony Pictures all making an appearance.

Digitally speaking, official trailers from Warner Bros. generated close to half a billion earned video views on YouTube and iSpot.tv, and more than 14.5 million digital actions across Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, all explicitly linked to commercial airings.

Only three of the movies on the list were among the 10 top-grossing movies of the year: “The LEGO Movie” (No. 4), “X-Men: Days of Future Past” (7), and “Godzilla” (10). Most of the remaining had respectable showings, however, with all but two in the top 50: “Neighbors” (19), “300: Rise of an Empire” (25), “Noah” (27), and “The Monuments Men” (38). “The Judge” trailed at No. 65, while “Winter’s Tale” lagged further behind at 122.

Of all the movies advertised during the 2014 Super Bowl, only “Noah” made the top 10 list for the year, at No. 8. For a full list of all of the movies (and other ads) that aired during the big game, visit iSpot.tv’s Super Bowl Ad Center.

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Top 10 Movie Trailers by Spend

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Variety has partnered with iSpot.tv, a company that catalogs, tags and measures activity around TV commercials in real time, to bring you this weekly look at what studios are spending to market their movies on TV. Learn more about the iSpot.tv platform and methodology.

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