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Why 'Zoolander 2' Trailer Was A Perfect Surprise For 'Mission: Impossible' Fans

On Friday morning, I went to the 10:20am IMAX showing of Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation in order to watch the trailers. As regular readers know, I have done this a couple of times during the summer, basically as a “put my money where my mouth is” exercise in actually watching the big blockbuster trailers in a movie theater instead of just on a computer monitor. Since my newborn was sound asleep the entire time, I was able to watch the first 15 minutes of Rogue Nation and can confirm that A) the first reel looks great in IMAX and B) the pre-credits sequence is my favorite five minutes of any movie this year. Anyway, while I didn’t get to see the new Hunger Games trailer in theaters as I had hoped, I did get to see the Spectre trailer, which played a little better in an IMAX theater as opposed to on my laptop in a hotel lobby at 4:00am in the morning. But what I wasn’t expecting was a surprise teaser trailer for Paramount’s second big 2016 release. Yes, we got the 13 Hours trailer, but we also got a surprise, and surprisingly funny, trailer for Zoolander 2.

You can watch the above trailer for yourself, so I’m not doing a bl0w-by-blow, but I will say that this is one of the rare occasions in which a fake-out trailer actually fooled me right up to the end. More importantly, the joke worked because absolutely no one at Paramount told me (or anyone else I presume) to expect a Zoolander 2 teaser attached to the Tom Cruise action sequel. The placement makes sense, as it’s Paramount’s next would-be blockbuster after Rogue Nation. All due respect, but Paramount/Viacom Inc’s next five months of releases isn’t exactly a barnburner, and two of them (Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimensions and Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse are basically going to VOD super early as Paramount correctly believes them to have very short theatrical lives. Anyway, Rogue Nation is Paramount’s last big movie of 2015, and thus it’s prime real estate for the first would-be big films of 2016, in this case Michael Bay’s 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (which also played better in a theater) and Zoolander 2.

Of course, the other gimmick is that Ben Stiller and Tom Cruise have had something of a mutually-beneficial relationship for around twenty-years, as Stiller made his early mark partially thanks to a killer Tom Cruise impression and he later returned the favor by giving the actor a self-deprecating cameo in Tropic Thunder right when Cruise’s PR problems had arguably reached their peak in 2008. Having...