NEW YORK (AP) – When it came to Super Bowl commercials, producers decided to leave the drama to the players, as the Los Angeles Rams pulled off a come-from-behind win over the Cincinnati Bengals. Gone were the serious, somber “in these trying times” ads that dominated last year’s game. This year’s Super Bowl ads focused, not on the still-here pandemic, but on big stars, humor and a heavy dose of nostalgia. Companies paid up to $7 million for 30 seconds of airtime last night in an effort to get a rise – and some dollars – out of the 100 million people estimated to have watched.
OLD FAVORITES RETURN IN SUPER BOWL ADS
UNDATED (AP) – Never mind throwback jerseys – there were plenty of throwback stars in this year’s Super Bowl ads. Advertisers made little mention of the pandemic, instead focusing on positive, upbeat and sometimes funny messages. Among the old school TV shows and movies shows name-checked were “The Sopranos,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “The Cable Guy,” “Austin Powers” and “Scrubs.” While many ads looked back, some looked ahead, touting cryptocurrency and electric cars. One combined a robot dog with a Kia battery-fueled vehicle – and the 1980s’ ballad, “Total Eclipse of the Heart.”
HIP-HOP RULES DURING SUPER BOWL HALFTIME SHOW
LOS ANGELES (AP) – One performer made an upside-down entrance – while another took a knee. Before, during and in-between, there was plenty of action during a hip-hop fueled Super Bowl halftime show. The performance in Los Angeles was heavy on rap stars from L.A. who made their mark. Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Kendrick Lamar fronted the show, joined by New York-based Mary J. Blige and 50 Cent, who made his entrance upside down, reviving the video for his hit, “In Da Club.” At the end, Eminem took a knee, recalling Colin Kaepernick, the ex-NFL star whose 2016 stand against police brutality led to an early end of his career.
MICKEY GUYTON SLOWS DOWN ANTHEM FOR SUPER BOWL
LOS ANGELES (AP) – If you bet money on whether Mickey Guyton would finish the national anthem in her usual minute-and-a-half, or so, you lose. She clocked in at 1:50 for “The Star Spangled Banner” – about 20 ticks longer than her average minute-30. For bettors, the over/under on the anthem was 1:35. While those who bet the under lost, they can’t say they weren’t warned. Guyton told The Associated Press last week her rendition would probably take a little longer – because it’s the Super Bowl.
FILMMAKER IVAN REITMAN DIES, DID “ANIMAL HOUSE,” “GHOSTBUSTERS”
UNDATED (AP) – Moviemaker Ivan Reitman has died. The family of the filmmaker and producer who gave us comedies like “Animal House” and “Ghostbusters” says he died in his sleep Saturday at his home in California. He was 75. Reitman got his big break with the frat comedy “National Lampoon’s Animal House.” After that, he directed Bill Murray in “Meatballs” and “Stripes.” His biggest success was 1984’s “Ghostbusters.” It grossed nearly $300 million, got two Oscar nominations – and built a franchise that spun off TV shows, merchandise – and last year’s sequel, “Ghostbusters: Afterlife.”
NEW YORK (AP) – Chicken wings and beer won out over popcorn and soda pop – and that meant a slow Super Bowl weekend at the box office. The top movie was “Death on the Nile,” which took in $12.8 million in ticket sales. Dropping to second place, “Jackass Forever,” with $8.1 million, followed by Jennifer Lopez’s “Marry Me,” “Spider-Man: No Way Home” and “Backlight.”