Studios Enter Super Bowl Ad Brawl

(The Hollywood Reporter) Four studios — Universal, Fox, DreamWorks and Buena Vista — will be part of the nation’s biggest advertising event this weekend at Super Bowl XXXIV, where about a dozen dot-com companies have helped spike rates for 30-second ads up to $3 million a pop.

This year, the Super Bowl has 61 advertisers paying $1.9 million-$3 million with an average price of $2.2 million, sources said Thursday. ABC is expecting $130 million in ad revenue from Sunday’s telecast. Costs for Super Bowl 30-second spots have risen from about $660,000 in 1990 (when there were 47 commercials) to about $1.6 million per spot last year (when there were 55 commercials).

Though the audience is expected to hit 130 million nationwide, studio executives said that only 85 million-100 million people at any one time will be available to see ads as people get up to go to the bathroom or refrigerator.

Buena Vista Pictures — a sister Disney company to ABC — will stand out from the other studios by airing one 60-second spot for its science fiction story “Mission to Mars,” which opens March 10. The ads mark the kickoff for the film’s media buys.