National Association of Theater Owners Wants Shorter Movie Trailers
In case you didn't notice, the Motion Picture Association of America recently changed up their font and ratings display for movie trailers to make details on any given rating more prominent (see the slight difference above). However, another change might be hitting the movie trailer scene if the National Association of Theater Owners has anything to say about it. THR says the organization's executive board has a proposal for new guidelines in order to give exhibitors more control over the marketing of movies in their theaters. And the biggest complaint is the length and spoilerish nature of movie trailers.
NATO wants to limit the length of a movie trailer to only two minutes in an effort to maybe avoid longer trailers that cram in as much as they can, often giving away too much in the short time span, especially when it comes to showing action. A 30-second cut might not seem like much but when six or seven trailers play before a film, the time adds up. And honestly, when it comes to trailers lately, they can stand to lose some of the extra footage that would be better experience for the first time in the context of the film. Fast & Furious 6 for example spoiled the big moment of almost every single action sequence.
As of now the proposal is just that, and NATO wanted to see how studios might react to these guidelines before taking steps to make them official (it's no surprise that they aren't too happy). Another new guideline wouldn't allow movies to be marketed until four months prior to the release date, and that includes trailers. However, the guideline wouldn't be all that strict since NATO also says there would be exceptions for studios who want to tease big tentpoles way in advance. In addition, a release date would be required on all marketing materials, which would be informative, but hardly a necessity.
It's important to note also that these guidelines would be voluntary, but studios are worried an exhibitor could cite the policy and refuse to play a trailer longer than two minutes. They also think that with the extra time saves from shorter trailers would result in more trailers being shown, and that's something the studios usually pay exhibitors for in the end. It sounds like NATO is just testing the waters at this point, so don't expect any changes like this soon. However, it would be nice if studios held back a little on the footage shown in trailers so as to not give to much away before a film hits theaters. Thoughts?