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Theater Owners Call for Shorter Trailers & No Online Content Links

by
January 27, 2014
Source: Deadline

Movie Trailers

In a move that might change the way films are promoted in movie theaters, the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) has changed their voluntary in-theater marketing guidelines which "will evolve in response to technological innovations, marketing and advertising trends, competition in the marketplace, and consumer demands." Amongst the biggest changes are for movie trailers, with new guidelines dictating that all trailers should be under two minutes and should not hit theaters more than 150 days in advance (while other promotional materials shouldn't hit more than 120 days in advance). But that's not all.

Deadline reports that movie theaters will have the opportunity to make two films exempt from those aforementioned three stipulations, but exhibitors must let NATO know in advance which films would they would like to be exempt. Even then, the films exempt from those guidelines cannot have a trailer longer than three minutes. As for any behind the scenes footage and extended trailers, those will have to be individually negotiated. In addition, in conjunction with the MPAA, all trailers should be rating appropriate for the films they're accompanying. However, all trailers can't have third party brands or endorsements within them.

But perhaps the most odd new guideline is that the trailers should not include anything that encourages mobile phone use during a film. That seems far too subjective, but this guideline is aimed at specifically excluding website URLs leading the a film's official website, Twitter account or Facebook. I can probably count on one hand the amount of times I've seen anyone rush to get their phone out following a trailer just to hop on Twitter, Facebook or their mobile browser to check out any of the social media aspects of a film's promotion, so this seems very excessive. It's an odd attempt at dealing with cell phones, that's for sure.

It's important to note that these are voluntary guidelines, so it's up to movie theaters just how much they'll comply. Most of them aren't too unreasonable, and it might dull down the promotion overload of tentpoles each year. At any rate, there are seemingly far too many trailers in front of films as it is, which seems to be a more pressing issues. At my local AMC locations, there are consistently 15 to 20 minutes of trailers, and as much as I love seeing trailers on the big screen, that's a bit much. Anyway, these new guidelines effect films released after October, so we'll see what happens. What do you think of these new trailer rules?

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  • John M
    I'm guessing most theaters won't comply with these guidelines, and studios aren't likely to cut their trailers under 2 minutes. Not sure if this is the same everywhere, but on a new release my local theater usually attaches 7 trailers. Honestly, I enjoy watching movie trailers; but 7 is overkill. Maybe 3-4 trailers would be more reasonable.
  • Tyler Scruggs
    Maybe not shorter trailers, but less of them.
    • iamNotLegend
      shorter and less trailers. If you demand shorter trailers I bet they release at least 6 different trailers and if you demand less trailers they make a +5 minutes trailer
  • Nielsen700
    I don't mind this at all. Trailers give far too much away now a days.
  • CoosCoos
    Better headline would have been: NATO Makes Demands in Theater of War Seriously, I think these are reasonable requests. Trailers are getting out of hand. But in return the theaters should agree to a set limit on the number of trailers that will be shown.
  • TigerClaw305
    Its kind of silly for them to think someone will pull out a cellphone just to check on a url of a movie while in the theater. cellphone coverage is pretty crappy inside the theaters anyways. Plus I never pull out a cellphone during a movie anyways.
  • JBrotsis
    I enjoy long trailers, in fact, I prefer them. Yes, well crafted short trailers are great (first trailer for DOTPOTA) as perhaps the first released trailer for an individual movie, but then the following should be 2+ minutes. I'm just not all about trailers that are 2+ minutes and give away either: all of the story, all of the action scenes (WWZ), or all the funny scenes/lines in a movie. As for less trailers shown prior to the chosen movie in theaters, I love lots of trailers! For me, it gives me a chance to remember what all is coming out and the pleasure of rewatching trailers of movies I look most forward to seeing on the big screen (instead of on my laptop), and I'm there in the movies to see MOVIES, so show them all (especially if the first couple are for movies I don't plan on seeing). Plus, and this is may be just me, but I also love seeing everyone else's reactions to movies in theaters, as I'm more of a movie fanatic than the average movie goer. Something I think all of us commenters could relate to.
  • Brian Sleider
    Im fine with this. Too much is shown in the trailers these days.
  • grimjob
    Yes, shorter trailers, showing less of the film.
  • fazha
    Doesn't mention anything about the advertisements. Trailers don't generate direct revenue for theatres, Ads do. Shorter trailers=more room for advertisements=more revenue for theatres.
  • DreamCruise
    If even more commercials replace them, get ready for theaters to become the next Blockbuster.
  • DreamCruise
    Have the trailers be reviewed to be spoiler free. Today, a GWTW trailer would reveal he doesn't give a damn.
  • Chiroptera Exsanguination
    I agree, AMC is out of control with that shit, especially since I rarely see a new trailer or a trailer I give a damn about at all.

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