So, you sit down in a crowded theater for a highly anticipated film event with your friends, your significant other, or by yourself (probably). The lights dim, the sound waves explode around you, and your clothes vibrate on your skin. The light from the screen paints the walls across the entire theater, and you know it’s now time for some trailers.
The green or red warning banner appears and the first trailer plays through, and it’s the one you’ve been anticipating since you’ve read about it premiering before this movie. You interlock your fingers and put them to your chin as you lean on the edge of your seat, AND… You’ve seen the entire f*cking movie. WTF?! Well, your Dad and theater owners have agreed on something. Via Newsarama:
The National Association of Theatre Owners, a trade organization representing more than 31,000 movie screens in all 50 states, and additional theaters in 78 countries, released Monday final voluntary “in-theater marketing guidelines” for movie theaters in North America. According to NATO, the guidelines are designed to “maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of the industry’s marketing efforts and to promote competition.
A whole lot of copy and paste from the beginners marketing book I bought for $350 in college, but do go on:
The new guidelines call for (or because they’re voluntary, suggest) a maximum trailer length of two minutes; and marketing lead-time is limited to 150 days/5months prior to release date for trailers and 120 days/4 months for all other in-theatre marketing materials (i.e. lobby posters, stands, etc.)
Basically, viewers know the entire movie before they see it. I try to limit my following of a film that I really want to see after I’m interested. The Interstellar teaser trailer did exactly what most standard trailers should strive to accomplish. It gave you a taste of the film, but left out 99% of the best parts as to build up the anticipation to see it. Trailers don’t do that anymore. They give you the entire movie in 3 minutes, and leaves you with little or no surprise.
The new guidelines take effect on October 1st, and because they’re voluntary distributors like Disney and 20th Century Fox aren’t required to follow them, but it appears NATO is issuing the guidelines with the assumption the distributors will want to stay in good graces with exhibitors that are members of NATO.
Who knows how this will turn out, I mean, they could obey, and release trimmed trailers that only hint at the plot, but then bro’s would say, “That trailer totally sucked, bruh! It didn’t show nothin, yo! Da hell, bruh?!” and backfire. Or, studios can continue to reveal too much in the trailers, like this movie a few decades ago.
On second thought, how will that end!? The voice-over during the rioters being disposed of by garbage trucks has me utterly baffled. Is Soylent Green made of grass? I KNEW IT.