Are Movie Trailers Too Long?

Apparently so, according to new guidelines established by NATO (National Association of Theater Owners, not the other NATO). New rules that plan to go into effect on October 1, albeit voluntary, appear to be a step in the right direction.

From The Hollywood Reporter:

  • Trailers can be no longer than two minutes
  • Said trailer cannot be shown for a movie more than five months before its release
  • Marketing materials for said advertised film cannot be displayed inside a theater more than four months away from the release
  • Distributors will be given two exemptions per year for trailer length and marketing time

Notice how there is nothing said for content within the trailer or how many trailers can be released for the theater for one film. I would limit it to a teaser with absolutely no footage from the film and then a one-minute well-crafted trailer that does feature parts from the film but with a 2:1 ratio of scenes from Act I to Act II respectively. That way, the occurence of spoilers is potentially lessened.

I have not worked in a movie theater but I could imagine that seeing the same exact materials day in and day out would be boring or, at the very worst, become counterproductive in terms of marketing. With these guidelines, it provides a faster change of scenery.

The two exemptions will have a lot more pressure on the film’s success. After all, nothing kills a movie faster than poor marketing. The gamble will be greater and will be a part of a film’s history. Can’t wait to see what happens.

Of course, there’s no guarantee that I will go out and see any of the films advertised. More than likely, there will be maybe about 20 films that I actually want to see. Out of those 20, I will actually go out to see 10 of them and wait for the others to come out on DVD. Then again, if I actually want to see a trailer for a movie I’m interested in, there’s YouTube and IMDB. At least then I can skip the ads for products I have no use for.

It will be a while but I’m interested to see how this plays out. What do you think?


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