Home Entertainment Theater Owners want shorter movie trailers now dammit!

Theater Owners want shorter movie trailers now dammit!

2 min read

One of the reasons why I’m not keen on sitting at a cinema, is having to endure all that damn crap on the big screen before I can see the film I just paid money for. And while cigarette adverts that told me that I’d be drop dead sexy if I used that product have given way to alcohol adverts that tell me that I’ll be drop dead sexy if I drink that product, trailers are also there in abundance.

Now, make no mistake, I love a great trailer. I just don’t like seeing ten of them before a film starts. And apparently, I’m not the only one.

Cinema (1)

Over in the US of A, the National Association of Theater Owners wants to shave 30 seconds off of current trailers, maxing them at 2 minutes in length. While that may not sound like much, when combined into the form of Trailercon Maximus, that’s around 20 minutes of fluff that audiences have to sit through on a regular basis.

According to THR, the NATO board (Not the peacekeeping force by the way) has come up with guidelines that will give cinemas more control on how to market upcoming Hollywood films. And Hollywood is pissed off about the move to trim their trailers down by a half minute.

“My trailers are 2.5 minutes because that’s what we need to send the right message. This could be a paradigm shift. Thirty seconds is a long time,” said one studio executive who did not want to be named. Currently, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is responsible for policing these trailers, with each movie studio only allowed to have one trailer a year go over the 2.5 minute running time mark. While NATO is looking to change that, they also want films to stop marketing until four months before release with few exceptions, while the concrete release date would be required on all these trailers.

Still, these would be voluntary guidelines at the very least, prompting fears that distributors would just play more movie trailers anyway. “You can’t have one rule that applies to all films, because each film is different in how it needs to be marketed,” said another veteran film distributor.

Personally, I don’t think a theater should have more than ten minutes of fluff before a film. Granted, it’s useful when you’re running late, but it’s annoying when you’re a habitual moviegoer.

Big thanks to James Francis for the link.

Last Updated: May 29, 2013


  1. And by habitual I assume you mean that you already know that your local movie theatre is so fucking useless that they think the opening day for Iron Man 3, premiering on a public holiday, at 9am, will only require 3 ppl serving the entire fucking place so it takes 25mins to get a popcorn and soda. Thank goodness there were trailers (I’m assuming) because I only missed the entire intro (also assuming there actually was one).

    Here’s looking at you Ster Kinekor, never again you tonsils.

    Been meaning to get that one off my chest for a while… Personally I love trailers, they’re (used to be) part of the entire experience for me. Things are a bit different now with so much access to new trailers on the internet though.


  2. Justin Hess

    May 29, 2013 at 15:22

    I hope they get it. Trailers are about selling you the style and tone of the film you’ll be watching, perhaps the basic set-up of the film.

    And Hollywood trailers of late have gone far beyond that in terms of what trailers give us.

    Less is more; as in less footage shown in the trailer means more that can surprise me about the film


  3. HvR

    May 29, 2013 at 15:32

    Well it got better over the years, in 90’s we had to stare at the f&*king wild thing ostrich looking for his Cardies card for 40min.


  4. Kervyn Cloete

    May 29, 2013 at 15:44

    Am I the only one that’s not sold on this? The problem with trailers right now is not length, it’s content. There are far too many trailers giving away all of a movie’s plot points, and trust me, Hollywood can definitely still do that just as well with 2 mins as opposed to 2.5 mins.

    If this goes through, all that’s going to happen will be that we will be seeing more. More trailers, more adverts for Jameson whisky, more. And who benefits the most from this? The movie house, of course.

    So I’m not fooled for a second into believing that this is some kind of altruistic crusade on behalf of moviegoers.


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