Theater Owners Tell Hollywood Studios to Shorten Movie Trailers or Risk Receiving Another Strongly Worded Letter

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bill-swift - January 28, 2014

Look out, Hollywood fat cats, because NATO is gunning for you.

No, not that NATO. The National Association of Theater Owners. They just released new guidelines insisting trailers be no longer than two minutes. Furthermore, trailers are to be shown no more than five months prior to the release of the film, and the additional in-theater promotional materials can be displayed no more than four months before a film's release.

The change is necessary, NATO says, because they are sick and tired of taking all the blame from customers who are fed up with the 20 minutes of advertisements before every film. It's time studios stop the madness and make trailers shorter.

But hey, NATO aren't total hard-asses. They have admitted that they will allow each studio two exemptions per year...and also that, you know, this is all entirely voluntary.

Oh that's right. Entirely voluntary. The theater owners can't actually force the studios to make the trailers shorter than the current industry-standard of two and a half minutes. All they can do is threaten to not play them. But of course, if they did that they would lose a key source of revenue—because yeah, theaters get paid to run certain trailers. And in fact, some industry people fear the NATO folks are just out to earn even more money on trailers. After all, if the trailers are shorter, theaters can run more of them and collect even larger checks.

So are the new NATO guidelines likely to result in shorter trailers? Who knows. But a lot of debate is about to ensue.

Here is the more important question: what do you think, dear internet? Are movie trailers too long, just right, or not long enough? By all means, weigh in. You are the boss.


Tagged in: movies ,

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