Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
'Kick-Ass' Creator Mark Millar Says A Hit-Girl Solo Movie Was Once In The Works With 'The Raid' Director Gareth Evans 'Kick-Ass' Creator Mark Millar Says A Hit-Girl Solo Movie Was Once In The Works With 'The Raid' Director Gareth Evans Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon & Leslie Jones To Lead Paul Feig's 'Ghostbusters' Reboot Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon & Leslie Jones To Lead Paul Feig's 'Ghostbusters' Reboot 30 Films You Forgot Were Oscar Winners 30 Films You Forgot Were Oscar Winners Review: Documentary 'Night Will Fall' Is A Powerful Reminder Of The Horrors Of The Holocaust Review: Documentary 'Night Will Fall' Is A Powerful Reminder Of The Horrors Of The Holocaust Harvey Weinstein Explains What Happened With 'Grace Of Monaco,' Says He Was Right About 'Snowpiercer' Harvey Weinstein Explains What Happened With 'Grace Of Monaco,' Says He Was Right About 'Snowpiercer' Harvey Weinstein Says Quentin Tarantino Has Changed The Last Chapter Of 'The Hateful Eight' Harvey Weinstein Says Quentin Tarantino Has Changed The Last Chapter Of 'The Hateful Eight' Sundance Review: ‘Slow West’ Starring Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee & Ben Mendelsohn Sundance Review: ‘Slow West’ Starring Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee & Ben Mendelsohn Sundance: Keanu Reeves Opens The Door To Trouble In Teaser Trailer For Eli Roth's 'Knock Knock' Sundance: Keanu Reeves Opens The Door To Trouble In Teaser Trailer For Eli Roth's 'Knock Knock' Watch: 8-Minute Video Essay Argues Steve McQueen's 'Shame' Is Actually A Critique Of The Modern Metropolis Watch: 8-Minute Video Essay Argues Steve McQueen's 'Shame' Is Actually A Critique Of The Modern Metropolis Watch: The Tampon Scene From 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' You Won't See In The Movie Recreated With 'The Sims' Watch: The Tampon Scene From 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' You Won't See In The Movie Recreated With 'The Sims' The 10 Best Films Of 2004 The 10 Best Films Of 2004 'Death Proof' Star Zoe Bell Leads Latest Additions To Quentin Tarantino's 'Hateful Eight' As Filming Begins 'Death Proof' Star Zoe Bell Leads Latest Additions To Quentin Tarantino's 'Hateful Eight' As Filming Begins Watch: 'Saturday Night Live' Sketch 'Fanatic' Written & Directed By Paul Thomas Anderson And Starring Ben Affleck Watch: 'Saturday Night Live' Sketch 'Fanatic' Written & Directed By Paul Thomas Anderson And Starring Ben Affleck First Look: Leonardo DiCaprio Gets Grimy In Alejandro González Iñárritu's 'The Revenant' First Look: Leonardo DiCaprio Gets Grimy In Alejandro González Iñárritu's 'The Revenant' "Carry Bolt Cutters Everywhere": Werner Herzog Has 24 Amazing Pieces Of Advice "Carry Bolt Cutters Everywhere": Werner Herzog Has 24 Amazing Pieces Of Advice The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki Christopher Nolan Says His Howard Hughes Film Is Dead, But He'd Still Like To Do A Bond Film At Some Point Christopher Nolan Says His Howard Hughes Film Is Dead, But He'd Still Like To Do A Bond Film At Some Point

Theatre Owners Push Studios For 2-Minute Limit On Movie Trailers

The Playlist By Ben Brock | The Playlist January 28, 2014 at 11:04AM

Reader, I went to see a movie over the weekend, and before it I saw a trailer for a film that shall remain nameless.* It was an entirely blameless trailer for 90 seconds, during which it sketched an arc, introduced some characters, and looked pretty. Then, just as it was ending, it didn't, and instead went on for another baffling minute, entirely switching gears and throwing the audience into utter confusion. This, many people find, is an increasingly common experience: trailers are becoming too long, giving away too much and stuffing in too many extraneous and confusing elements.
1
Movie Trailer Approval

(This rant has been rated APPROVED for nerds who like to complain about movie theatre conditions.)

Reader, I went to see a movie over the weekend, and before it I saw a trailer for a film that shall remain nameless.* It was an entirely blameless trailer for 90 seconds, during which it sketched an arc, introduced some characters, and looked pretty. Then, just as it was ending, it didn't, and instead went on for another baffling minute, entirely switching gears and throwing the audience into utter confusion. This, many people find, is an increasingly common experience: trailers are becoming too long, giving away too much and stuffing in too many extraneous and confusing elements.

Well, in good news for those of us who care, that may start changing, with the news (via THR) that the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO, but not that NATO, which will only get involved if the situation really goes downhill) has issued a set of voluntary guidelines for its theatres, limiting trailers to two minutes long. Two minutes was the standard run-time for a trailer until pretty recently, but over the past few years blockbusters have pushed it into the 2:30 range and beyond, allowing for more plot details and, usually, a dislocated and confusing quip at the very end that doesn't actually make sense to anyone who hasn't yet seen the movie.

NATO says that from October, theaters can choose to impose this limit and ask for shorter trailers: each distributor will be allowed two exceptions annually, if they choose to use them, so don't expect the absolute mega-blockbusters to necessarily abide by these rules. Indeed, distributors could yet wreck them altogether by not playing nice with the theaters, but they had significant input in the planning stages so hopefully everyone's on board.

The guidelines also regulate how long before a release date trailers can appear, setting it at five months, which is also something that's been slipping, and it will be nice to not have to see teasers for Christmas movies in May (but again, exceptions will apply). Assuming it all holds together, though, this looks like a good move. One more thing they should look at, though. Is it just me, or did it used to be that you had a good few seconds of blackness between each trailer, to cleanse the palate? Now, they blend near-seamlessly into each other, and you can't readjust to each one in time. Get on it, NATO.

*Fine, it was “A Winter's Tale.” Can anyone tell me what the hell that was all about? 

This article is related to: Film Trailers


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates