The National Association of Theater Owners (NATO) are oblivious to the scourge of shitty projection and people texting during movie theaters, but they’re feeling the need to step-up and ask for shorter movie trailers. According to /Film, NATO is responding to consumer complaints about the trailers being too long and showing too much of the movie. I’ve actually clocked it, and it takes about 10-15 minutes for all of the trailers to play. Personally, I don’t mind. It gives people more time to make it to the movie without interrupting the feature. What really needs to be killed is shit like Regal Cinemas’ “Firstlook” where we’re informed about the latest garbage on ABC Family.
Hit the jump for what NATO is asking from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), which also includes a shorter window for marketing campaigns.
/Film reports that NATO’s demand for shorter trailers is two-fold. Right now, trailers can run at a maximum of 2.5 minutes with one exception per year for each studio. NATO would like to cut that number down to two minutes, although there would still be no limit on how many trailers could be played before a movie. Personally, it actually feels longer when you watch more trailers rather than a few of 2.5-minute trailers. Consumers are also complaining that trailers show too much, but as /Film points out, you can just as easily ruin a movie in two minutes as you can in two-and-a-half minutes. That’s a burden that falls on the studio, and there’s nothing NATO or audiences can do about it.
It’s possible that the MPAA might meet the request for shorter trailers, but there’s going to be far more tension when it comes to NATO’s other request for a shorter marketing window. With a few exceptions, NATO wants no marketing for films until four months before the release date. They also want the release date on every piece of marketing. In a crowded marketplace of blockbusters, and where smaller films could certainly use a bit more lead-time, the studios are less than pleased with this guideline. While I’m not a huge fan of the marketing blitz, I can understand raising awareness so that people will put movies on their radar.
While participation would be voluntary, studios are reportedly worried that theaters would refuse to show their movies if they didn’t meet this guidelines. I say studios should call NATO’s bluff. As movie tickets become more expensive, the theater-going experience becomes more wretched, and the home entertainment window becomes shorter, audiences are looking for reasons to stay home. Does NATO really think it’s in their best interest to offer fewer movies at the multiplex? And if a studio releases a poster or a trailer six months before release instead of four, is that really worth a standoff?