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Theater owners implement new guidelines to shorten movie trailers

01.27.2014

Well, it looks like you may start seeing shorter trailers for Hollywood films. That is, if the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO) have anything to say about it. The group has spent months developing new guidelines that would shorten movie trailers, as well as other marketing techniques, having met with many of the studios in an attempt to create reasonable parameters.

Here's the rundown of the "voluntary" guidelines:

- Trailers can only be shown for a movie within five months of its release.

- Trailers can be no longer than two minutes -- 30 seconds shorter than is the norm.

- Trailers cannot be shown for a movie more than five months before its release. Nor can marketing materials be displayed inside of a theater for a film more than four months away from release.

- Distributors will be given two exemptions a year on both trailer length and marketing lead time.

- The new guidelines would apply to titles opening on or after October 1, 2014.

Of course, there are studio concerns when making this kind of implementation:

"Although the guidelines would be voluntary, studios fear that an exhibitor could cite the new policy in refusing to play a trailer that is longer than two minutes. They also worry that some theater owners will respond to the shorter time by simply running more trailers, many of which studios pay exhibitors to play."

So, does this mean we will see shorter trailers later this year? It sounds very likely, but the whole "voluntary" aspect leaves quite a bit of wiggle room. Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing less trailers ahead of a movie, rather than shorter ones. While the average moviegoer may go cuckoo for a "new" trailer, the internet has rendered that excitement a little moot, as most folks have seen all the trailers on the web long before they ever enter the theater. It's still cool to see some of them on the big screen but, more often than not, I'm just waiting for the movie to start. This new initiative may well put the kabosh on the recent "extended" trailers, such as last year's 3.5 minute FAST & FURIOUS 6 trailer, as well as a host of others. That said, I wouldn't complain of a 3.5 minute STAR WARS: EPISODE VII trailer, but that's just me.

What do you think? Should there be a limit set on trailer length as well as when marketing materials can be displayed in a theater? Let's hear it!

Source: THR

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