New Guidelines for Movie Trailers

People are tired of sitting through 20 minutes of movie trailers before a film. It’s about time that the National Association of Theater Owners are enacting new guidelines that call for the shortening of trailers.

While waiting for Martin Scorsese’s 2:59 film, The Wolf of Wall Street to start, I had to see through nearly a half hour of previews. I’m sorry but if I’m already sitting through a 3 hour movie, I don’t want to sit much longer than that.

The bad news is that the new guidelines won’t be in effect until October 1, 2014.

The changes:

The guidelines also specify that a trailer 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.

Since teasers are trailers, this means studios will have to be very picky about which films they want exceptions for. I’m guessing Disney will focus on Avengers 2: Age of Ultron and Star Wars: Episode 7 to be their exceptions, rather than use it on an animated film. The teaser trailer for the latter will be the trailer that everyone will be looking forward to by the end of the year.

Whether the theater owners will go with lesser trailers screening prior to a movie remains to be seen. The old saying “Less is more” certainly applies to trailers before a feature film.