There are actually people in this world who enjoy the trailers before the movie, and if you're one of them, I might have some bad news. On Monday, the National Association of Theatre Owners released a list of marketing guidelines and one of them is that movie trailers must be limited to two minutes. That is not enough time to finish all of your popcorn before the movie starts and then complain about it. Which is to say: this is blasphemous.
The new guidelines, which are voluntary, will apply to films coming out after Oct. 1, and include restrictions on when trailers can be shown as well. NATO wants trailers to be released no sooner than 150 days before the movie itself, and no other advertising before 120 days. Every movie distributor will get two exceptions per year, but those trailers are still limited to three minutes. So major studios like Disney are screwed — and so are fans of major franchises.
Think about it. What trailers come out months before the actual movie? Highly-anticipated blockbusters, like The Avengers franchise or Divergent. If studios agree, gone will be the days of excitedly hitting the person next to you because a brand new Hunger Games trailer is about to start.
Those are the same movies that tend to have longer trailers too, like the Captain America: The Winter Soldier trailer below.
At two minutes and 26 seconds, it would have to be shortened under these new guidelines, unless Disney made it one of the two annual exceptions. NATO could be depriving us of Chris Evans patriotically taking down an elevator full of men.
There are also pretty severe lateness implications. Shorter trailers means less time between the listed movie time and when the actual movie begins. Without that nice extended look at The Lego Movie, you could miss the opening scene of your movie because of traffic or a long line wherever you buy candy before going to the theater (guessing NATO doesn't approve of that one either).
Please NATO, don't do this. I need to see the Mockingjay trailer as soon as physically possible and I need it to be four minutes long. Studios, I'm on your side for once. Don't listen to NATO, keep pumping out those long trailers and getting our hopes up six months in advance. I need to know what I'll be watching next Labor Day, and I'm dead serious.
Image: Warner Bros.