New Theater Guidelines Call For Shorter Trailers


If you are someone who just loves your long, intricate, plot-spoiling trailers, then you’re going to have go somewhere other than a movie-theatre to get your fix. The film industry’s very own NATO (that’s National Association of Theater Owners) recently released a set of guidelines aiming, among other things, to limit the length of trailers to no more than two minutes apiece. That’s right: no more five minute trailers telling you everything you never wanted to know about 300: Rise of an Empire.

NATO’s voluntary guidelines are aimed at giving theater owners greater control over trailers shown in their cinemas, in an effort to stem the tide of audience annoyance and discomfort. The guidelines also call for no trailers to be shown more than five months before a film’s release. The hope seems to be that when theaters decide to limit trailer length, the studios will have to follow suit and produce shorter trailers for in-theater exhibition. Whether or not this will calm audience ire over the number of trailers we have to sit through remains to be seen.

There’s also an added concern now that this move will not actually shorten the length of time devoted to trailers, but simply allow theaters to show more of them. That fifteen or twenty minutes of trailers before a film might stay the same, and be just as annoying.

Shortening trailers for theater use does not seem like a bad thing, as far as I’m concerned. There are times when I feel like I’ve already seen the best bits of a film via the trailers, and wind up not caring all that much about the final product. But I’d also prefer a limit on the number of obnoxious ads for products that I’m subjected to prior to a movie. I’m far more interested in seeing a five minute trailer for The Zero Theorem than I am in Coke Zero.

What do you think about NATO’s guidelines? Is shortening film trailers necessary, or does it make no difference now? Let us know in the comments.