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Movie Trailers Too Long? NATO Declares War on Movie Trailers and Spoilers; Studios Lob Man of Steel at Them

By Tony Sokol | May 30, 2013 12:50 AM EDT

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Movie Trailers Too Long? Theater owners say they’re getting complaints from audiences that movie trailers are too long and give away too much. Hollywood responded by booking a three minute epic movie trailer for the upcoming superhero blockbuster-to-be “Man of Steel.”

The National Association of Theater Owners, the other NATO, wants to limit the length of movie trailers to two minutes. Thirty seconds shorter than the current MPAA-set standard time limit for trailers. Theater owners say they have been besieged with complaints about the lengths of trailers and the spoilers in them from popcorn-buyers across the country. The National Association of Theater Owners also want to limit movie advertising to a four-month pre-release window.

Film distributors countered that this initiative is driven by money. They suspect the chains want to squeeze more revenue out of pre-roll programming. Studio sources in media reports expressed concerned that theater owners might want shorter trailers so they can show more trailers, or in-house advertising or other paid advertising. Theater owners are paid by the trailer, not by the minute.

The studios also believe that shortening the trailers and limiting the time frame hurts how they market the films. One studio executive told The Hollywood Reporter "My trailers are 2.5 minutes because that's what we need to send the right message. This could be a paradigm shift. Thirty seconds is a long time."

A film distribution executive told the media that “Two-minute trailers might sometimes make sense.” But different movies have different marketing needs. Limiting the length of timing of some trailers would hurt certain movies. Some movies take more than two minutes to explain. Some movies don’t have a good companion film to run a trailer alongside within four months of the movie’s release.

The majority of the major studios pay millions every year for trailer placement with select theater chains. Others, including the Disney studio, do not. Not every theater charges for trailer. The board of NATO has unanimously backed the shorter trailer initiative. Two of the seven major studios have already rejected the new guidelines.

Tagged :  world news, movie, trailers, too, long, NATO, hollywood

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