The National Association of Theater Owners released a new set of rules on Monday, Jan. 27, requiring production companies to limit the running time of their respective trailers. The rules themselves are described as “voluntary guidelines” and will go into effect Oct. 1, 2014.
The new policy states that trailers for films must be limited to a two-minute running time. The trailers should also not be released until five months before the films’ release date.
The organization is giving a two-movie allowance to all production companies per year.
Any physical promotional material that would be on display at the theaters has also been affected. NATO limited the displays to only being allowed within four months of the release date.
Judging from the reactions of the public around the Internet, many people do not have a problem with the length of trailers, but the content. A common complaint is that trailers reveal too much of the plot, so the movie is not worth seeing.
Others agree with the new guidelines, saying too much time is taken up before the feature film begins at a theater.
Trailers are meant to get people excited for upcoming movies, but some say they have begun to detract from the experience of the movie itself. Studios should take a hint from marketing strategies for films like “Inception” or “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” They do not reveal much, but get the viewer excited about the release.
It should be noted that the guidelines exist purely within the theaters and do not mention other forms of distribution for the trailers. They are also voluntary, so whether or not the public will be viewing shorter trailers in October remains to be seen.
The press release from NATO detailing the new guidelines can be found at: