Theater Owners Want Shorter Trailers Without Links To Online Content

Last summer, the National Association of Theater Owners revealed they'd soon release a new set of guidelines to movie studios in regards to in theatrical marketing. The highlight of that tease was a push for all trailers to be under two minutes long. Well, the full list of guidelines has now been released and besides the shorter trailers, theaters also don't want studios to be able to advertise movies more than 150 days away from release and they don't want any kind of online cross promotion in the trailers. They would, however, allow two exemptions per studio per year. Read more below.

Deadline wrote about the new "voluntary in-theater marketing guidelines" released by the National Association of Theater Owners. They don't have a link to the full list, but here are the major ones revealed:

  • All movie trailers under two minutes.
  • Trailers shouldn't run more than 150 days in advance.
  • Other material shouldn't be displayed more than 120 days in advance.
  • Theaters would have two exemptions to those above three points, but even the exempt trailers can't be over 3 minutes.
  • Any behind the scenes footage or extended trailers would have to be individually negotiated.
  • Trailers will be rating appropriate to the feature they're playing with.
  • Trailer can't have "third party brands or endorsements."
  • Trailers can't include anything that "encourages mobile phone use during the show," such as Internet URLs.
  • The standards should apply to films released after October.
  • What's unclear is how strict theaters will be about these guidelines. Will they simply not run trailers that are released too early, are too long, or have some kind of social media connection? Don't all trailers now have a Twitter link or something at the end?

    The word "voluntary" is key here. It suggests each theater can choose to either follow, or not follow these guidelines at its discretion. If theaters do adopt these guidelines on a mass scale, however, we'll see a major change in how movies are marketed. No more trailers a year in advance. No more websites at the end. And no more long, epic cuts.

    What do you think?