Fight brewing between film studios and theater owners over length of movie trailers

Jun 12, 2013

Do you love watching movie trailers or are too lengthy?

On average, movie trailers are about 2 minutes and 30 seconds long. If the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO) has its way, previews will start clocking in at just 2 minutes. Theater owners say they’ve been getting an earful from viewers telling them that trailers are too lengthy and give too much of the plot away. But Hollywood studios, which rely primarily on trailers to attract viewers, are none too happy about the proposed change.

“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,” an unnamed studio executive told the Hollywood Reporter.

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to trailer lengths. Right now, studios follow marketing guidelines suggested by the Motion Picture Association of America, which puts a 2.5-minute restriction on them.  

Pamela McClintock, reporter at the Hollywood Reporter

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