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Theater Owners Push for Shorter Movie Trailers

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- The National Association of Theater Owners thinks movie trailers are too long and often give away too much of the plot, according to The Hollywood Reporter, and they’re pushing for new marketing rules that would include limiting the length of a trailer to two minutes, 30 seconds shorter than the current practice.

The association says many movie theaters currently play as many as eight trailers before the feature presentation, and that can add up to almost 20 minutes. And that’s on top of in-house advertising. The trade paper reports theater owners believe the new trailer guidelines would create a more pleasant experience for moviegoers and as a result, boost ticket sales.

The movie studios aren’t happy with the plan. One unidentified movie executive tells The Hollywood Reporter, “My trailers are two-and-a-half minutes long because that’s what we need to send the right message. This could be a paradigm shift. Thirty seconds is a long time.”

Another veteran film distributor remarked, “You can’t have one rule that applies to all films, because each film is different in how it needs to be marketed.”

Although the guidelines would be voluntary, studios executives fear theater owners might use the new rules as an excuse not to run longer trailers. They also worry that theater owners will exploit the proposed guidelines to cram in even more trailers, which the studios pay them to run.

Studios currently follow the Motion Picture Association of America’s voluntary guidelines, which limit a trailer to two minutes, thirty seconds. Each studio is granted one exception per year. For example the Warner Bros. Pictures trailer for Man of Steel, which debuts next month, runs three minutes.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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