Long Movie Trailers Are Ruining The Movie-Going Experience

Long Movie Trailers Are Ruining The Movie-Going Experience

How much is too much?

Movie trailers have become an important part of film marketing. It’s all tethered in with the cinematic experience. What makes movie trailers so valuable is building up the anticipation and excitement with a targeted audience, which, hopefully, translates into a successful opening weekend. The first movie trailer premiered in 1913 for the film The Pleasure Seeker. The trailer comes in at a whopping 15 seconds, which isn't long enough to find out anything about a movie. But I am sure the trailer sparked some curiosity with film audiences. Fast-forward to 2017, and the length of an average movie trailer is too long, and it's ruining the movie-going experience. At least there are solutions to the problem, or audiences would be stuck with super long trailers that are annoying and give away too much information.

How much is too much.

Film trailers hit a peak in between 1980-1995 when the film industry saw a surge of action movies. Back then, the standard length of a trailer maxed out at two minutes. Studios knew how to utilize just enough content and time to garner audience interest in the hopes they buy movie tickets on the film's release date. However, over the past 20 years, it seems movie trailers have become longer, thus giving way more information than it should to the audience. Currently, the standard movie trailer is three minutes long, with red band trailers (which tend to feature graphic violence, harsh language, drug use, and nudity) reaching up to five minutes.

How can anyone savor the impact of a plot climax if you’ve already seen the most important elements in a trailer? For a first time viewing, the less you know, the better. Discovering the story, characters, and plot twist add to the movie-going experience. Or you get the opposite situation – you view a full three-minute trailer and still have no idea what you just watched!

Longer trailers are taking over

Take the red band trailer for Edge of Seventeen as an example.

From watching the almost five-minute red band trailer, here’s what you’ll gather: Nadine (Hailee Steinfield) is 17 years old and has hit rock bottom. She’s doing poorly in school, has a crappy relationship with her family, and is virtually ignored by her high-school crush. She’s a foul-mouthed, neurotic teenager on the edge of adulthood.

The trailer divulges everything you can expect to see in the movie. I know because I've seen Edge of Seventeen in its entirety. I could predict everything that was going to happen, thanks to that extra long trailer. In the end, organizing a trip to the theaters for Edge of Seventeen, felt like a waste of time.

Another example is the trailer for 2016s The Huntsman: Winters War, a prequel to the 2012 film, Snow White and The Huntsman.

After watching the movie, and then, doubling back to look at the trailer – not only is the trailer too long (at 2:40), it's deceptive. Specific parts of the trailer that I was excited to see in the film weren’t included.Then there is the movie tagline, “Relive the story before Snow White.” This is the story the trailer promotes, but once you see the film, it goes in an entirely different direction which is unfair to the anticipating audience.

So, what’s the solution?

The solutions are simple. For starters, do away with red band trailers. If studios want their targeted audience to know about explicit scenes or explicit language, encourage them to research MPAA ratings. Every film has a rating, and the wording present inside the rating box provides relevant information about the movies you choose to watch.

Next, shorten these trailers to 2:30 seconds or less. Short trailers will hopefully encourage studios to get more creative with the marketing and how to be resourceful with the footage they choose to use.

Movie trailers should be enticing, timely, and the reason audiences' flock to the movies. All the unnecessary additions to new trailers are a real buzzkill on the whole movie-going experience. It's time for studios to give movie fans more credit instead of assuming people are too stupid to decipher what they are watching. The less the audience knows, the better.

So my message for Hollywood is: don’t ruin it by overdoing it.

The trailer for the 2017 science-fiction film Life is a good example of a trailer that uses footage, time, and content just right. Take a look:

Cover Image Credit: Preview

Popular Right Now

5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.

Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

8 Old Katelyn Tarver Songs You Probably Haven't Heard

None of her new songs will ever go as hard as "Chasing Echoes" and that's a fact.


Years ago, I found (through iTunes recommendations) a pretty cool female artist. Later found out she was on "Big Time Rush", and then I found out she had some new songs out. I decided to give her new songs a listen, and they're good. However, I prefer some of her older stuff, which sadly isn't on Spotify. Fortunately, YouTube exists, and I'm here to share the best ones.

1. "Wonderful Crazy"

This is just a fun, upbeat song for when you're having a good day. Would recommend playing in your car with the windows rolled down.

2. "Rain"

I have a very specific memory of a time when this song blessed my life, but for all intents and purposes, it is a beautiful and happy song.

3. "I'll Make It Real"

This is a beautiful song with a wonderful message about staying true to yourself. I used to listen to it on the way to school every day my senior year of high school.

4. "Something In Me"

Featured in the greatest show of all time, "South of Nowhere" season 1 episode 6. A very relatable breakup mood.

5. "Love Alone"

This is definitely the second-hardest-hitting song she's ever released. The fact that this is not on Spotify or even iTunes anymore is just not fair.

6. "Favorite Girl"

This one's cute and upbeat, a definite crush mood. Not on the same level as "Love Alone", but it's still underrated.

7. "Closer to My Heart"

Another cute love song. I'll tie it with "Everything" for cutest love song on her first album. Highly recommend both.

8. "Chasing Echoes"

Facts are facts and the facts are that Katelyn Tarver's new stuff could never go as hard as "Chasing Echoes". I can't even begin to explain how deeply these lyrics cut through me when I was fifteen. Even now, this song can take me all the way back. She is robbing us by not making this available on streaming services (or even to purchase). Katelyn, bring this song back, I am begging you.

Anyway, I'm still enjoying the new stuff and am excited to see what's next.

Related Content

Facebook Comments