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Do theaters show too many trailers?

December 9, 2013

I love going to the movies. When I first started reviewing movies I went to 40 to 50 movies per year. It took a while before I got so fed up with various experiences at the theater that I cut back on what I watched in theaters so that I only watched the more interesting films. This year I may end having seen just barely over 20 films in theaters. This is not for lack of interest but because of a declining theatrical experience.

In 2012 I watched a lot of films in the last three months of the year as tends to happen most years. Nearly every film I watched had either a trailer for “Les Miserables”, or a special Regal Cinemas feature telling me about how amazing it was going to be. I almost passed on the movie in theaters entirely because by the time it was released I had been bombarded with trailers. The same thing happens with films that are delayed for some reason. “Zero Dark Thirty” was originally planned for a September 2012 release until the studios decided to delay it because some people suggested that it was trying to sway people’s views for the upcoming presidential election. By the time the film was released in late December of 2012 (January 2013 depending on the theater) I had seen the trailer so many times that I purposefully avoided the movie until I could rent it.

I realize that this is an annoyance that only affects frequent movie viewers. When I complained on Facebook in late 2012 that I had seen the Les Miserables feature so many times my friends quickly responded that they really appreciated seeing it the one time they went to the theaters that year because they would never have known about it otherwise. In the same way, I am already pretty tired of the trailers for “The Hobbit Desolation of Smaug” and I expect by the time “300 Rise of an Empire” is released I will be similarly tired of the trailer.

At times I consider showing up late to movies so that I don’t have to sit through 20 minutes of trailers. I did this when I watched “Out of the Furnace” because I knew the film wasn’t going to be crowded enough that finding a seat would be difficult. Good luck doing the same thing for “The Hunger Games Catching Fire” or “The Hobbit Desolation of Smaug.” It just isn’t likely that you will be able to get a decent seat in a larger film if you do not show up early. It is precisely because studios know that they have a captive audience in these larger films that you tend to see trailers that are revealed for the first time when you arrive.

To a lesser extent I find all the commercials shown before the trailers to be annoying enough that I sometimes consider going to Arclight exclusively for the rest of my life despite higher ticket prices. The cheap ass in me resists such an option when I have early morning films available for half price at the local Regal Cinemas.

I ask all my fellow movie bloggers and frequent movie viewers out there, do you find it tiresome to watch so many trailers every time you go to the theaters? Or do  you look forward to them knowing that it saves you from having to seek out each trailer online?


From → Opinion

  1. Feinfam permalink

    I go to very few movies in theatres so multiple views isn’t my problem. But I am there (and have paid) to see a particular type of movie and don’t like having to sit through snippets of movies I’d hate. I’d like to get rid of them all.

    • Yeah a bit annoying how they often show trailers for movies of a totally different genre. I know what you mean.

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