AMC Affirms Support for Shorter Movie Trailers

Movie Theater Interior - H 2012
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Movie Theater Interior - H 2012

The voluntary guidelines issued by the National Association of Theater Owners has sparked the ire of Hollywood studios, who say they know best how to market their films.

Giant movie circuit AMC Entertainment has reaffirmed its support of new marketing rules limiting movie trailer length to 2 minutes, which is 30 seconds shorter than is the norm.

The voluntary guidelines were issued earlier this week by the National Association of Theater Owners, sparking the ire of the Hollywood studios, who believe they know best when it comes to marketing their films. AMC has a seat on NATO's executive board and voted in favor of the changes. Contrary to a press report published Friday, AMC has not had a change of heart.

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"AMC Theatres is in full support of the voluntary NATO In-Theatre Marketing Guidelines, which at their core are about the more efficient and effective use of our industry’s marketing resources. Recently published letters, articles and commentary we’ve seen throughout the industry badly misrepresent the intent of these guidelines. As has always been our practice, this and all studio dealings will be handled directly with our distribution partners as we seek to maximize the box office performance of their films, and we expect that practice to continue," AMC said in a statement.

The guidelines also specify that a trailer cannot be shown for a movie more than five months before its release. Nor can marketing materials be displayed inside of a theater for a film more than four months away from release.

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Distributors will be given two exemptions a year on both trailer length and marketing lead time.

The guidelines apply to titles opening on or after Oct. 1.

NATO's executive board came up with the new scheme in an effort to give exhibitors more control over how Hollywood movies are marketed inside of their cinemas. Theater owners, who feel the brunt of complaints from the public, believe trailers are often too long and can give away too much of the plot.