If you’ve been to the movies lately (and I’m assuming you have, since you’re reading a movie website), you may have noticed that the trailers before the show starts are endless. The practice is particularly egregious at AMC theaters, which tend to show at least twenty minutes of trailers before they get around to starting the movie you paid to see. If you’ve grown annoyed by this onslaught of coming attractions, you’re not alone! A new poll reveals that most moviegoers would like fewer trailers before a film, please and thank you. But will anyone listen?
I’ve come to loathe going to the movies for several reasons. The biggest offense: rude-as-hell audiences who refuse to shut the heck up during the movie. And when they’re not gabbing away, they’re checking their phone screens on full brightness. But the other movie theater experience that really irks me is the exhausting amount of movie trailers that play before the show. In my neck of the woods, AMC theaters are the only real game in town, which means I’m forced to go to them if I want to see a movie. The problem is, AMC shows at least 20 minutes of trailers before the movie – and that can seem like a lifetime, especially if the trailers are for movies that look kind of awful (which they often do!).
We’re talking between seven and eight trailers here, people – sometimes more. More often than not, by the time the barrage of trailers has come to an end, I’m ready to get up from my seat and go the hell home. I can take some solace in knowing that other moviegoers aren’t into the rock block of trailers as well, at least according to THR. Per a poll they conducted, “consumers want fewer in-theater trailers. Nearly six in 10 Americans, or 59 percent, say one to three is an ideal number.”
The poll also adds:
Only 21 percent respondents are in favor of watching four to six trailers; that number drops dramatically to 2 percent when asking about watching seven to nine trailers. Among the poll’s other findings: 5 percent would rather see no trailers at all, while 1 percent would be in favor of watching more than a dozen.
I’ve long been of the opinion that if theaters must have such lengthy pre-show entertainment, they should start it before the listed runtime. In other words, if a movie is listed as starting at 8 p.m., why not start running the 20 minutes of trailers at 7:40 p.m.? That way, the movie will start on time. But theaters don’t want to do that, of course. “We consider movie trailers to be an integral part of the overall show. The listed runtime for each feature film does not include approximately 20 minutes of this preshow material,” states AMC, AKA history’s greatest monster.
I wish I had some sort of solution here or good news for those of you like me who would like a serious cutback in trailer time. But there isn’t one, at least not for now. But perhaps if theater chains get wind of this poll they’ll start to reconsider. Or they’ll add even more trailers, just to be jerks.
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