|Fan-made Poster for Mockingjay|
The National Association of Theater Owners (NATO), which is the trade organization for American cinema operators (and is very different from that other NATO you hear about more frequently), has just released a new set of voluntary guidelines intended to standardize in-theater marketing — things like movie trailers and printed materials — across North America. Their directives will affect movies scheduled to be released starting Oct. 1, 2014; the goal is to improve the “effectiveness and efficiency” of movie marketing.
So what’s about to change? The bullet-list item that’s made the most news so far is that theater owners want trailers capped at two minutes. Only two movies per year from each distributor would be granted exemptions to let them run as long as three minutes. In addition, all advertisements, including trailers, would only be seen in the 150-day period before release (about five months), with a similar two-movie exemption.
In addition, distributors are instructed not to advertise third-party products (such as video games) in trailers for movies. So movie trailers will be just that — movie trailers, not interactive ads for all sorts of stuff — if distributors want them played by participating theaters.