Coming to a Theater Near You: Ads Mixed in With Movie Trailers
I used to really enjoy watching movie trailers. At some point they became more annoying than enticing to me. I think that happened when the big theater chains started to spend fifteen to twenty minutes showing trailer after trailer after trailer. Enough already, just play the darn movie. Now two of America's biggest theater chains, Cinemark and Regal, have signed on to a deal with National CineMedia that will play six minutes of commercials in addition to the trailers that play before the movie.
Great, more yadda, yadda, yadda, between me and the movie I paid to see.
Cinemark and Regal theaters will play five minutes of commercials before the movie trailers play, and another commercial before the last movie trailer plays.
Not everyone is happy about this either. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the plan "has sparked concern among Hollywood studios, which are under pressure to keep consumers interested in the theatrical experience. Execs say they want to see how the format works before speaking publicly." Of course, if the general public yawns and continues to eat their overpriced popcorn Hollywood won't care. If it makes more of us stay home, then they'll be outraged.
The chain that owns the AMC Classic Warrensburg 10 Theaters doesn't seem fond of the plan either. National CineMedia made a mistake in a call with investors and said they were negotiating with AMC to bring the concept to AMC's theaters. That prompted this response from the theater giant:
"AMC has no plan to introduce commercial advertising close to the start of a movie’s commencement at its theatres in the United States, nor does AMC envision entering into such an arrangement with NCM anytime in the foreseeable future."
What does all of this mean for us when we head to the theaters? Well, we're fairly lucky here in West Central Missouri. The Galaxy 10 in Sedalia isn't part of some media conglomerate so their customers will probably be spared the commercial onslaught. For the time being it looks like AMC's Warrensburg customers won't be bombarded with commercials either.
But here's the thing. If the plan works and customers of Cinemark and Regal theaters don't care. Commercials before and during movie trailers might become the norm. And I'll be squirming in my chair the whole time waiting for the movie to start.