Trailers are ruining movies
By Daniel Bettridge
The latest trailer for The Dark Knight Rises landed online yesterday. It’s another action packed preview of Christopher Nolan’s Bat threequel; a 90 second teaser that’s understandably whipped fans into a frenzy ahead of the film’s release. It’s also another example of how marketing is ruining movies.
I mean, is it just me or do trailers spoil the cinema experience? It seems that since the advent of the internet the movie marketing machine has been falling over itself to feed our insatiable appetite for spoilers, set photos, clips, trailers and sneak peaks.
They are of course only doing their job, but the problem is in the weeks, months and sometimes years that lead up to the release of a much-anticipated movie, it sometimes feels like we’ve seen most of the film before we’ve even set foot in the cinema.
Modern trailers in particular are guilty of revealing too much. Today it seems that more effort is made to entice us into cinemas rather than entertain us once we get there and so rather than tease the action, trailers seem to showcase their most stunning scenes before we’ve even set foot in the auditorium.
"It’s even worse in comedies where producers seemingly cram all the best gags into their various TV spots"
As a result it can sometimes feel like the wow factor has been stripped out of cinema, that the special effects, action sequences and set designs that would once leave us agape are now old hat by the time we get to experience them on the big screen. It’s even worse in comedies where producers seemingly cram all the best gags into their various TV spots in an effort to separate cinemagoers from their ticket money.
But the problem is that even if the joke was funny first time around – which is a long shot, especially if you’re watching an Adam Sandler movie – then by the time you see it in the cinema for the umpteenth time it’s lost all of its impact.
There are some films that go even further. For example, just a few seconds into the recent trailer for innovative horror Cabin In The woods audiences were shown that the movie wasn’t a typical slasher but a sci-fi spin on the well worn genre; a spoiler that ruined the movie for some.
"It’s difficult to be truly excited about a movie you’ve seen trailed a thousand times."
Of course the easy answer would be for us all to stop watching trailers. But we can’t help it can we? It’s human nature, like sneaking a glimpse at your Christmas presents ahead of the big day. But like unwrapping the arctic Action Man figure you already knew you had, it’s difficult to be truly excited about a movie you’ve seen trailed a thousand times, when it finally reaches theatres.
So perhaps it’s up to the studios themselves to show some self-restraint and stop cramming their trailers with the best bits. After all they’re meant to be luring us into theatres, but if they keep going down this path they’ll soon be no point going to the pictures at all.
So what’s your verdict? Are trailers revealing too much of movies? Let us know in the comments section below or join in the debate on Twitter with the #socialvoices hashtag.
Daniel Bettridge is a pop culture junkie. A telly addict and film fan who can be found on Twitter under the moniker @danielbettridge.
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