The movie trailer business is booming, even if theatre attendance isn't

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Maybe they’ve always been lazy, but in the past couple of decades I’ve grown to really dislike movie trailers. The vast majority of them use the same stupid editing, format and sound effects all of which seem to cater to the most brain-dead possible audience member, even if the movie itself is good. Trailers are still the best way to decide if I’m interested in a movie, but they’ve become a chore, anything but a joy. Movie posters are similarly lazy, but they don’t rob you of three minutes of your life, they merely remind you that corporate media is ripe for algorithmic takeover because really a backpropagating neural network is just as original, probably more so.


See, that’s the kind of shit I’m talking about. I weep for the future.


The problem is that trailers are now much better than the movies they advertise. People know this so they settle for watching the trailer again and again, and skip being disappointed by the movie.


It’s as lazy as the traditional movie structure.


It sure show more because it’s so short and prone to trends.

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i have seen this or something like it and it is just spot on. I get excited by this trailer as if this were a real trailer. I think anyone making a short trailer for youtube to show off their film (or just show off their trailer skills) should just copy this and change up a little for copyright issues (like all good artists do). I don’t know where you get the creepy version of a popular song though.

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See, I completely love these things. It saves the need to ever go see Jurassic Park 6 or whatever, and it allows me not to be invincibly ignorant of popular culture.


And yet the vast majority of trailers are horrible. They tend to loose me the moment they do those cliche bass and stutter sound effects.

Maybe it’s because I also watch the game industry but most modern trailers just reek of cynicism to me. So much money spent to present a movie as being identical to every other movie trailer out there. If you can’t build proper intrigue than don’t waste my time with 2 minutes of actions sequences I’ve seen 2 million times now (for movies I’ll probably never watch). But then, creating a story with genuine intrigue probably involves risks, and risks are Hollywood’s cryptonite, apparently.

Edit: One approach I’ve taken is just watching a scene from said movie. At least then you’re seeing a moment that the director created, and not whatever facsimile the trailer house has put out.

Theater attendance is a pretty terrible way to judge how people actually watch movies though. I can’t count the number of films that I know people wanted to watch, but opted to wait for home rental because they didn’t want to see the film badly enough to go down to a theater and watch it.

Remember back when every other trailer used the theme from Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story?

Suddenly I’m curious just what was the last major trailer to use that, or if all this increased competition still hasn’t put a stop to it.

I am almost there with you - frankly make it a 6 min trailer and I think they’d actually kill the release entirely.

So do I conclude that (1) Studios will start trying to monetize trailers directly, (2) this is an arms race competing for dwindling theater-going crowds, or (3) both?

That video is 8 minutes, 19 seconds long. Who has the time? Is there a much shorter version that just shows the special effects and spoils the jokes?

Well, arguably a lot of trailers show so much of the movie (i.e. nearly all the really good bits) that you don’t have to watch the entire movie.

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