Feature Trailer Trash

Are previews ruining our movie-going experience? Movies.ie investigates the case of the “Man Who Knew Too Much”.

As an avid cinema goer obviously the main reason for a trip to the flicks is always the film itself however there is no denying the enduring charm of the trailer.

A stable of the film going experiences, the trailer has become an increasingly important factor for audiences and studios alike. Obviously the trailers main purpose is to attract audiences to the film by using images, lines, clips that are usually the most exciting, funny or memorable, however is this backfiring?

Recently, and especially online, we’ve all noticed an abundance of trailers for the one film in a variety of forms: red band, yellow, green (all the colours of the rainbow!), TV spots etc. But are they revealing too much?

Don’t misunderstand, economically speaking (i.e. bums in seats), trailers do their job. I’m sure that I’m not the only one who has felt that some trailers have spoiled the film by revealing too much? I would argue that audiences are becoming underwhelmed by what they are seeing on the big screen because they have already seen the films big money shot or heard the punchline from its best jokes months in advance from it’s trailers. It’s completely understandable that studios and filmmakers alike will want to put their best foot forward as careers can be made or ended on some of these releases but I urge them to refrain from showing their all of their best work and taking away from the sense of excitement, expectation and surprise.


There’s no doubt that it’s becoming harder and harder to watch a film in the cinema with a 100% blank slate. We are living in a media saturated environment and are constantly bombarded with reviews, interviews and marketing campaigns.

Herein lies an idea of mine, which has arguably been supported by the global box office success of J.J Abrams Cloverfield, that the best trailers suggest a little but don’t show too much. I mean how different would Alien have been received if it was released nowadays? I’m sure the famous chest buster scene would be included in a red band trailer.

Now we all know that the big surprise of Cloverfield wasn’t that surprising after all but arguably the film will be remembered more for its marketing campaign and trailers rather than the film itself (although it was very enjoyable). Here’s hoping that studio marketing departments were paying attention. By holding back the big reveal and trusting that their prospective audiences don’t in fact have the attention span of a monkey the film has grossed so far $170,533,544 worldwide.


So what are your thoughts? Are you annoyed by some trailers ruining your movie going experience or are you happy to see the best bits before the film?