Wednesday, October 21, 2015




Discussion Post: Why are Previews Giving Away the Full Film


 This summer, a friend and I went to see the movie Spy in the theater. We sat down a few minutes before the movie started, just in time to see the previews. The first one was for the movie Trainwreck, starring the amazing Amy Schumer. I watched excitedly for the first minute or so. I absolutely adore Amy Schumer and this was the first time I had seen anything for her movie. After a minute, though, I became annoyed. I was already sold, why was this preview pretty much laying out the entire film? I turned to my friend and whispered, "I feel like we are literally watching this film right now."

A few weeks ago I read an article about this very subject (an article I was going to attach, but cannot now seem to find) that stated that audiences WANT the long previews that practically give away the story. It talked about test groups that chose the previews that gave the most information. The article talked about a couple different films, but one summer film in particular: Jurassic World and its preview showing the raptors running alongside Chris Pratt, which is a scene that doesn't happen until very late in the film. This seriously annoys me. When you see a certain scene in a preview, you tend to wait for it to happen in the film. So when it doesn't happen until the third act, you begin to realize how much of the film its own preview spoiled for you.

I can tell almost immediately whether or not I want to see a film. Yes, I enjoy a brief preview that gives me a brief synopsis of a film. I'll even read a review or two before deciding to see it in the theater, but I am LESS likely to see a film if the preview has laid out the entire story for me. For example, the newest Meryl Streep film, Ricky and the Flash's preview shows Meryl singing at her daughter's wedding. The entire film is about a mom trying to reconnect with her daughter. Gee, if she is singing at her wedding, I'm going to say that she is probably successful. I know exactly what happens in the film because of the preview. Why do I need to see the movie now? I totally 100% know how it ends. I bet that scene from the preview is in the last 2-5 minutes of the film. The Intern's latest preview shows the entire office clapping for Robert DeNiro's character. What are the odds that that is one of the very last scenes of the film (pretty high, I'm betting).

I get it. With video on demand, Netflix, and Redbox all getting movies mere months after theaters, it doesn't seem pressing to see a movie in the theater. I'm a huge movie geek (you probably guessed that by my blog name), but I rarely see movies in the theater. Movie tickets are ridiculously expensive, snacks even more so, people are douchebags who can't be off their phones for *gasp* a full two hours. Studios believe (and have apparently even tested) that if they give away the story, people will be more likely to see their films, but I disagree. I go watch films to be entertained, and if I know what is going to happen, I'm not entertained--I'm waiting. I want movie to surprise me.

It's a thin line. People aren't going to go see a movie they know nothing about, but, in my humble opinion, they also aren't going to go see a movie if they know TOO much. People were going to go see Jurassic World this summer. Period. Because dinosaurs. And Chris Pratt. The preview with the raptors wasn't the swaying factor. If anything, audiences felt ripped off when they realized how late in the film that scene occurred. Its preview didn't hurt it because the film was always going to be huge. I think the films that are hurt the most by revealing too much are the littler films--which are also the films that need to give information because otherwise the general public won't know what its about. It's a Catch-22.

What all this rambling boils down to is this: I wish previews would give just the basic information: who's in the film and what is it about. I don't want scenes from the second or third acts of the film. And for God's sake: Stop showing scenes from the last 5 minutes!

What do you think? Do you want previews to give you a full picture of the film so you know exactly what you're going to see, or do you like for films to have some surprises? Sound off below!


10 comments:

  1. Yeah, some trailers show too much, but there are good ones out there. Star Wars for example has 3 trailers now. 2 teasers and one trailer, actually. But we still don't really know what the movie is about. It doesn't give too much away. :)

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    1. You're right. Star Wars is definitely the perfect example of giving just enough information to make us interested without giving away too much. I can't wait to see it!!

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  2. i felt that part of it is over promoting too. Thee used to be just one movie trailer, now days, versions of the same movie trailor shwo different parts of the movie. When the minions movie came out in summer, there were tons of different movie trailers going around, they spammed us with these for over two months and when people saw the movie they ended up highly disapointed because there ws nothing truly worth watching that they hadn't already seen on the movie previews. When i went to see hotel transilvania with my husband upon release weekend, i too felt dissapointed for the same reason. the movie was funny, but a lot had been given away on the previews. i think the thurst of money is making film producers over promote and this is harming how the people review and feel about the movies in the end.

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    1. Comedies are the worst for trailers. The studios want to show you how funny the movie is, but if you already know the punchline before you sit down, you're not going to be nearly as entertained. Great point about the multiple trailers, too. You're absolutely right. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. I completely agree! I really hate feeling like I'm watching the whole film in a preview because it makes me want to see it in theaters even less. I actually love seeing movies in theaters - just the atmosphere of it - but yeah, tickets are expensive and I can't see everything, so give me a movie that looks good but doesn't give away TOO much of what happens beyond the basic plot/idea.

    -Lauren
    www.letsgetbeyondtolerance.blogspot.com

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    1. I used to love the theater...before cell phones. I just cannot deal with people who have to look at their screens every 2 minutes. I like to see certain "big-screen movies" in the theater, but I'll take my cozy home over the theater any day. Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. I agree. I can immediately think of one or two right off the top of my head where the preview gave away late story details. So irritating! I think the new Star Wars movie is an example of them trying NOT to give too much away- I was just reading an article about that, how they're leaving some things (and certain people) out of the preview. But even there, there's a scene or two where you know something big is happening, just because of a person's reaction. So yeah...

    And yes to people on their phones. Good grief get a life, you can't go two hours w/o your phone? :)

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    1. Stars Wars is doing a great job of keeping things under wraps...because they can. Because it's Star Wars and will definitely make money. Even if they didn't even have trailers. But I do wish that other studios would take their lead. Even if I didn't know anything about Star Wars, I would definitely be more intrigued by its previews than I am those that are just, like: and then this is going to happen...and this is how it will end.

      Cell phones. Ugh. Just ugh.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. Honestly, because people are so afraid to take a chance. I read an article that said the reason why we keep seeing the same movies over and over is because people WANT to see the same thing over and over. They're not going to have to think or engage in something. People want to be spoonfed their entertainment. What will make them see the movie? Knowing what is going to happen. It is safe, it isn't going to take a lot of brain power to see it, and the general audience is happy to just sit there, knowing what is going to happen.

    /rant

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    1. Preach, sister! I read something similar...maybe even the same article. About remakes, right? How the reason why there are so many is because studios are afraid to try something new--because audiences usually go the safe route. Frankly, the dumbing down of society as a whole is so frightening to me. I'm just going to stop typing now because the rant I'm starting to type is just exhausting...and it's almost my bedtime. Thanks for stopping by!

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Hello, there! Thanks for taking the time to comment. I read each and every one and will do my best to respond--usually on your blog instead of on mine. I will, however, always answer direct questions. Due to serious time restraints, this blog is now an award free zone, but I appreciate the thought!