The last time I went to the movie theater it was to watch Disney’s Wreck It Ralph (excellent movie by the way). As I was settling into my seat, the lights in the room dimmed, signaling the start of the movie.
Hold that thought.
Let’s show you some movie trailers!
Why exactly do movie theaters subject its audience to nearly 20 minutes of advertisement before every show? Well, let’s list them out:
- They get paid by movie studios to show them
- It helps build excitement for future releases so that people continue to return to their venue
- Netflix is stealing their customers
- Not enough people are paying $20 for popcorn
As I was watching through the trailers that day, I discovered that I had already seen most of them online. Whether from Youtube, a blog post, Twitter, or Facebook, there are so many channels for me to discover trailers before I even see them at at the theater.
The first trailer of the upcoming sequel to Marvel’s Thor was released a week ago. Since then, it has garnered over 12 million views. If you account for the litany of reposts as well, that number could be closer to 16-18 million.
Would I have seen the Thor trailer at the theater before it was released online? Probably not.
What I’m trying to say is that if a trailer is as exciting or worth tuning in for, it would be nearly impossible for me to not hear about it beforehand.
There are probably a significant number of people who still discover upcoming movies the traditional way. But how long before they become the minority? I’m betting this transition is already underway, and nothing can stop it.
The sad thing about this is that movie theaters are in a catch-22. If they take out the trailers, they lose a reliable stream of income (which probably isn’t as significant as the siphoning of ticket sales caused by online video streaming services). However, if they continue to keep it, more customers will find another reason to abandon the movie theater experience and wait for the movie to show up on Netflix.
You should check out the Thor 2 trailer: