Does a longer trailer really suggest a worse film? We’re not so sure.
A trailer is a key component of any film; it’s what advertises the movie and grabs people’s attention. For most people, a trailer needs to do just two main things – tell them whether it’s their sort of film, and inform them when it will be released. It doesn’t require three minutes of footage, giving away pretty much the entire plot, for people to work out whether or not a film is for them. So why are so many trailers these days so ridiculously long?
A trailer needs to do just two things – tell you whether it’s your sort of film, and inform you when said film will be released
The red band trailer for We’re the Millers, which came in at a whopping three minutes 20 seconds, is a prime example of how not to make a trailer. All the funny bits are given away, and pretty much the entire story along with them, leaving nothing for the audience to discover for themselves. There aren’t many people that would sit and watch an advert on TV for longer than a minute; maybe two if it’s really good (and less than 10 seconds if it has that fucking Go Compare man in it).
The same applies to film trailers: Once you hit the one minute mark, things get exasperating, especially in the cinema when all you want to do is watch the damn film you’ve paid for. But, despite the fact that a longer trailer might put people off and bore them senseless, does it actually mean that the film is going to be bad? Well, no. We’re the Millers turned out to be a pretty decent comedy, if you ignored its predictability and Will Poulter’s distracting eyebrows. A long trailer makes a worse trailer, but not necessarily a worse film.