The National Association of Theatre Owners released industry guidelines on Monday suggesting movie trailers should be a maximum of two minutes. The association also suggests trailers should be released within five months of the movie debut, no sooner.
The guidelines are voluntary, and they allow for two exemptions per year for a distributor.
Social media users discussed on Reddit the problems with trailers, including how some of them give away all the good stuff.
Here’s a look at some of the moments that would have been epic if the element of surprise had been maintained:
1. Arnold Becomes the Good Guy in ‘Terminator 2’
Trailer via Movie TV Trailers (YouTube)
“If you go into Terminator 2 completely unspoiled, you’ll spend the whole first reel thinking Arnold is still the bad guy,” wrote a Reddit user. “It’s left really ambiguous, and it isn’t until the characters meet up in the mall hallway that you get the reveal. It’s really obvious that this is what Cameron was going for, and it would have been an incredible moment, but the ad campaign totally killed it.”
Another user backs this claim: “Since I went basically from seeing Terminator 1 to 2 without any trailers whatsoever, I was shocked to see Arnold as the good guy. It is true!”
2. Bane at the Football Stadium in ‘The Dark Knight Rises’
A scene from the Warner Bros. trailer for “The Dark Knight Rises.” (Screenshot/YouTube)
“Can you imagine how … amazing it would have been if ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ trailer didn’t include the scene with Bane at the football stadium? The entire theater would have lost [it] … when that particular scene exploded, because it would have been a surprise,” wrote a user.
3. Double-Sided Light Saber in ‘Star Wars’ Darth Maul Fight
A scene in which Darth Maul uses a double-sided lightsaber in the trailer for “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.” (Screenshot/HD Movie Source/YouTube)
“If you knew nothing about it going in—you get to the fight with Darth Maul at the end, he’s outnumbered, his back is to the wall … dramatic pause … second side of the lightsaber fires up,” wrote a user of a fight scene with character Darth Maul in “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.”
“If they had managed to not use that in any of the promo-items, trailers, or toys, it would have been mind blowing.”
4. ‘The Matrix’ Got it Right
Here’s one that maintained the mystery (at least in the radio promotions, though the trailer seemed to give a little more away)—“The Matrix.”
“I remember the radio-ads: ‘Unfortunately, no-one can be told what the Matrix is, you have to see it for yourself.’ Sold,” wrote a user.
Another user wrote: “Best film I ever saw was ‘The Matrix,’ because I had some how … not seen any trailers, and from the poster, I thought it was a vampire movie. Carrie-Anne Moss never turned into a vampire, instead my mind got blown.”
“The Matrix” movie trailer via Viki Trailers.
Of course, trailers have their benefits too. A user wrote in the Reddit thread: “Guys, this movie looks awesome! We should totally go see it! Wait….”