I went to see The Golden Compass recently, and before the movie they showed the trailers for the following upcoming films: The Spiderwick Chronicles, Inkheart, and The Forbidden Kingdom. Wait a minute… oh, I get it. Because I go to a fantasy movie, I only get ads for other fantasy movies? There’s a word for that: bigotry. And bigotry hurts. In this case, the three trailers were all about kids discovering a magic book, then arguing about who should wield it. (“Get the book! Don’t let him get the book! If Lord Darkpage gets the book, he’ll rule the Biblio-verse!”) After these inane, repetitive fantasy trailers, who would want to sit through a two-hour fantasy film? Compass ruined.
Same thing at Walk Hard. The trailers were: Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Drillbit Taylor and Harold and Kumar 2. So because I like goofy comedies, I only get trailers for other goofy comedies? More bigotry. Seeing trailers for three goofy comedies (all “From the Guys Who Brought You” some other goofy comedy) made me NOT WANT TO SEE A GOOFY COMEDY.
The thinking is this: because a dude goes to see certain genre of film, then that’s the ONLY GENRE HE LIKES. Not only is that bigotry — that’s profiling. I feel like Cat Stevens at Delta security check-in. Trailer Profiling taints the movie-going experience. It’s like serving three plates of sliders before a hamburger entree. Too many little hamburgers ruins the big hamburger! Stop ruining the big hamburger!
To The Big Theater Chains, I say: End Trailer Profiling Now. A diverse mix of appetizers will make the main course more enjoyable. And if something doesn’t change, before you know it, people will figure out a way to put movies on a data storage device, say, a disc — and watch movies on some sort of “player” at home — skipping the trailers with, I don’t know, a magic gun that fires trailer-skipping bullets. Then who will buy your syrupy soda, oily popcorn and Sno-covered Caps? Who?
(There’s probably marketing people who’ll tell you that Trailer Profiling works. And to those people, I say: nice job. You figured out an effective way to increase theater attendance in an increasingly competitive environment. Well done.)