How long do film previews last in theaters?
We’ve all felt the frustration of not knowing the precise start time of a movie.
Trailers Indeed, the showtime on the ticket can be 7:30. Nevertheless, if you arrive early for good seats, you will have to sit through previews and commercials in addition to having to wait until 7:30 for the programming to begin.
On the other hand, there are times when we purposefully arrive late in an effort to game the system. Many of us also make the error of arriving to a 7:30 movie at 7:45 because we anticipate 15 minutes of previews, only to discover that the previews were shorter than anticipated and that we have now missed the movie’s opening scene(s)!
By responding to a few age-old queries, we will assist you avoid these frustrations in this post. First, how long do movie previews last? The second question is: Did the movie start at the hour listed on the ticket?
Quick Response: How long do movie previews last?
The simple answer is provided below for anyone who wishes to quickly skim the subject. Generally speaking, movie previews last for 15 to 25 minutes.
These previews may feature trailers for upcoming films, commercials for sodas and snacks, or even promotions for the theater you are now seated in. Don’t forget to pay attention to the message that plays prior to the start of the show asking you to turn off your phone.
Although 15-25 minutes is the most frequent duration of previews, there is a significant amount of variance. Thus, this is just a ballpark figure.
To learn more about how movie theaters, seasons, and genres vary, keep reading.
Several people have observed that different theater chains have various standard preview times. As an illustration, AMC might run previews longer (or shorter) than Cinemark across the street. This is not particularly shocking.
The element that genuinely surprises people is the fact that the preview lengths will vary between theaters owned by the same corporation. Hence, a Dallas AMC might only run 15 minutes of previews, whereas a New York AMC might run 25 minutes.
This diversity makes it difficult to draw any firm conclusions. There are no assurances unless you know the person who really presses the “play” button at your neighborhood movie theater.
There are certain trends that can be seen, though.
Longer preview runs are typical for large, national chains.
Previews are typically played for a longer period of time at Cinemark, Regal, and AMC than in a small, local theater. This is most likely a result of the large national chains having partnerships with advertisers, which increases demand (and revenue) for the chains to display commercials.
In other words, it is more probable that Coca-Cola will place Diet Coke advertisements at a few thousand AMC or Regal sites rather than your neighborhood art house theater if it spends money doing so.
In fact, many indie movie theaters only run previews for 10 minutes or less. The only previews at the independent theater in my hometown (which, of course, has since closed) were a couple of trailers for future independent movies, followed by a promotion for the neighborhood coffee shop that offered discounted beverages if you brought in your ticket stub.
So, you should arrive at the theater promptly at the start of the film if you’re going to a locally owned, independent, or art house theater (or even a little earlier). At Regal or Cinemark, you can practically expect that there will be 10+ minutes of previews. That is anyone’s guess at independent cinemas. Also, the design of these smaller theaters frequently makes it more disruptive for a latecomer to arrive.
The duration of the previews is often greater when a blockbuster movie is shown.
Once more, there is no hard-and-fast rule in this situation. However this conclusion has been reached with the aid of countless anecdotal evidence samples.
Be prepared for longer-than-average previews if you plan on attending the new Marvel superhero film’s sold-out opening night. This typically means that you will watch 20 or more minutes of previews (in some cases, this number will actually approach 30 minutes).
In the end, everything comes down to money. Marketers are aware that a blockbuster movie with a $150 million opening weekend would attract a ton of viewers. This entails additional Coke advertising, popcorn commercials, and advertisements for the upscale movie alternatives available at the theater you are visiting.
Runtimes for previews are often lengthier during the busy season.
This complements the previous point. Blockbusters released in July often feature more trailers and ads than minor releases released in February. Once more, the main factor in this choice is money. Furthermore keep in mind that even though summer is traditionally regarded as the peak season, there are other seasons of the year, such as Christmas, when moviegoing increases.
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What time does the film truly begin then? Do previews begin when the film starts?
We’ve already talked about how previews normally run for 15 to 25 minutes, but some theaters display much more or fewer. You could only get to catch the first ten minutes of the previews in smaller, independently operated cinemas. In larger theater chains, previews may go up to 25 minutes, especially during the busiest times of the year and when there are big releases.
But what exactly does this mean for you, the moviegoer?
To start, you should be aware that the movie often begins 15 to 25 minutes after the time stated on your ticket. Hence, if your ticket states 8:00, arriving at 8:10 is generally not going to cause you to miss anything (or even 8:15).
If you plan to arrive up after the time given on your ticket, remember that you should still be a nice neighbor to those in the theater.
Be sure to keep silent upon arrival, first of all. Also, avoid crowding others who are already seated or taking too long to find your seat.
And finally, don’t be disruptive or on your phone because some people really appreciate viewing trailers and previews. Even if you think of the trailers as “just commercials,” they play a significant role in many of our experiences at the movies.
Although the majority of theaters play 15–25 minutes of previews before a film, there is too much variation to make firm judgments. This means that it is still best to be seated at the showtime shown on your ticket if you are in a new or unfamiliar theater. You can guarantee that you won’t miss any of the action in this way.
If you wish to take a chance by arriving late, keep in mind that in national theater chains, during high season, and during the premiere of blockbuster films, previews typically last 15 or more minutes.
It is best to avoid running late in smaller, independent or art house theaters because there is always a chance that your movie may begin exactly at the time shown on the ticket. Also, there is a considerable probability that the previews, if they are shown at all, will be much shorter—possibly only 10 minutes or less.