3D, rising ticket prices, short and nonexistent theater-to-DVD windows -- who ever thought trailers would be thrown into this mix of moviegoing issues? The Hollywood Reporter posts that theater operators are often paid to play movie trailers, and that's why screens have seen an increase from 2-4 to 5-7 pre-show trailers, with other 30-second teasers thrown into the mix. People are starting to wonder when this will start tarnishing the audience's mood, and THR quotes one exec as being torn between how much the influx of trailers bothers him, and the desire to have his own played.

NATO president John Fithian says: "We're seeing an increased pressure to play trailers, but there is a limit to what the patron can take in and retain. Playing trailers does help both distribution and exhibition, so it's important to get it right." MPAA guidelines set the trailer limit at 2 1/2 minutes, although once per year, studios can make a four-minute promo for event features. When a studio wants to push more films, an industryite explains that a few million for the exhibitor will just get tacked onto a P&A budget and no one will be the wiser. (The last time a cash payout was caught, Sony's Jeff Blake paid some $100,000 to get a trailer for Rob Schneider's The Animal played on more screens.)

It strikes me as a bit strange to be griping about trailers. They were always a great way to get excited about what's to come. Sure, with blogs and the internet that need is less, but there's still that perk of seeing trailers for (hopefully) good films on the big screen. Here in Toronto, many screens drown in a sea of non-movie commercials. I believe eight was the most I experienced in one sitting, some of which played a few times, and all of which I'd rather see replaced with trailers.