Regal Bringing Red Band Trailers Back to Theaters

We can hear James Dobson screaming from here.

by | March 18, 2008 | Comments

Good news, moviegoing grown-ups: Regal Entertainment Group has decided you’re old enough to see red band trailers.

The Hollywood Reporter shares the news about the theater chain’s policy shift, which will bring red band trailers back to theaters after nearly a decade in Internet exile. Regal, which operates nearly 6,500 screens, made the announcement at ShoWest last week, prompting Adam Fogelson, Universal’s president of marketing and distribution, to tell reporters that he “couldn’t be happier or more grateful to the people at Regal.”

The decision’s been a long time coming, actually; though theater chains were spooked into dropping red bands after a 2000 FTC report accused the entertainment industry of “marketing violent entertainment to children,” the switch to digital projection cuts down on a perceived risk of inappropriate previews being inadvertently attached to G or PG films. Though Regal’s screens aren’t fully digital yet, the chain’s senior VP, Dick Westerling, said they had “decided to jump ahead.”

Now that they’ve succeeded in re-opening the door to targeted previews, the studios plan on matching them to films carefully. As Fogelson puts it:

I don’t think anybody is arguing that all red band trailers are appropriate in front of all R-rated movies. For example, it would not be appropriate for a red band trailer for a movie like ‘American Pie’ to run in front of ‘Schindler’s List.’ We all want to be smart and careful about the use of red band trailers, working closely with our partners in exhibition. We don’t want moviegoers seeing material that is inconsistent with the movies they are going to see.

As the Reporter notes, the last time a Universal movie ran a theatrical red band trailer — for American Pie — it boosted the film’s bottom line considerably; in recent years, the studios have argued that films such as Superbad would benefit equally.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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