A movie trailer is the first thing you see when you want to watch a movie. It’s a short clip that shows off scenes from the film, including its characters and story arc. If you’ve ever seen the trailer for a movie and thought “That looks good!” then went to watch it in the theater—only to find yourself sitting through an hour of something entirely different—then you have experienced firsthand how modern film trailers have changed over time.

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How Modern Film Trailers Have Changed the Movie-Going Experience

Film trailers had come a long way since the days of simple black-and-white footage projected onto a screen before the film began. In the modern era, trailers are big business, and they’re used to generate interest in a film and set audience expectations. However, some believe these massive, high-budget trailers hurt the movie-going experience. Let’s look at how modern film trailers have changed the cinema landscape.

It All Started With Snow White

The first movie trailers were so popular that they became a regular feature in theaters, but it all began with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The animated classic was the first film to have a promotional short made for it, which was shown before each showing of the film from 1938 to 1942. It was essentially a commercial for Snow White, meant to promote its release and increase ticket sales. While Disney fans may be used to seeing clips from upcoming films sprinkled throughout their favorite movies today, this marketing technique—called “trailer” until recently—was relatively new when it debuted as part of this groundbreaking movie.

The Arrival of the Internet Led to More Variety

The internet has allowed for more variety in trailers. Back in the day, you mostly saw trailers for movies that were already playing at a theater near you or about to be released, but with the advent of social media and other online outlets, it’s possible to share virtually anything with anyone at any time. This means that studios can now get their marketing out there even if their film isn’t ready to open yet—maybe they have some early concept art or a script they want feedback on…or maybe they just want people talking about them!

With this greater access comes more trailer content being made available online too. With so many platforms now capable of hosting movie clips (Netflix being one of them), there are far more avenues than ever before through which people can watch previews without needing to leave home or spend hard-earned money on tickets first.

Movie Trailers are an Artform In Themselves Now

Movie trailers are a great example of how the internet has changed the movie-going experience. They’re now a major part of that experience and have become more sophisticated, longer, and more important to the movie business than they ever were before.

They’re an Advertising Channel Now, Too

Trailers have evolved from being a way to sell tickets to a movie to the de facto method of advertising anything. They’re used to advertise other movies, TV shows, music albums, video games and even products and political candidates. You’ll see them on Facebook and YouTube. You can even find them on your social media feeds in between posts from friends and family members who don’t work in marketing or advertising.

This is because trailers can be very effective in generating interest for something that you might like—and they’re cheap compared with other kinds of ads (you don’t need a budget like McDonald’s or Coca-Cola if all you want is some recognition). Plus there’s another advantage: If someone sees your trailer but doesn’t go out and buy whatever product it’s trying to sell them (or go see your movie), then at least they’ve had their attention piqued by what could potentially be an exciting new thing!

They’re a Major Player at Comic Con

Movie trailers aren’t just a huge part of modern-day cinema. They’re also a major player at Comic Con, an annual convention that celebrates all things comic book related.

Comic Con started in 1970 and has become one of the most well-known events in Hollywood, not only because it gives fans a chance to meet their favorite stars and creators but also because it gives movie studios an opportunity to promote upcoming films.

This year’s Comic Con trailer lineup includes Avengers: Endgame (2019), The Amazing Spider Man: Far From Home (2019) and Toy Story 4 (2020). Other notable movies that have been promoted at previous Comic Cons include Disney’s live-action take on The Lion King (2019), Captain Marvel (2019), Aquaman (2018) and Black Panther (2018).

Modern trailers have not just changed what audiences watch, but how and where they watch it.

In the past, a movie trailer was used to sell a movie. It’s kind of like that, but with a twist: trailers are now so important to marketing campaigns and anticipation for upcoming films that they have evolved into something bigger than themselves.

While modern trailer makers are still trying to convey important plot points and draw viewers in (as they have done since the beginning), there’s far more nuance involved today than there used to be. Trailers are not just used to entice audiences; they’re also meant to create hype around an entire franchise or universe—and some might even say it’s the best way for studios and filmmakers alike to show off their creativity while still keeping audiences interested in what they’re selling them next.

The Modern Trailer Era

With the advent of digital technology, film trailers have become a more integral to the movie-going experience. They are no longer simply something to watch before the feature presentation; they’re now considered mini-movies in their own right. This is thanks partly to their ever-increasing budgets, which allow big Hollywood names to be attached as cast and crew.

However, some believe that this change has hurt movies as a whole. In particular, it’s been argued that these high-budget trailers give audiences unrealistic expectations. After all, if the trailer can deliver an exciting and engaging three-minute experience, why would anyone want to sit through a two-hour film that may not live up to those lofty standards?

The Negative Impact of Modern Trailers?

While there’s no denying that modern film trailers have changed the landscape of cinema, it’s still up for debate as to whether or not those changes have been for better or for worse. On one hand, these trailers can generate more interest in a film than ever before. On the other hand, they may be setting audience expectations too high, causing them to leave theaters disappointed. Only time will tell how this debate will ultimately play out.

The Positiv Impact of Modern Trailers?

Not everyone believes that modern film trailers are harming the movie-going experience. Some argue that they’ve had a positive impact. For example, it’s been argued that these trailers can help to build buzz around a film and generate interest in films that may have otherwise gone unnoticed.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that not all modern trailers are created equally. While some may be over-the-top and leave audiences disappointed, others are more reserved in their approach and simply give viewers a taste of what to expect. It’s up to each individual film marketing team to strike the right balance.

The Future of Film Trailers

It’s impossible to say definitively what the future holds for film trailers. However, it seems likely that they will continue to evolve as technology advances. We may see even more high-budget, big-name trailers in the coming years, or we could shift back to more reserved and humble previews. Only time will tell.

In conclusion, modern film trailers have changed the movie-going experience in both good and bad ways. While they can generate interest and excitement, they also have the potential to set unrealistic expectations. It will be interesting to see how this debate plays out in future years.


We’ve come a long way from the days of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, but one thing remains the same: movie trailers are here to stay. They’re an important part of an industry that is constantly changing and evolving to meet new audiences’ needs. We can only expect them to continue growing in popularity—and complexity—as time goes on!