Netflix. Hulu. Amazon Prime. HBO. YouTube Kids. Affordable flat screen TVs. No driving. Gas prices. Ticket prices. Insane candy prices. Ludicrous drink prices… These are just a few of the reasons NOT to take your kids to the movies.
And yet, I love movies. My kids love movies. Unfortunately, a majority of movie theaters operate like it’s 1985 and they’re the only game in town. And since they won’t reassess how they do business to keep families coming to the movies, I will, starting with this breakdown of FOUR reasons why they need to offer trailer-free kids movies.
Showing movie trailers to little kids is like dangling a chocolate frosted donut in front of them, letting them see it, smell it, anticipate it… and then ripping it away at the last minute just as they zero in on it. Then doing it again with a powdered donut. Then an éclair. Then maybe a sprinkled donut. Then doing it four more times before finally allowing them to actually, you know, enjoy a donut. It’s dumb. By the time they get to the donut you’re there to eat, they’re so irritated about being taunted with the other donuts that they don’t even want the big one they’ve been waiting for and now you have to convince them that this one won’t be taken away in a minute.
“Yes, this is the movie” is something millions of parents should never have to say again. I mean, what a lame way to start a viewing experience. Kids think about forty seven seconds ahead. They don’t care that the studio is releasing Moana 2 until about an hour before they go see it. It’s not necessary to let them know it comes out in seven months.
I don’t know about your little kids, but my kids have a roughly 90-minute attention span, give or take ten minutes. If we’re going to the theater to see a movie, I don’t want to burn twenty minutes on ‘trailers’ and ‘shorts’ and other nonsense that ensures the fact that my kids are going to get antsy and want to leave well before the movie ends. There’s only so long they’ll sit in those seats no matter how captivating the talking fox or singing octopus is. I still have not seen the final act of The Good Dinosaur, Minions or The Secret Life of Pets because of this very reason.
Candy and popcorn are not movie theater snacks or treats… they’re time-buyers, allowing you to buy time to keep your kid occupied and busy as they settle into the movie so they don’t bug you or ask to leave or want to walk around just as it’s getting started. Showing a half-dozen movie trailers completely and totally cancels out the time bought by giving your kid snacks… In fact, they’re a net negative. With too many trailers, kids end up finishing their treats at almost the exact time the movie starts, and now the clock is ticking on how long they’ll make it and/or be hungry again or have to go to the bathroom. If you start the movie right away, we’re deep into Act I before the snacks are done and we’re well on our way and settled in. Also, I know production companies pay to promote their movies one way or another, BUT, no trailers means you can probably offer one extra daytime/primetime showing of a hit kids movie with all the time you save. See, everyone wins!
Guess what? Movie trailers are online.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Look, I know why theaters and studios want to show twenty minutes of kid movie trailers…but are there any parents with little kids out there who would care if they disappeared? Do kids ever ask to see nine trailers before you fire up Jungle Book on Netflix? Nope. Ditch’em theaters. They’re dead weight from another era.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jon Finkel is the author of “Mean” Joe Greene: Built By Football, Heart Over Height w/ 3x NBA Dunk Champion Nate Robinson, Forces of Character w/ 3x Super Bowl Winner and Fighter Pilot, Chad Hennings, Jocks-in-Chief and the best selling fatherhood fitness book, The Dadvantage.
His new biography on Heisman Trophy Winner and New York Knicks veteran Charlie Ward is available now: http://amzn.to/2zNeCgR