Have you ever been to the movies and pondered how long the trailers would be? Knowing how long they last can help make the movie-going experience much more enjoyable. Previews/trailers, also known as “coming attractions“, have been used in movie theatres since 1911. While the length of previews before a movie can vary, there are typically between 6-7 minutes of trailers that air prior to a feature presentation.

The length of trailer screenings is usually determined by advertising regulations from both the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the National Assocation of Theater Owners (NATO). Movie theatres are required to show this content for up to six minutes before a feature begins, which means audiences will likely endure approximately 5-6 previews during a typical viewing session. The theaters also must make sure that all advertisements abide by MPAA standards for content and run times.

Though moviegoers couldn’t escape previews in some form since their origin more than 110 years ago, today’s trailers generally adhere to specific formats established by both governing bodies. Generally speaking, most trailers boast titles over clips at the beginning then follow with additional footage until ending with one last title card near the conclusion.

Length of Trailers

Movie trailers are an important part of a movie’s marketing campaign, and what better way to get people excited for the movie than with a tantalizing preview? Trailers typically last between two to three minutes, though sometimes they can be shorter or longer.

In this article, we’ll look at the different lengths of movie trailers, as well as the reasons why trailers are so important:

International Trailers

The length of a trailer or preview (a snippet of upcoming films shown before the main feature) varies not only among countries, but also within each country. On average, in North America trailers are usually 2 minutes and 30 seconds (150 seconds) long, while international trailers are usually 2 minutes and 15 seconds (135 seconds). In the United Kingdom, due to restrictions imposed by the Advertising Standards Authority, film trailers cannot be longer than 120 seconds.

In some cases, a movie studio will create a shorter version of their trailer for foreign markets as certain countries have more strict regulations on the length. This can lead to confusion if there are different versions of a trailer being run in different theaters across multiple counties which contain completely different footage and a totally different story arc. Thus it is important for those interested in the film to make sure they watch the full-length trailer if they want to get an accurate idea of what is happening in the movie.

Domestic Trailers

Most domestic trailers range from 2 to 4 minutes in length, and are made up of the best bits of the movie strung together to create the perfect clip. This condensed version of a movie typically gives viewers a glimpse into what they’re getting into, while also leaving them wanting more. Trailers are often crafted using dialogue and moments that were not included in the original feature film, which makes them all the more exciting. Combined with captivating soundtracks and dynamic visuals, viewers can’t help but become entranced.

International trailers offer a similar viewing experience, but run between 2 to 6 minutes long since they must account for translation and local culture nuances. To differentiate from its international counterparts, domestic trailers usually include endorsements or reviews from notable celebrities or critics familiar with movie-going audiences.

Overall, domestic trailers are effective when it comes to creating interest and generating buzz for upcoming flicks—usually catering to their target audience’s expectations for stylistic intensity or subtle messaging about the story line. A great trailer should make viewers feel anticipation—it should invoke a sense of confidence in its creators and cast—and lastly it should provide some closure without giving away too much information before opening weekend!

Different Types of Trailers

Movie trailers are an essential part of promoting a movie and can vary in length from 30 seconds to 3 minutes. The different types of trailers can be classified according to their purpose, such as teaser trailers, theatrical trailers, and TV spots. Let’s look into each of these types of trailers and see how long they are:

  • Teaser trailers – usually 30-60 seconds long.
  • Theatrical trailers – usually 2-3 minutes long.
  • TV spots – usually 15-30 seconds long.

Teaser Trailers

Produced usually months ahead of the film’s release, teaser trailers are very short clips that introduce audiences to the upcoming movie. These trailers usually include quick shots of different scenes, without giving away too much about the plot or the storyline. Designed to build excitement and anticipation for the movie’s release, these teasers tend to have an exciting or upbeat feel and will often end with a powerful line from one of the characters or a brief snippet of an emotional song playing in the background.

Teasers also sometimes reveal a surprise – perhaps revealing that two characters were in fact related, or were working together all along – but they are often vague enough so as not to give away too much information. Usually lasting between one and two minutes, teaser trailers will appear more frequently than full-length theatrical trailers in order for viewers to gain awareness about an upcoming movie as early as possible.

Theatrical Trailers

The theatrical trailer is the most common type of preview shown before a movie. It’s meant to be seen by large numbers of people in theaters, so it gives viewers a taste of what they can expect from the movie without giving away too much. A good theatrical trailer will pique viewer interest and create anticipation for the movie. Theatrical trailers are generally 2-3 minutes long and consist of quick-cut shots, special effects sequences, dialogue clips and some original music or voiceovers to tie it all together. They often conclude with an official logo or tagline such as “coming soon,” “in theaters now” or “on DVD/blu-ray now.”

It is also becoming increasingly common for studios to release teaser trailers prior to theatrical ones, which show only short snippets from the film, almost like a teaser advertisement. Teaser trailers are usually shorter than full trailers and do not contain major plot points; instead they serve as hints that build excitement for the full trailer’s release. In recent years, some studios have chosen to not even release a full theatrical trailer for their films; opting instead for multiple teasers and clips released over time to generate hype for their upcoming movie releases.

TV Spots

TV spots (also referred to as “broadcast” or “television” trailers) are typically 30-60 second previews of a feature film, often airing during television commercials and other programs. Most are edited down versions of larger theatrical trailers, focusing on “money shots” – moments that serve to get audiences excited for the movie.

TV spots differ from other types of trailers by combining audio from the movie itself with visual elements from the trailer. Because most are broadcast in shorter time frames than those typically found in theaters, TV spots often don’t include dialogue from actors and rely more on music and visuals to communicate the plot. They also often focus more on creating interest around a movie rather than laying out its narrative.

TV spots generally receive less production value during their creation than theatrical transfers as there is less time available to create them and they don’t need quite as much detail or grandeur. However, they remain important promotional tools for films looking to reach an even broader audience before their theatrical release.

Other Factors

Previews or trailers before a movie usually last around 2 minutes, but this isn’t a hard and fast rule. There are other factors that can influence how long the trailer is including:

  • The duration of the movie.
  • The target audience.
  • The type of movie it is.

Let’s look at these factors as well as the usual length of a preview and how it can affect the movie’s success.

Length of the Movie

When it comes to movie length, trailers and previews are usually created based on the length of the movie. Generally, trailers for shorter movies tend to be shorter as there is less content available for marketing. Previews and trailers for feature films that run over 90 minutes typically range from two to three minutes in length.

Longer films may have longer previews or multiple trailers of varying lengths released at different times throughout its development and release cycle. In certain cases, shorter films may even have corresponding longer previews as a way to build suspense leading up to release.

Genre of the Film

The length of a movie trailer is often determined by the genre of the movie. Spy thrillers and other genres that have multiple twists and turns in the plot require a longer trailer to set up all of its parts. On the other hand, romantic comedies or family-friendly films can get away with shorter trailers because they tend to be more straightforward.

Action movies, for example, usually have blockbuster trailers from two to three minutes long that give just enough information about the plot without giving too much away or boring an audience with overly long previews. These types of trailers may include exciting music and intense visual footage to grab the attention of viewers.

Documentaries tend to have trailers between one and two minutes in length; these previews are typically packed with facts, visuals, interviews, music and other snippets meant to really interest a wide range of viewers.

For animated films, lasting anywhere between one and two minutes is standard. Animation films typically put more effort into creating unique graphics and making sure they accurately depict what you can expect from watching their featured film. As such, their trailers are generally more creative than those made for live action films.

No matter what genre you’re looking at, there’s no hard-and-fast rule among studios when it comes to trailer length; it comes down to individual preferences and decisions in advertising for each movie’s success at drawing audiences in theaters – or tuning into streaming services – on opening day (or night).


The length of movie preview trailers can vary significantly depending on a number of factors. The typical length for a trailer is between two and three minutes, but longer previews may be shown for highly anticipated films.

Moviegoers should always check the start time of the screening they intend to attend so as to adjust their expectations when it comes to the duration of any previews or trailers they will experience before the feature presentation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: How long are movie previews?

A1: Movie previews or trailers typically range from 90 seconds to 2 minutes.

Q2: What are movie previews?

A2: Movie previews or trailers are short videos that are shown before a movie in theatres.

Q3: Are movie previews always shown before a movie?

A3: Yes, movie previews are always shown before a movie in theatres.