Beside popcorn, children, and "coming soon" movie banners, we have to sit through a couple of previews for movies slated to be released in the coming months, otherwise known as trailers.
I've always wondered why they're called "trailers" if they precede the show for which we've paid.
As it turns out, the term “trailer” comes from their original placement within the movie screening -- “trailing” at the end of the film. When marketers realized a large portion of the audience left immediately after the feature ended, they moved them to run before the movie began.
A smart move, to say the least. I've observed that at the conclusion of nearly every movie I watch at the theater -- particularly the longer ones -- there are always a few people running for the exits.
Movies absorb one's attention and can very easily wear you out, especially if you see them after work and/or into the early morning hours. (Is it any surprise so many moviegoers fall asleep while watching the flicks?) Once the movie is over, most people couldn't care about previews for upcoming movies; they're just thinking about driving home and relaxing or going to bed.
I've noticed a similar pattern on the radio. For example, you're bound to hear the name of the company sponsoring a traffic report before any traffic is discussed it all. If the plug were left to follow the traffic advisory, most listeners would likely tune out by then.
On another interesting note, trailers have been around almost as long as movies themselves. The first trailer ran in 1913, though it didn’t promote another movie; it was for the Broadway musical The Pleasure Seekers.
Did you know this factoid about trailers? How closely do you pay attention to them when you're at the theater?