Movies

Audiences: Movie trailers too revealing, but don't deter attendance 

May 2, 2013 at 8:54 AM ET

AP /
Robert Downey Jr. (in Iron Man suit) with Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts in "Iron Man 3."

For the past several months, trailers for this summer's most anticipated films have been hitting the web on a nearly daily basis. But the trailers aimed at getting moviegoers excited for these big-budget releases may be showing off a bit too much.

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According to a new study, half (49 percent) of Americans feel that movie trailers these days give away too many of a movie’s best scenes, with a full 16 percent agreeing strongly.

So should the scenes from "Iron Man 3" of Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) saving a group of people falling from an airplane or flying through the air with an army of other Iron Mans be saved for when audiences actually hit the theater?

The findings from the YouGov Omnibus survey taken April 26 to 28 found that the reveal of plot in a trailer deterred only about 19 percent of respondents from wanting to see the movie. In contrast, 24 percent said that it made them want to see the film more.

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Movie trailers remain extremely important to audiences, playing the biggest role (48 percent) in pushing people to see a movie, followed closely by personal recommendations (46 percent).

So even if a trailer shows some of the best scenes from a film, it doesn't mean people won't see it. And films like "Iron Man 3" still have a few surprises up their sleeves (see the stars talk about what makes the film so surprising here.)

Movie studios have tried a variety of techniques over the past few years when it comes to trailers. Some, such as recent release Oblivion, starring Tom Cruise, have gone out of their way to avoid showing major surprises in the plot. And Lionsgate's "Hunger Games" trailers didn't show any of the footage from the actual arena where the fighting took place.

What remains important to moviegoers when they actually sit down in the theater is that there's a good plot or storyline to the film (77 percent), followed by the cast (45 percent), the genre (22 percent), the director (20 percent) and the book or play it’s based on (15 percent).

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