Regal Entertainment Group has announced that they will begin using restricted “red band” trailers in their theaters, though they will be limited to screening only in front of R-rated feature films.
The Motion Picture Association of America, who not only rates movies but passes judgement on all advertising material for films as well, can assign a trailer into one of two categories. The commonly seen “green band” trailer is the designation for a coming attraction clip that has been approved for all audiences. A “red band” trailer will have more explicit material – sex, violence or both.
This is a great move for filmgoers, as it gives potential ticket buyers a better idea of the type of content an R-rated film has. Since they will only be shown in front of other R-rated features, no one can complain that the material is inappropriate for children in the audience because presumably if a parent had taken their kid to an R-rated movie, they would already have decided if it was appropriate for their little darling to be there or not.
Red band trailers were last seen around 2000, disappearing quickly out of theaters following a Federal Trade Commission report that accused Hollywood of marketing violent entertainment to children, never mind the fact that even then red band trailers were confined only to be screened in front of R rated films.
In a rare moment of realizing how to make the internet work to their advantage without ripping off consumers, the studios realized they could still present red band trailers on line. In the past year, racier trailers for films like Clerks II, Superbad and the upcoming Forgetting Sarah Marshall have proven popular with web-savy moviegoers.