Movie Trailers Strive To Attract Viewers — But They Can Repel Them Too

The Amy Schumer-led comedy "I Feel Pretty" felt some pretty heavy backlash from its trailers.
Posted at 6:50 PM, Apr 23, 2018

Trailers are made to entice people into watching full films — but for some movies, trailers can have the ability to repel viewers as well.

Following the trailer release for the Amy Schumer-led comedy "I Feel Pretty," critics — including an eating disorder therapist — challenged the plot of the film. According to the trailer alone, that plot involved sustaining a head injury in order to gain confidence.

For most viewers, the plot portrayed in a trailer plays the largest role in the decision to watch the film. For other viewers, social and cultural factors can come into play.

The trailer for the action-thriller "Beirut" became the target of a boycott and heavy criticism because of its portrayal of the Middle East. Years before, the trailer for "Pitch Perfect 2" faced criticism for its joke about sexual consent.

The controversies surrounding these films may have had various effects on their reception — and that raises the question: Should audiences judge movies by their trailers? 

Some people argue that because viewers spend time and money to watch films, it's fair to make the decision based on the film's promotional materials. Other people argue that judging a movie based on "two and a half minutes" of a trailer is harsh — especially considering the fact that movie trailers are oftentimes made by separate agencies.

Addressing the controversy of her film, Schumer wrote in Bustle, "As for those who've criticized the movie's plot, well, most of them haven't actually seen the movie yet, just the trailer."