Movie studios cranking out R-rated trailers

Racybeowulf Movie blog Cinematical today points out an interesting Los Angeles Times article about the proliferation of “red-band trailers.” These uncensored film previews are popping up more and more, often on restricted sites run by the studios themselves. (You know you’re doing your marketing right if YouTube won’t even allow it.) The article points out that a red-band trailer gives you a realistic taste of the vulgarity, violence or nudity you can expect to see in the film. The Coen brothers’ new bloodbath, No Country for Old Men, is a good example. But theater owners aren’t too interested in running the unsanitized spots. Their theory is that someone might be OK with seeing an R-rated movie packed with nudity, but that doesn’t mean they’ll want to see a preview where someone gets decapitated. Somewhere in this debate arose the “yellow-band trailer,” a worthless MPAA hybrid that’s “approved only for age-appropriate Internet users.” Whatever that means. I watched the yellow-band preview of Halloween and didn’t really see a difference. And call me cynical, but it seems like some of these red-bands are really just about getting salacious buzz. Otherwise, I don’t exactly see why there’s an R-rated trailer for the PG-13 Beowulf.

—Posted by David Griner