If you want to catch the new 88-second “Star Wars” trailer this weekend, you can find it at just one theater in the Kansas City area: AMC Studio 30 in Olathe.
The trailer will show before every movie from Friday through Sunday, according to Ryan Noonan, AMC’s director of corporate communications.
Director J.J. Abrams confirmed the release plans on Twitter Monday. AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. is one of the chains that is running the trailer; others include Cinemark Holdings Inc., Regal Entertainment Group and Carmike Cinemas Inc. Neither of the two Cinemark theaters in the Kansas City area nor the Regal theater at Ameristar Casino are showing the trailer, according to their websites.
Walt Disney Co.’s “Stars Wars: The Force Awakens” is the seventh film in the “Star Wars” franchise. For those who can wait, the trailer will be available globally in December, according to the official “Star Wars” movie website.
This trailer release is timed to exploit the Thursday-to-Sunday U.S. Thanksgiving break, typically a big weekend for films. In 1998, some movie fans bought tickets to a Brad Pitt feature, “Meet Joe Black,” only to see a trailer for “The Phantom Menace.”
“Trailers have always had this kind of hold on the fans,” said Robert Marich, who recounts the Pitt episode in his book “Marketing to Moviegoers.” “The fans, the geeks, the aficionados, they are trend setters, they’re plugged in online. They show up for trailers.”
In all, the clip will be shown in 30 theaters across North America.
The efforts to build excitement around the new release with teasers tap into the growing importance of previews to a fanboy audience. A trailer for “Age of Ultron,” the new Disney/Marvel Avengers film, was recently leaked and has been seen almost 60 million times on YouTube.
Universal Pictures, part of Comcast Corp., released an online teaser for the new “Jurassic World” on Nov. 23 and planned to unveil a longer online trailer on Thanksgiving Day, according to an official Twitter feed for the film.
In an age of social media, trailers are often released online. The decision to unveil the “Star Wars” clip in theaters highlights the importance placed on the film by Burbank, California-based Disney.
The studio, which posted record profit for the year ended Sept. 27, ranks second in 2014 domestic box-office receipts behind 21st Century Fox Inc., with $1.46 billion in ticket sales, according to Box Office Mojo. Its biggest domestic films this year have been “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” both from Marvel.
Thanksgiving is one of the biggest weekends for movie going. In 2013, receipts from Nov. 29 to Dec. 1 totaled $208.1 million, led by “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” in its second week in theaters, according to Rentrak Corp.
Two films open in wide release Wednesday: DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc.’s “Penguins of Madagascar,” distributed by Fox and “Horrible Bosses 2,” from Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros.
“The Hunger Games:“Mockingjay – Part 1,” which had the biggest opening of the year last weekend, will also be vying for film fans in its second weekend of release.