Sony pays for showing trailers

When theater owners hesitated to preview two trailers from Sony Pictures before the showing of Universal’s The Mummy Returns, Sony paid General Cinema Theatres and AMC Entertainment to cinch a 60-second spot for a trailer of The Animal starring Rob Schneider, The Associated Press reports. While Sony had already arranged to have the trailer for Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within play in conjunction The Mummy Returns, two of the five trailer slots are usually allotted to the studio releasing the main feature, leaving three slots open to other studios. The move by Sony to pay exhibitors for a trailer slot would be an industry first since trailers are normally played at no cost to the studio. Though Jeff Blake, Sony’s president of worldwide marketing and distribution, would not comment on how much Sony paid to show the trailer, the Los Angeles Times on Thursday reported the figure to be $100,000. This worries many studio executives, who see this as a dangerous trend and opens the door for theater chains to shop around for other studios willing to do the same.