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is the mixture of advertisements, commercials for television shows, movie trailers, and theater chain branding that has become commonplace in American movie theaters. The term itself is derived from the fact that the block often takes up twenty minutes of runtime which has to be factored into the theaters' publicized showtimes. It is often marketed as something that moviegoers shouldn't want to miss.
The Twenty usually follows a pre-set structure:
- About two to four television show or movie advertisements. Movie advertisements tend to run longer than the average television advertisements, between thirty seconds to a minute on average.
- Optionally, a public service announcement
A public service announcement or public service ad is a type of advertisement featured on television, radio, print or other media...
(PSA) might be aired in lieu of the final ad. One series of PSAs that were made specifically for moviegoers were a part of the MPAA's anti-piracy campaign.
- A selection of movie trailers, usually from two to five. These are selected by the theater and separately added to the reel.
- Theater branding. Usually running two to three minutes, this short segment identifies the theater chain and is often used to inform the audience about exits, ask them to refrain from smoking, talking, cell phone use, and encourage patronization of the snack bar.
- Many (though not all) movies today ship with one or two trailers at the lead of the feature presentation which play after the branding. Theaters are contractually obliged to play these trailers as a prerequisite of screening the movie.
Many moviegoers have complained about the expansion of the traditional block of trailers into The Twenty, especially the addition of television ads which often have no connection to the feature presentation whatsoever. Theater operators, on the other hand, point to shrinking attendance, rising operation costs, and backlash against higher ticket prices as justification for the addition of ads, noting that they need the ad revenue to remain solvent. Some of the larger studios, such as Disney
The Walt Disney Company is the largest media conglomerate in the world in terms of revenue. Founded on October 16, 1923, by Walt and Roy Disney as the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio, Walt Disney Productions established itself as a leader in the American animation industry before diversifying into...
, have negotiated no ad policies for their movies, using their power to gain this concession from the theaters.