How Early Is Too Early To Promote?

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Was this week's release of the first trailer for The Last Airbender - more than a year before the movie's release - too little too soon? At what point does a trailer risk boring an audience ahead of the movie?

The Big Money notes that Paramount's YouTube version of the trailer received 237,000 viewings and nearly 2,300 text comments in its first four days, but wonders if teasing a movie so far in advance of its release is a sign of desperation that could lead to backlash:

Hollywood is a firm believer in the axiom [that it's] never too early to start building buzz. It doesn't even matter if the crew is still in post-production, evidently... But at some point you'd wonder if teaser trailers posted online a full 13 months before the movie hits theaters is a good strategy? How do you keep interest high then over the long autumn, winter, and spring? By producing trailer after trailer? Hollywood will watch this strategy closely to see at what point trailer fatigue sets in or whether it needs to build interest even earlier in its expensive summer blockbusters.


Of course, Airbender's 13 months in advance isn't anything approaching a record; the first teaser trailer for this summer's Star Trek ended up being released 16 months in advance of the movie's release - admittedly, the movie's release was pushed back during that time - and The Incredibles had a teaser released 18 months before the movie itself. But the question is a good one nonetheless; Watchmen's first teaser came out eight months before the movie, but by the time the movie was released, it already felt outdated (As much as, if not moreso, Trek) - is there a statute of limitations on when we should first see footage from a movie? Or should moviemakers just hold back the amount of footage they allow in trailers no matter when they're released? How much teasing is too much?

Paramount's Premature Promo? [The Big Money]