The Instigator
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0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

That Feature-Length films, when in Theaters, ought to include a Commercial Break during the Movie

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/29/2015 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 636 times Debate No: 84384
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)




Round one acceptance.
Feature-length: 40 minutes is the cut-off mark.
Commercial breaks: These are equal to or less than 5 minutes long and are included within the movie at the producer's and director's affirmations, as well as the theater's agreement. If the Producer, director and theater all agree, they will also be able to arrange times for when the commercial plays.


I accept the challenge.

For clarification, will we be debating a single commercial break of 5 minutes regardless of movie length, or will longer movies have more commercials?

Let's take Quentin Tarantino movies, for example. His first movie, Reservoir Dogs, is roughly an hour and a half. This would mean the commercial break would take up roughly 0.05% of the film's run time. Tarantino's latest movie, The Hateful Eight, is over three hours, making the commercial break around 0.027% of the film's run time.

My question: are we talking about one 5 minute break per movie, or one 5 minute break after every 40 minutes, as you listed for the cut-off?
Debate Round No. 1


Note that the resolution says films ought to have "ONE commercial" --" A commercial". But of course, this can depend on the film length. For example, movies such as Lawrence of Arabia (4 hours+) might have two commercials or even three. Keep in mind that I already stated that the producer, director and theater must all agree to the amount of commercials and the length of commercials, keeping the amount of commercials in moderation. (Audience could also complain about overwhelming amount of commercials and cause lost of revenue if I had not stated this; therefore, it is not an abolutely fixed amount--I only have to suggest that having commercials for a movie is BETTER in general than NOT having commercials--I do not have to support every case!)
I also stated that the commercials were all 5 minutes or less, making it very likely that most commercials would be less than 5 minutes, since 5 minutes is most likely reserved for very long movies.

Commercials earn Revenue
As seen in;
movies earn a lot of money already from commercials. "In just the last five years cinema advertising revenues have jumped 48 percent from $212.3 million in 2002 to $315.1 million in 2003 in North America according to the Cinema Advertising Council. Such double-digit growth in cinema advertising is expected to continue" If this trend really does continue onwards, and with the support of further commercials, then certainly films will earn more revenue, boosting their studios, and encouraging them to make more movies. In addition, in order to prevent a very flimsy gain or a huge box office lost, commercials could be played to save the movie and perhaps allow the director and/or producer to come back for more.

More enjoyability
5 minutes is truly not that long. For movies that barely make the cut-off, it might be a little too much, but for 90 minute movies, it really won't be too long. The producers and/or director could even make it only 3 or 2 minutes. In these 3 or 2 minutes, not only does the audience have a chance to refill their soda, get some more pop-corn, go to the restroom, etc., they also enjoy the movie more especially due to added suspense and other reasons. A New York Time's article supports the phycological study about interruption making TV programs more enjoyable. Entertainment Weekly has a similar study explicitly stating, "People often adapt to the experience of watching television such thateach successive minute is slightly less enjoyable than the previousone. Advertisements, although independently aversive, disrupt this adaptation process and can therefore make theoverall experience more enjoyable.”;Even a marketing review section of Harvard Business Review suggests the same thing, "Not only did people report greater enjoyment when shows were interrupted by commercials, but they did so regardless of the quality of the commercials. ...People enjoyed shows that had commercials more, whether those commercials were good or bad. And if they watched shows with commercials, people were willing to pay 30% more for a DVD compilation of programs by the same director." Ultimately, not only does the audience gain more, this also can lead to greater revenue for the movies due to its better review, strengthening the point above.

Commercials aren't an absolute necessity for perhaps movies below 60 minutes, a 20 minute range from my original cut-off, however, these movies are quite rare, and even then the commercials can be really short, allowing for a break. The audience will also be informed of how long they will have to wait for the movie to come back, allowing them to patiently wait or do other things, rather than possibly have to go to the bathroom and miss the movie, or hold it in for another painful hour.
Onto you, my opponent.


Note, your statement here does not match what you wrote in the first round. We can't agree to debate whether ONE, then proceed to discuss airing multiple commercials. This debate is a discussion over a MAXIMUM of one commercial per film, whether it's Lawrence of Arabia or a 75-minute Disney movie. You never said that the producer, director, and theater can agree on how many commercials there would be, just on whether there would be a (singular) commercial. Here's what you said in round 1: "If the Producer, director and theater all agree, they will also be able to arrange times for when the commercial plays." You said "the commercial" not multiple commercials.

The point I'm making here is there is a lack of framework in this debate - we don't know how many commercials will possibly be aired at a single film. You originally said one commercial, now you're talking about several. What's to stop producers, directors, and theaters from agreeing on showing a commercial every ten minutes for a two hour movie. That's an hour of commercials - 50% of the film's total run time. This would ruin the experience of seeing movies. How can you get into the story of any movie, other than maybe a slapstick comedy.

Also, point of clarification: why does it matter whether the director agrees to the commercials or not? They have no executive control over the distribution of the movie unless they're a producer or part of the studio, so it's an unnecessary party to the agreement.

Commercials earn revenue. Yes, this is a fact, I'm not disputing that. If you sell ad space, you will cash a check. But the question here is whether net revenue will increase or decrease when theaters start running commercials in the middle of movies. I would argue that fewer people would go to movies, especially when as much as 1/3 of their time there will be spent watching advertisements. Figuring how much ticket sales would fall (and they certainly would fall) would be pure speculation, but it's fair to assume that the losses would exceed revenue gains from the commercials, otherwise theaters and producers would have started running commercials years ago. Your source on revenue growth from commercials is bogus - those commercials are pre-feature, meaning they are what's playing on the screen if you walk into a theater before the previews even start. These commercials aren't any indication of the impact that mid-movie commercials would have, because (1) the revenue only goes to the theater, no the movie producers/distributors; (2) there is no negative impact on ticket sales associated with the practice of pre-feature advertising, because it has no impact on the movie, because it's not an interruption in the same way a mid-movie commercial would be.

Theaters are already beginning to struggle, having to compete against home entertainment media like Netflix. If they start showing commercials, there would be no reason for people to go to theaters anymore. It would be far preferable to stay home and stream a movie with no interruptions in the comfort of your own home.

Five minutes really is a long time, especially if there are several breaks over the course of a movie. It's not as big of a deal when you're at home watching TV, because you can do other things, but how many times are you going to refill a soda or go to the restroom during a two hour movie? Most of the time, audiences would feel like their time was being wasted. When you're at home, you can change the channel during a break, get some work done, or do anything else you want. You're much more limited in a theater setting.

On television, networks are cutting commercials because people DON'T like watching commercials. Many studies show that commercial breaks decrease enjoyment of programming, contrary to what you claim. It's the reason streaming sites have become so popular - Netflix allows uninterrupted, on-demand streaming of content that allows for viewers to focus on the plot continuously, rather than in 10 minute pieces.

The fact is, people just don't have the patience and attention span to accommodate more commercials. It breaks the flow of a movie, the audience gets irritable, and they choose to stay home next time because it's easier to watch movies online without commercials.
Debate Round No. 2


Sorry, I realized in round two that I had possibly made a mistake since incredibly long movies might need more than one commercial break to be enjoyable.

I surrender because I suppose the five minutes was too much. Perhaps only a one-minute commercial would be much more fair, or even two 30-second commercials laid out anywhere within the movie. Note that your sources do confirm that the "commercial-less" works for young generation more than older people though, since the younger people have shorter attention spans; while my studies cover the entire range of TV watchers.


Good debate - it would be an interesting topic to talk about more if we had established commercial lengths from the beginning.
Debate Round No. 3


yes, perhaps.


Final round - posting to end the debate.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Jonbonbon 2 years ago
I was thinking about this last night when I was watching Star Ward and had to pee twenty minutes into the movie. It would've been nice to look forward to an intermission.
Posted by Wylted 2 years ago
I actually agree with this, but think it should be a short 7 minute film or something
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro Conceded.