Soda Creative, based in downtown Los Angeles, is one of several companies that have sprouted up to take advantage of studios’ appetite for targeted marketing. Above, owner Jaime Gamboa, left, and business partner Jaehoon Oh. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Movie trailers have become their own kind of blockbusters.

Hollywood studios collectively spent $3.16 billion last year on U.S. marketing efforts to draw people to the theaters in the face of competition from new entertainment options, according to Nielsen.

The struggle to reach the mass audience has given rise to a diverse industry of producers that cuts feature films into bite-sized appetizers. About 15 years ago, there were only… [Read more on LA Times]