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Editorial: Why studios are backing out of Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con

04.28.2016

20th century fox

Another major studio has chosen to bite the dust when it comes to making a big Hall H presentation at San Diego Comic-Con.

According to The Wrap, this year it's 20th Century Fox who has chosen to bow out of the preceedings, and it's not because they don't have a wealth of films they could easily roll out to generate some friendly fan buzz in the months ahead. It's because they have lost control over how that material is circulated... and they don't want to play by this new set of Wild West rules anymore. 

Amidst concerns of piracy getting specially-cut trailers and exclusive footage outside of the walls of Hall H, Fox is opting out, choosing to take part in smaller events for movies like TROLLS over what they've been a part of in the past, which, this year, might have included early looks at ASSASSIN'S CREED, WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES and perhaps even ALIEN: COVENANT. 

And the fact of the matter is that we as fans have no one to blame for this but ourselves.

the joker, suicide squad, jared leto, comic-con, san diego comic-con

While there are plenty of people who attend Comic-Con and other conventions throughout the year and are perfectly fine with following the rules laid out for them in order to take part in seeing the privileged goodies that studios are willing to share at the event, there are more than a few who are not. These are the same people who are ready to hop on Reddit and spoil details of a movie they got into an advance screening of simply to brag "First!" and the ones who are quick to upload bootleg footage to their YouTube accounts with the quickness, so they can feel validated by all the likes and comments they're receiving, thus justifying the very thing they did. And because they feel that need to broadcast something that was only meant for them to the outside world, via Twitter or Periscope or now Facebook Live or whatever means they have at their disposal, simply because now they've can, the studios aren't willing to oblige with those who flaunt their disrespect for respectful requests.

Studios don't have to come to Comic-Con anymore. In many cases, it's done them more harm than good over the years. They've taken films inside the echo chamber and come out believing they're going to be giant hits due the reactions they've received in Hall H, only to find out that the mainstream audiences didn't feel the same way at the box office. Does SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD ring a bell? What about COWBOYS AND ALIENS? They didn't exactly set the world on fire, following their positive SDCC experiences (SCOTT PILGRIM probably deserved better but it just didn't happen).

scott pilgrim vs. the world

In addition, due to fans' crazed frenzy for awesomeness all the time, the bars of expectation have been set way too high, setting the studios up for failure when they aren't able to provide it in spades. Fans can be great when they see something they really dig or have a preconceived notion that they'll like on... but the flip side of that coin is the vicious ravaging they're quick to dish out when they see something that doesn't meet their lofty standards. That damage can torpedo a movie before anyone has really had a chance to see it, and the studio is left to throw more money at the marketing in the hopes of salvaging the movie and overcoming the negative perceptions that fans are typically reluctant to let go of. 

Remember FANTASTIC FOUR, speaking of a Fox film in recent history? How early in the process did fans decide that was something they were going to hate, all because of a leaked Doctor Doom set pic? How quickly did fans start bashing the most recent X-MEN movies, all because they didn't like the way Quicksilver's costume looked in a photoshoot or how Apocalypse's outfit was designed? That left Fox working twice as hard to heal the beating of those two projects delivered by fans. 

fantastic four, doctor doom

If there is a risk of that type of backlash to what you're prepared to bring to the Comic-Con table, then why even bother showing up? Why put your blockbusters in jeopardy, with so much money tied up in their hopeful successes, when you can control what you show over time throughout your promotional campaign under more favorable circumstances? Or, in the case of Disney... when you can hold your own events that are big enough to be on par with SDCC.

They have the D23 Expo, where they see all the financial benefit of fans buying tickets to gain access to everything they put forth, unlike Comic-Con where they have to buy-in to showcase their future product, or their own Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase announcements, which is the film industry's equivalent to Apple unveiling its new products - they only reveal what they are comfortable with the public knowing (be it film titles, logos or trailers), and that's good enough. There isn't a demand for something special or something more. Those in attendance are satisfied with what they get, and it's more about the communal experience of sharing a similar passion with fellow fans than it is about feeling entitled to something unique that you can then rush to tweet about before everyone else.

In the past, studios were willing to play ball with the fans, believing their enthusiasm and excitement was the end that justified the means. However, as of late, they've been really examining the situation at Comic-Con and, channeling Timothy Olyphant in THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, have begun asking themselves "Is the juice worth the squeeze?" 

With Fox's decision to bow out of this year's Comic-Con, they've sent their message that no, it is indeed not.  

CLICK IMAGE TO OPEN GALLERY & SEE MORE PICS...

Source: The Wrap

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12:50AM on 07/21/2016
Great article. Thanks for the insight.
Great article. Thanks for the insight.
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1:20AM on 04/29/2016

Good

And after they finish making excuses about people pirating frikkin *ADS*, they'll turn around and realize the only other viable venue to generate a big early buzz for your movie is the internet - the very place they always poo poo'd for stealing their promotional material. Frankly, Comicon is starting to become irrelevant. For the past decade it's ballooned in popularity, but the San Diego convention center ain't gettin any bigger. And they maxxed the capacity of that place back in 2008.
And after they finish making excuses about people pirating frikkin *ADS*, they'll turn around and realize the only other viable venue to generate a big early buzz for your movie is the internet - the very place they always poo poo'd for stealing their promotional material. Frankly, Comicon is starting to become irrelevant. For the past decade it's ballooned in popularity, but the San Diego convention center ain't gettin any bigger. And they maxxed the capacity of that place back in 2008. Fandom is growing at a breakneck pace and shows no signs of stopping, which means every year that passes, Comicon's attendees represent a smaller and smaller percentage of our demographic. At some point, something has to break.
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-1
11:24PM on 04/28/2016

it saves them embarrassment

so they don't advertise stuff like this: [link]



so they don't advertise stuff like this: [link]



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7:54PM on 04/28/2016
I'm willing to bet this speaks more to the future scale of Comic-Con than it does about the success of any film. Trailers will still be leaked and released, images still taken. the only people to be effected by this are those who attend Comic-Con.
I'm willing to bet this speaks more to the future scale of Comic-Con than it does about the success of any film. Trailers will still be leaked and released, images still taken. the only people to be effected by this are those who attend Comic-Con.
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7:48PM on 04/28/2016
On the other hand, if fans react badly to early footage the studios can start to re-do it rather than waiting till a regular trailer shows fans the same problem.
As to fans leaking footage designed for the con, well if it's something you were willing to show a couple thousand people than it's footage you should probably release to the net anyway say a week later and advise fans who were not at the con to stand by to see a non blurry non bootleg version.
On the other hand, if fans react badly to early footage the studios can start to re-do it rather than waiting till a regular trailer shows fans the same problem.
As to fans leaking footage designed for the con, well if it's something you were willing to show a couple thousand people than it's footage you should probably release to the net anyway say a week later and advise fans who were not at the con to stand by to see a non blurry non bootleg version.
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+3
7:24PM on 04/28/2016
So they don't like the frankenstein monster they created? Go ahead, don't show anything! It doesn't really matter. We spend way too much time obsessing over these 2 year long rollouts of bits and pieces anyway. They are only shooting themselves in the feet. The mass audience is drawn in by the fans' enthusiasm. If they want to get rid of that, then I am all for it. It will mean lower box office numbers and less product awareness, but it will have zero affect on me other than giving me more free
So they don't like the frankenstein monster they created? Go ahead, don't show anything! It doesn't really matter. We spend way too much time obsessing over these 2 year long rollouts of bits and pieces anyway. They are only shooting themselves in the feet. The mass audience is drawn in by the fans' enthusiasm. If they want to get rid of that, then I am all for it. It will mean lower box office numbers and less product awareness, but it will have zero affect on me other than giving me more free time to do anything else more valuable than waiting for another picture of will smith as deadshot.
I also want to add that joblo and other movie sites probably shouldn't be acting all high and mighty about this. You get a ton of your readership from these leaks, sneak peaks, etc. You don't get to play both sides when you profit of these leaks while suckling on the fat tit of big hollywood.
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12:37PM on 05/02/2016
Yeah, the tone of the article is baffling. As others have said, though, if your vids are good enough to show to the people that can afford to go, just release it online a few days or a week later. If it's not good enough for mass consumption, maybe you shouldn't be showing it.
Yeah, the tone of the article is baffling. As others have said, though, if your vids are good enough to show to the people that can afford to go, just release it online a few days or a week later. If it's not good enough for mass consumption, maybe you shouldn't be showing it.
+3
7:20PM on 04/28/2016

I always thought special previews were crap anyway....

I was especially pissed off at Godzilla where the "concept short" got such amazing reviews, but we the peons expected to go see it and pay our money weren't good enough to watch it. Sorry I live on the wrong coast and cant afford to take a week off of work and spend $4000-$5000 to attend a comic book convention (and hope to get one of the tickets to a hall that sells out for every big presentation).

It's time to stop acting like people deserve special treatment because they happen to live
I was especially pissed off at Godzilla where the "concept short" got such amazing reviews, but we the peons expected to go see it and pay our money weren't good enough to watch it. Sorry I live on the wrong coast and cant afford to take a week off of work and spend $4000-$5000 to attend a comic book convention (and hope to get one of the tickets to a hall that sells out for every big presentation).

It's time to stop acting like people deserve special treatment because they happen to live in a certain state. Just release the promo (or a video of the hall event) a few days later. That way the people who went there and stood in line got to see it first, but the rest of us aren't treated like the red-headed step children.
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1:32AM on 04/29/2016
Hall H is both better and far faar worse than you presume. For the rest of Comicon, all panels are open to everyone attending, first-come, first-served. When the panel's over, you're expected to leave (but you don't have to) Hall H takes this concept even further - if you get in line for Hall H, you're basically committing to an endless press junket. Maybe you're only there to see the panel for Shrek 15: Even Shrekker, but that's at 2pm, and the line's 11 hours long by then. So instead you
Hall H is both better and far faar worse than you presume. For the rest of Comicon, all panels are open to everyone attending, first-come, first-served. When the panel's over, you're expected to leave (but you don't have to) Hall H takes this concept even further - if you get in line for Hall H, you're basically committing to an endless press junket. Maybe you're only there to see the panel for Shrek 15: Even Shrekker, but that's at 2pm, and the line's 11 hours long by then. So instead you get in line when the convention opens, and you get into Hall H around noon and just sit through all the goddamn panels. It's literally like a buffet line of panellists, one group directly after the other with only short interruptions. For some people, Hall H is all they ever see of Comicon, the poor bastards.
6:02PM on 04/28/2016
I truly believe a way to combat the pirating issue, would be if Comic-Con signed a deal with a network to broadcast the event. I think the studios would be on board, if the footage they bring to the event is shown though legal means, then they wouldn't have to worry. Buzz is buzz, whether it's good or bad. I truly believe that a network like HBO would be a great place to air Comic-Con (Live, uncut and uncensored.). Both the studios and networks are missing out on a very lucrative deal.
I truly believe a way to combat the pirating issue, would be if Comic-Con signed a deal with a network to broadcast the event. I think the studios would be on board, if the footage they bring to the event is shown though legal means, then they wouldn't have to worry. Buzz is buzz, whether it's good or bad. I truly believe that a network like HBO would be a great place to air Comic-Con (Live, uncut and uncensored.). Both the studios and networks are missing out on a very lucrative deal.
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5:54PM on 04/28/2016
How about Fox stop making crappy movies.
How about Fox stop making crappy movies.
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5:07PM on 04/28/2016

Remember When...

Remember when though that when Fantastic Four came out....it really sucked anyway? So that set pic was just proof of the suckyness. I don't know one person that actually liked the movie. Some films deserved to get trashed, because they turn out to be trash. AKA the new Ghostbusters. Maybe FOX has a bunch of movies lined up...but they are all trash.
Remember when though that when Fantastic Four came out....it really sucked anyway? So that set pic was just proof of the suckyness. I don't know one person that actually liked the movie. Some films deserved to get trashed, because they turn out to be trash. AKA the new Ghostbusters. Maybe FOX has a bunch of movies lined up...but they are all trash.
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