It would appear that something of a rebellion is underway by major movie studios who are usually expected to show off big and exciting things from their upcoming slate every year at San Diego Comic-Con. A growing number of said studios have declared that they will not be attending Comic-Con this summer, and others are still pondering whether the yearly geek mecca is worth their time and promotional efforts.
The New York Times is reporting that among the studios who have decided not to show up at Comic-Con this year are Warner Brothers, Walt Disney, DreamWorks, and The Weinstein Company. Even bigger might be Marvel — likely the most expected to show up and promote The Avengers — who is apparently still “on the fence” as to if they want to attend this summer’s convention.
So many big studios not showing up could be devastating to the hordes of fans who so look forward to the extravaganza each year, but thereasoning behind said studios making this decision is not of the nonsensical variety. See, the past few years have seen some major, major titles being flaunted to the Comic-Con masses, and we geeks can be fickle creatures. If exciting new footage for one of these major titles is good then we revel in all its glory, shouting to everyone who will hear us how amazing it is. But if the footage is a major letdown, you may never hear harsher words spoken, and it’s this immense and instantaneous reaction that can be so much more damaging than we realize.
Movies like Disney’s Tron: Legacy and WB’s Sucker Punch had attendees buzzing with how great their footage was at last year’s Con, then they arrived in theaters to lackluster results. Sometimes the movie just ends up not being good as it looks, or sometimes — as the studios see it — we might just be getting TOO excited for a film, raising our expectations beyond reach.
If this trend continues and other studios continue to join in on the absentee party, it could be most devastating to San Diego itself. As you’ll recall, there was a big situation recently where it was being argued whether to keep Comic-Con in the city, or if it had to be moved to somewhere else. San Diego made an almost $800 million bid to ensure it stayed where it belonged, and eventually was able to announce that they weren’t going anywhere. But what if studios start thinking they don’t need Comic-Con and stop going? Will attendance start to drop as well? It would be tragic for them to invest so much in keeping Comic-Con alive in San Diego only to see everything start to fall apart.
While many studios will be absent, there are still plenty who’ll be attendance: Lionsgate; Universal with Cowboys & Aliens; Paramount with The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn; Song with The Amazing Spiderman; Fox with Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Relativity Media with Immortals, The Raven, and Shark Night 3-D, and Summit, of course, has “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn “” Part 1 (that’s right, Hall H attendees, get ready to wait… and wait… and wait in line to get in on the Twilight day).
What does everyone think about studios deciding not to attending Comic-Con, especially those of you who go every year?