It is really no secret that San Diego Comic-Con isn’t really about comic books anymore. The annual summer convention has expanded beyond that scope and has turned into a place where toys, games, video games, TV, and movies can be found. Major studios have staked their claim at the convention center’s iconic Hall H, where they push their latest tentpole films for your viewing pleasure, and fans wait hours and sometimes even overnight just to step foot into the massive area to get an early look an upcoming movie. In the early days, studios had to deal with piracy when shoddy poor resolution videos of these sneak peeks appeared on the internet. There is only so much that security can cover, but when they find them, they are dealt with in a swift manner. The problem is, the technology has advanced so much it has become harder to detect when someone is recording a video. In a matter of minutes, someone can upload their recorded content onto the internet via social media, and by the time a studio finds out, not only has it already been seen by the masses, it has already been downloaded and mirrored 1,000 times.
Generally, the emcee discourages this and tells everyone in Hall H that the footage about to be shown is meant only for those who bought badges (which are already expensive). But there is always that one person who ignores this. And it seems like it is an ongoing problem with no solution in sight. Well, Fox may have found one. They are just not going to show up with anything at Comic-Con this year, and cites piracy as the reason why they will not reveal any footage for their upcoming tentpoles. More on the story below.
As first reported on The Wrap, Fox has yet to make a formal announcement on the matter. But even if the confirmation has yet to be made, a studio would normally deny such action quickly. Seeing as Fox has not done that, it seems to tell us that this is very real. Birth.Movies.Death says Disney is rumored to make the same move as well.
If any of this is true, it is unfortunate. Both studios have a plethora of films that fans will surely be excited about, and will be amazed at when they see the footage. Those who attended CinemaCon were dazzled by Fox’s presentation of Assassins’ Creed starring Michael Fassbender. Then there is also Alien: Covenant, which has started shooting. And now that Wolverine 3 has started to cast more actors, so what better time to show a brief teaser or even confirm that the film will be based on the Old Man Logan story arc. Let’s not forget War Of The Planet Of The Apes.
This would have been a year that Disney attended the Con, given that the studio has the D23 Expo, which is held every other year, but more on that later. If its true that they are going to pass on it, fans would be missing out on Doctor Strange, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Moana, the live-action telling of Beauty And The Beast, and maybe even a snippet of Star Wars: Episode VIII.
The problem is that studios can no longer deal with their content being uploaded onto the internet so quickly. There is no faulting the studio for making such a decision given how much of what they show is meant specifically for those who attend Comic-Con and have waited those long hours to see footage. All of it is ruined just so the uploader can be the first one to show it to the world. As a result, studios are forced to release the actual trailer earlier than expected. When the Suicide Squad SDCC trailer appeared online illegally, it forced WB to upload that same trailer just days later, which upset director David Ayers, who said on his Twitter account, “Shame our sneak peek Hall H footage was leaked. #notcool
it’s unfair to the fans who waited in line. And not how I intended folks to see it.”
There is only so much that security can do, and with that in mind, one solution is for studios to hold their own cons or just hold off on showing any footage at all. Disney has gone forth with the former for the past few years. Using the D23 Expo as their flagship to present footage from their animation and live-action department, and let’s not forget Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm. And now that they own Lucasfilm, they can show their Star Wars stuff at Star Wars Celebration. With Disney Studios continuing to grow, it seems more than likely that they would change D23 Expo from a biannual event to an annual one. Look at the number of films they can release in a month. They are releasing films sometimes within weeks of each other.
The only thing I can say that is a good reason to be in Hall H, aside from the footage, are the cheesy Q&A sessions with the cast and filmmakers of the film. Sometimes it’s things like Tom Hiddleston dressed as Loki, and getting the crowd to kneel. Or it’s the actor appearing in the question queue, waiting to ask that funny joke to the director or his fellow cast members. Those are moments you cannot get in a trailer.
Of course, if Fox and Disney aren’t going to show up, this only means that competing studios can appear. Sony has a chance to shed more light on Spider-Man: Homecoming. Warner Bros can give attendees their first look at Justice League and Wonder Woman, and maybe even introduce the directors for other DCEU solo films. Paramount can even provide a first look at their films. Of course, Lionsgate can show us whatever footage they have for Power Rangers.
There is really no stopping footage from being leaked onto the internet. This only leaves studios with a couple of options: 1) Release whatever was shown minutes, hours, or a day after; 2) Not show up the following year; 3) Just make you own convention ala Disney. Trying to prevent footage from getting online is a futile effort. And studios releasing the same con footage on the net only moments after does take away from the experience. But if you aren’t there for the footage, but for the fun of it like Tom Hiddleston dressed as Loki, Andrew Garfield dressed as a Spider-Man fanboy, or the free Star Wars concert, then Hall H at SDCC is for you.
But I won’t be the least bit surprised with studios with plenty of properties under their banner to go the Disney route, and create cons of their own.
[Source: The Wrap | Birth.Movies.Death]