Studios May Be Starting to Chill on Comic-Con; More Presentations Announced

     June 12, 2011


One of the major reasons that the San Diego Comic-Con has become a madhouse is that the studios have made it their own.  People camp out in Hall H just to see a little bit of footage from an upcoming film and to see their favorite stars quasi-up-close-and-personal.  But while studios try to use the potential buzz from the Con as a spring-board, that doesn’t necessarily carry to the box office.  Universal couldn’t have done a better job promoting Scott Pilgrim vs. The World at Comic-Con but it was considered a box office flop.  Kick-Ass flew on to people’s radar at Comic-Con with a killer presentation, but again: lackluster box office.  TRON: Legacy went to Comic-Con three times and it didn’t cross the $200 million mark domestically (and anyone who tells you that wasn’t a serious goal for Disney is lying).  And while box office doesn’t matter to me personally, it matters a lot to studio shareholders and executives.  But the studios are starting to get wise to the cost of running a serious campaign at Comic-Con and how the risks are starting to outweigh the potential benefits.  Hit the jump for more and to learn who’s coming to Comic-Con and who’s not.

The New York Times reports that Warner Bros. won’t be bringing anything.   That means no A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas and no Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.  The Times also says Disney and DreamWorks won’t be there, but I’ve heard different and I’m fairly certain at least one of their movies will have a presence.  Marvel is reportedly on the fence about doing a presentation for The Avengers, but I would bet your life that it will be there, because if it’s absent, then fanboys will assume the worst.

It’s important to note that no schedule has been locked in and Comic-Con doesn’t lock presentations until two weeks before the convention (much to the chagrin of publicists).  And last year, they did a really lousy job selecting where to schedule their presentations.  Before last year, I was never been able to stroll in and out of Hall H (the 6,000 seat room designed for the biggest presentations), but I could when the room was barely half-full for Skyline.  Meanwhile, hundreds of folks were shut out of the TV panels that were going on in a smaller room.  Lisa Gregorian, chief marketing officer for the Warner Brothers Television Group says she doesn’t see TV getting into Hall H this year (although Lost and Heroes both made Hall H showings in the past).  “That’s a creative decision by the convention,” Gregorian says.  I agree.  If Comic-Con wants to make poor use of their space, then no one is going to stop them.

The-Amazing-Spider-Man-movie-imageBut there have been some announcements that certain films will be making a showing at the Con (I guess that two-week issue doesn’t really apply if your movie is big enough).  We’ve previously reported that The Amazing Spider-Man and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance will be there, and at tonight’s Hero Complex Film Festival, Jon Favreau announced that his Cowboys & Aliens will also make its presence known with a presentation and a serious stunt.  If I had to guess, I’m guessing that stunt will be a screening, but I can’t say with total certainty.

NYT reports that the following films are also likely to have presentations: The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Immortals, The Raven, Shark Night 3D, and, of course, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1.

I don’t think the studios will abandon Comic-Con en masse nor do I think they’ll start dropping out at a rapid rate.  They see a marketing opportunity, the convention is selling out faster every year, and word of mouth does matter to an extent (release dates and advertising matters more).  But I think the days where Disney is willing to transform a building into the End of Line club or Universal is willing to buy the side of a building may be fading.

Around The Web

Latest News

THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 2: Katniss and Boggs Prepare for Battle

A new image features Jennifer Lawrence and Mahershala Ali in the climax of the ‘The Hunger Games’ saga.

FANTASTIC FOUR Director Josh Trank Promises “Multipower Slugfest”

'Fantastic Four' opens August 7th.

ANT-MAN TV Spot Reveals Avenger Cameo

'Ant-Man' opens July 17th.

  • Spoiler

Box Office: JURASSIC WORLD Edges Out INSIDE OUT Once Again; New Releases Settle for Scraps

This summer’s box office monster claims its fourth consecutive win by the narrowest of margins. New releases ‘Terminator Genisys’ and ‘Magic Mike XXL’ underwhelm over Independence Day holiday.

July Box Office Predictions: Will More Weekends Continue to Propel 2015?

Paramount and Universal fight for the top spot with franchise fare.

Zack Snyder Defends MAN OF STEEL Ending; Teases Batman Connection and Brainiac

Ben Affleck reveals how the Metropolis destruction affected Bruce Wayne.

Friday Box Office: Holdovers Still in Charge as TERMINATOR GENISYS and MAGIC MIKE XXL Stumble into Holiday Frame

Despite solid Wednesday starts, this weekend’s two new releases will not overtake 'Inside Out’ and ‘Jurassic World’ over the July Fourth weekend.

Kevin Spacey & Adrien Brody Talk Directors, Collaboration at Jameson First Shot

The short film competition this weekend announced its three winners: Stephan Tempier, Mark Middlewick & Travis Calvert

Our Favorite “AMERICAN” Movies

With “American” in the title, it can’t be bad.

BLACK PANTHER: Ava DuVernay Passes on Directing the Marvel Film

The 'Selma' filmmaker says she and Marvel had different ideas about what a 'Black Panther' movie should be.

Page 1 of 4,02812345...102030...Last »
echo ' '; ?>