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


And they are everything fans could possibly want.

New CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR Set Photos Reveal Paul Rudd, Robert Downey Jr.

Half the MCU has assembled in Atlanta.

NOW YOU SEE ME 3 Heads into Development; Lionsgate Sees Magical Franchise

The studio wants to see more tricks.

Red Nose Day: Watch Anna Kendrick as Indiana Jones, Kermit Singing, More

In the first Red Nose Day special on American shores (benefitting the charity Comic Relief), celebrities such as Julia Roberts, Hugh Grant, Anna Kendrick, and even Kermit the Frog all showed up to participate in the live telecast.

New FANTASTIC FOUR Footage Breaks Down the Heroes’ Superpowers

The TV spot goes into incredible powers like invisibility, super-strength, and buying movie tickets.

A VERY MURRAY CHRISTMAS Trailer Features a Sad, Antlered Bill Murray

Sofia Coppola directed the Netflix special, which will also star George Clooney, Amy Poehler, Chris Rock, Maya Rudolph, Jason Schwartzman, and more.

Brad Bird Talks TOMORROWLAND, Why He Passed on STAR WARS, THE INCREDIBLES 2 and More

He also talks about potential plans for Blu-ray and theatrical re-releases for 'The Iron Giant'.

Ethan Hawke Talks GOOD KILL, Working at Burger King and More

He also reveals one very important thing director Andrew Niccol learned to do since they made 'Gattaca' together.

Watch GAME OF THRONES: THE MUSICAL Starring Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington, and More

The 'Game of Thrones' cast and Coldplay got together to create a 12-minute sketch to raise money for Red Nose Day.

First MACBETH Clips Show a Highly Stylized War and Coronation

Justin Kurzel’s adaptation takes place in 11th century Scotland and stars Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard.

Page 1 of 3,96012345...102030...Last »