Monday, June 13, 2011

Are Movie Studios Abandoning Comic-Con?

For the past few years it has been expected that every major studio in Hollywood would bring their high profile movies to Comic-Con.  If it had just the slightest link to fanboy cred you could expect it to be there.  

Then something happened.  Those movies that they spent major cash to promote at Comic-Con did not become the blockbusters they expected.  

The New York Times is reporting that some movie studios have decided not to bring projects to Comic-Con.  According to the article, Warner Brothers and Disney will not be bringing anything.  Another that they say is still deciding if they'll go - I believe that they will - is Marvel.  With The Avengers coming up, I can't see director Joss Whedon not attending.  

While the studios may feel burned because of the not so great performances of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and Sucker Punch, perhaps it isn't Comic-Con's fault.  While buzz from there can be helpful, studios should be relying on much more than that to propel a movie.  The Comic-Con crowd knew Scott Pilgrim, but non-fanboys had no idea who he was or that it was even based on anything.  

With Sucker Punch, the problem was the movie as a whole.  Everyone talked up a storm about the footage shown at Comic-Con.  Several months later people began seeing the whole movie and that's when bad word of mouth started.  That was long after the Comic-Con high of the sizzle reel shown.

It seems that the studios are relying only on the Comic-Con crowd to come in droves opening weekend to turn it in to a blockbuster.  But even with that crowd it isn't enough.  This hype happened previously to Zack Snyder with his movie version of Watchmen.  It did end up pulling in $107 million from its run, but was no where near what Warner Brothers was hoping for.      

Fans can talk all night to someone about why they should see a certain movie, but if it doesn't look enticing to that person they just aren't going to go.  Recent movies like Thor became hits not just because of the usual comic book crowd.  It was because it was something that looked appealing to a larger audience.  Having great word of mouth from screenings helped as well.  

There are still other movie studios that will be going to Comic-Con.  For you Twihards, Lionsgate will have a panel for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1.  We hope not to see a replay of the Twi-riots of 2009.  Universal Studios will be back with Cowboys & Aliens to do something that I don't believe any studio has  done before, that is to hold the movie premiere there.

Other movies you can expect to be at Comic-Con are The Amazing Spider-Man (Sony), Rise of the Planet of the Apes (20th Century Fox), Immortals (Relativity) and The Adventures of Tintin:Secret of the Unicorn (Paramount).

Over the next few weeks we'll begin getting notice of studios and projects that are heading to San Diego next month.  We'll keep you updated as we find out more.  

This could be the summer at Comic-Con where we see a shift begin to happen again.  

What say you?

POPped by
Jungle Jesse

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