20th Century Fox could turn San Diego Comic-Con, held from July 21–24, into a victory parade. After all, ever since October 2015, when the Golden Globe-winning The Martian was released, the studio has been on a nice roll: Bridge of Spies and The Revenant won Oscars for Best Supporting Actor (Mark Rylance) and Best Actor (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Best Director (Alejandro G. Iñárritu); Kung Fu Panda 3 made a half-billion dollars worldwide; and Deadpool is the highest grossing R-rated movie of all-time. Not even Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip can ruin the good mood (only your faith in humanity).
But the Wrap reported 20th Century Fox won’t showcase any footage from its films in July, because “the studio feels it cannot prevent the piracy of custom trailers and exclusive footage routinely screened for fans in attendance.”
At last year’s Comic-Con, the Suicide Squad trailer premiered for a packed Hall H crowd, and Hall H crowd only. But, naturally, it quickly appeared online, and two days later, director David Ayer released the official version before he, or Warner Bros. Pictures, probably wanted to. What’s the problem, you might be wondering. Isn’t any publicity good publicity, especially when your Comic-Con-premiering trailer is more popular than Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice‘s? Certainly, unless it’s a Fantastic Four-level disaster. But studios need to feel like they have the power, even though the opposite’s true (if fans don’t care, they won’t come, and the project dies). Announcing that the trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens is going to debut at this exact time, as opposed to what happened with Suicide Squad, when someone filmed the thing on their phone and uploaded it to YouTube, is how they can control the narrative.
20th Century Fox will still be a presence in San Diego this year, but attendees won’t get to see footage from Assassin’s Creed, Maze Runner: The Death Cure, or Wolverine 3, all of which are scheduled to be released before Comic-Con 2017. Teasers and trailers are a big reason why people are willing to essentially pay money to wait in line, and it’ll be interesting to see how the decision works for 20th Century Fox, and whether other studios follow suit out of the same piracy fears. (Disney, whose D23 Expo is bi-annual, is reportedly considering pulling out, too). If you’re of the belief that there’s no original ideas left in Hollywood, this could be bad news for Comic-Con.
(via the Wrap)