Before just about every Hall H presentation at Comic-Con International: San Diego, attendees are reminded not to record any exclusive footage lest the studios pull out of the event. To many, it seemed like an empty threat as the studios would return year after year and, despite the warning, the footage would soon leak.
But according to The Wrap, 20th Century Fox is making good on the threat and pulling out of Hall H this year. Their sources reveal the studio feels both it and Comic-Con cannot control the flow of information or the leaking of material, making the event less appealing as a marketing destination.
While neither Fox nor CCI would confirm the decision or the motivation, there is no denying that material quickly turns up online. The first footage of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice found its way on to video sites within minutes of its Hall H debut. Outgoing Doctor Who head writer and executive producer Steven Moffat also pulled a promised series trailer after a similar Hall H leak.
Many leaks were dismissed as part of studios’ overall marketing plans with “official” releases of the footage often happening soon after. But Fox’s reported decision to pull out indicates this was never the case, at least for that studio.
The Wrap’s report also claims Disney is considering walking away as well. In previous years, the company has varied its presence depending on whether or not it was presenting its own D23 Expo a few weeks after Comic-Con. But that event is bi-annual and not scheduled for 2016, making the rumblings of a Disney pull-out seemingly connected to dissatisfaction with CCI’s ability to prevent leaks.
CCI is teaming up with Lionsgate to bring some of the Hall H content — and other panels as well — to viewers away from the event via its Comic-Con HQ streaming site. It is unclear if the Hall H shake-up will effect plans for content on the service.
And while the organization is making the move to bring panels to those who cannot attend, some have noticed that Hall H film presentations have become less iconic in the years since the Avengers made their first appearance on its stage. It seems the era of Hall H as the destination within Comic-Con may be drawing to a close … at least as far as film sneak peaks are concerned.
It is unclear if the shake-up will ultimately effect the television divisions of these companies or the people sleeping in the Hall H line for the Game of Thrones and Walking Dead presentations.