According to the New York Times, there are several major studios not attending the biggest comic book convention of the year. Warner Bros., Walt Disney Studios, Dreamworks Animation, and The Weinstein Company have all decided to sit out this year. Even more strange, it appears Marvel Entertainment is still on the fence as to whether or not the company will have a major studio push at the convention.
Could it be that H’wood has pushed the convention too far? In years past, the San Diego Comic Con was a huge way to push films and properties, and then get the comic book and pop culture fans to spread the word to others to get them to go to the big picture show, too. If it wasn’t for CCI: San Diego, the original Star Wars may not have ever made it, and certainly films like 300 would never have become so popular if it wasn’t for convention promotion. The last couple of years, convention goers and online sites have complained about the Hollywoodification of the convention (Yes, a new word I just made up), and we may have seen the effects of last year’s movie push finally getting the best of the studio system, as fickle fans turned against the movies being promoted heavily. TRON: Legacy, Sucker Punch and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World had con goers turning lukewarm about the films before they hit the theater, and subsequently, the films didn’t perform as well as the studios had hoped.
Still, it looks like Sony will be there pushing the new Spider-Man film, Paramount will be there with Tintin, and Universal is still planning on something having to do with Cowboys and Aliens. While Hall H will most certainly be filled with fans, the show floor might be a bit less congested this year, as the 130,000 attendees aren’t crowded around one or two booths pushing their latest film. On the plus side, smaller studios now have a chance to push their films to fans and not be cast aside due to the thrill of the major studios showing off the big stars and giving away bits of ephemera.
Does this announcement signal a major change in how H’wood perceives comic book and pop culture films, or has the L.A. Times Hero Complex Film Festival replaced Hall H as a way to push their wares without having to travel a hundred plus miles?