20th Century Fox will not be bringing any film programming to Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con this year because of concerns that footage shown to the crowd in the hall will make its way online before the studio wants it broadly released, according to a report in The Wrap. Footage from Deadpool and X-Men: Apocalypse material shown at Comic-Con last year quickly made its way online, and apparently Fox is concerned that the same might happen again this year. While there’s no indication that the leaks of the trailers (most likely shot by fans in the room with hand-held devices) harmed box office (Deadpool set records, X-Men Apocalypse has not yet been released), the studio is apparently perturbed that its carefully laid plans were disrupted.
And those plans for comic-based movies are elaborate. For Deadpool, for example, the campaign involved releasing cast photos in early July, before the Hall H event, the carefully measured release of news via the Hall H event, a teaser in advance of the first trailer release, and then the first trailer release on Conan on August 4. All of this over the course of the month around San Diego Comic-Con. The release of the Hall H trailer disrupted the pace of reveals, and showed rough footage that Fox didn’t want widely distributed. So this year it is making sure that can’t happen with titles such as Wolverine 3.
Comic-Con International released a statement late Thursday that indicated it was trying to find “a remedy” for the leaks. “As any fan of Comic-Con knows there are a great many things that go into making a great panel presentation,” the statement said. “For television networks and movie studios sometimes that includes exclusive footage, and while we have been very diligent in trying to prevent footage from being leaked, the truth is today’s technology makes any guarantee difficult. We are working with our friends at the different studios and networks in hopes of finding a remedy that will be beneficial to them, us and most importantly the fans who make Comic-Con the best convention of its kind in the world.”
Fox will reportedly be at Comic-Con via smaller panels; the big Hall H presentation is the only thing it’s forgoing.