There’s been a lot of talk about what’s the mega big movies that are gonna presenting at San Diego Comic Con this year. Some folks are still shocked that Marvel Studios won’t be there (despite the fact that they have skipped a year before back in 2011.) There’s also a bit of a surprise that a few other movie studios have decided to also skip out the festivities this year (Sony Pictures and Paramount.)
The thing that gets to me is how so many folks think that going to San Diego Comic Con is THE place to promote a film, especially a film with a huge fanbase. The reality is San Diego Comic Con, while a GREAT place to get buzz, isn’t necessary to a film’s marketing. In fact, many big franchises never had a presentation at the Con. Some of them seem they always did, but these franchises never had a big fancy panel at SDCC. The big fancy panels that showed off some footage that blew the roof of the convention center.
Like what? Well…..
JAMES BOND (Daniel Craig era specifically)
Despite the cultural icon that he is, Bond in general has never had a panel at San Diego. A time that would have made sense to have one would have been before release of the Bond origin/reboot of the Daniel Craig run of the series. It would have been a way to show the audiences what kind of Bond Craig will be, to prove that he’s got a new attitude that fits the 21 century, but still has that cool and suave that we know for classic Bond to have. BUT, box office success and critical acclaim for the Craig run has proven time and time again that Bond doesn’t need Comic Con and since Sony Pictures won’t be there this year there will be no reason for a presentation for the up and coming Bond Film, Spectre, have a panel this year.
Star Trek (Abrams Reboot)
Star Trek has always had a huge presence at Comic Con. Be it the merchandise on sale, cosplays and the panels examining the series, Star Trek and Comic Con together will always make sense together. So you think a panel from the then highly anticipated Star Trek reboot was gonna show up at SDCC makes just as much sense, right? Hell, even a “surprise” unannounced J.J. Abrams showing off a trailer during a Paramount Pictures presentation would have brought the house down. And it seemed like they were gonna do that. Back in 2007, before the movie was shot there was a panel for the reboot in San Diego Comic Con that had Leonard Nimoy and Zachary Quinto share the stage with J.J. Abrams…
And despite them having pushing Star Trek at the Paramount Pictures booth in 2008 (check out this write up from Trekmovie.com HERE) no footage was screened during San Diego. Why? There could have been several reasons, Abrams either didn’t want to show the footage off (this was the height of Abrams need to keep secrets on his projects) or the footage wasn’t ready yet. Whatever the case, Star Trek did not show up that year, and neither did the sequel, Star Trek into Darkness…and both films did really well at the Box Office without out going to Comic Con. (Though Star Trek into Darkness wasn’t as popular as the last one but…that’s another talk for another time.)
But how about the new Trek film, currently directed by Justin Lin? Like I said before, Paramount won’t be at SDCC this year, and since the film, Star Trek Beyond, literally just started filming last week they would have barely any footage to show off to make a huge impression. Perhaps next year, since that will be the Star Trek’s 50th anniversary…I just won’t hold your breath.
After around 450 million books sold, 7 super successful films, and a still growing world wide phenomena you’d think for the final Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2, they’d go ALL OUT at San Diego Comic Con! A surprise appearance from the cast during a Warner Brothers presentation? The screams of fandom would have still been heard today. If there was a time to let the crowd go wild at Con for Harry Potter, the year before the final Potter film would have left a huge impression.
But, they were a no show. The closest Comic Con got was an appearance from Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) thanking the fans in Hall H….
That’s nice…but, it’s f***ing Draco Malfoy, who wanted that? (Kidding kidding, I’m sure Tom Felton is a swell guy.)
So why a no show this year? While I’m sure part of it is not paying the actors to fly them down to San Diego, but the real reason could be this….Harry Potter doesn’t NEED Comic Con.
The fact that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2 made $1,341,511,219 worldwide is proof enough. The fact Harry Potter books are still selling like crazy is proof enough.
Yes it would have been a blast for the fans to have seen Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint in the flesh to promote the final movie….but they didn’t needed to do that to convince people to watch their movie.
Transformers (The Michael Bay movies)
The most we got from the mega budgeted movie was this fun tease in 2006….
Besides that, no huge panel. Again, a panel at Con would have made sense. Fans would have loved to have seen what the characters would look like, and I’m sure hearing Peter Cullen voice Optimus Prime again would have melted the nostalgia factor into overdrive at the Convention.
There have been sequels since the first movie, and it’s pretty clear that the audience for the movies are willing to keep going to these flicks…even if the buzz is really bad (I.E. Age of Extinction.)
Batman (The Christopher Nolan series)
It’s pretty crazy to think that it’s been 10 years since Batman Begins, but we almost take for granted how Nolan’s vision of Batman not only saved the Batman movies but (in my opinion) helped evolve the superhero film to have a more sophisticated sheen.
But back in 2004, there was a good amount of un-sureness with this reboot. While Christopher Nolan had plenty of respect thanks to his work on Memento and Insomnia, it was still considered a risk to give him Batman. He’s never done a full on blockbuster before. And even though it’s been 6 years since the much mangled Batman and Robin came out, people weren’t sure if they wanted another film with Batman in it.
If there was ever a place for Nolan to prove to the public that he’s got the goods, that place would have been San Diego Comic Con….
…obviously, you know how this ends.
I vaguely recalled reading that Nolan and Christian Bale did a satellite feed to either San Diego Comic Con OR to WonderCon that year,but I can’t seem to find proof of that.
BUT, Nolan’s film clearly didn’t need the Con, and he went on to keep impressing the fans with his work on the Batman films and his none Batman films.
As you can see, while San Diego Comic Con is a great place for a film to show off what it’s got, not every film series needed it.
It’s not like we’ve got nothing this year to look forward too. I’m really excited to see footage from Deadpool, X-Men: Apocalypse. The Hateful Eight, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and whatever the DC Movies have cooking up for us.
And if it ends up being a underwhelming year? Well, that’s ok….there’s always next years Con.