PDA

View Full Version : More Movie Studios Avoiding Comic-Con



Treacle
06-13-2011, 09:34 AM
Saw this in the NYTimes this morning. Looks like several studios are reassessing the value of going to Comic-Con.

Full article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/13/business/media/13comic.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=tha210


Movie Studios Reassess Comic-Con
By BROOKS BARNES and MICHAEL CIEPLY

LOS ANGELES — In summers past, Warner Brothers used Comic-Con International, the premiere convention for comic book, science fiction and fantasy fans, as a marketing platform for movies like “Sherlock Holmes,” “300” and “Sucker Punch.”

The three years and millions of dollars Disney spent promoting “Tron: Legacy” at Comic-Con did not translate into ticket sales.

Walt Disney Studios staged “Tron: Legacy” stunts there three years in a row. Last July, DreamWorks Animation paraded Will Ferrell, Tina Fey and other members of the “Megamind” cast through the convention.

This year? Warner’s main studio operation is bringing nothing. Ditto Disney and DreamWorks. The Weinstein Company, a perennial presence, will also sit this one out. Even Marvel Entertainment, whose panel for “The Avengers” was a highlight of Comic-Con 2010, is on the fence about whether it will mount a major presentation.

Comic-Con, as a growing number of movie marketers are realizing, has turned into a treacherous place. Studios come seeking buzz, but the Comic-Con effect can be more negative than positive. The swarm of dedicated fans — many of whom arrive at the convention in Japanese anime drag or draped in Ewok fur — can instantly sour on a film if it doesn’t like what it sees, leaving publicity teams with months of damaging Web chatter to clean up.

Vigilance
06-13-2011, 09:37 AM
Wait, people at comic-con have opinions?!? Yes, they definitely need to avoid that shit.

Ben
06-13-2011, 09:47 AM
Sounds good!

A.Huerta
06-13-2011, 09:48 AM
What goes up, must come down.

Andrew
06-13-2011, 09:50 AM
Anyone dressed as an Ewok shouldn't be allowed to share an opinion.

WinterRose
06-13-2011, 09:55 AM
Unless... well, if it's about ewoks or something. I suppose it's okay then.

But really? This is almost a Bushie decision. Hmm... the opinions of the fanbase and target audience have proved to be dangerously volatile... I KNOW! LET'S IGNORE WHAT THEY THINK ALTOGETHER!

SteveFlack
06-13-2011, 10:02 AM
Unless... well, if it's about ewoks or something. I suppose it's okay then.

But really? This is almost a Bushie decision. Hmm... the opinions of the fanbase and target audience have proved to be dangerously volatile... I KNOW! LET'S IGNORE WHAT THEY THINK ALTOGETHER!

I don't think that's the problem. The problem is that the fanbase doesn't translate into money. Every year, the crowd at Comic Con convinces a movie studio they have a hit on their hands, and every year, that movie is a box office disappointment. Snakes on A Plane, Watchmen, Tron 2, Scott Pilgrim. Face it, Comic-Con is an audience that is convinced that Joss Whedon is a bankable film maker. That's completely not true.

I'm not saying that they are bad movies (well, except Watchmen. That thing is wretched). But they just didn't pay off the way the studios expected they would. So why waste all that money on promotion at Comic Con when it's not bringing in a return?

Look at the successes- Avatar was almost laughed out of Comic Con, but it ended up becoming one of the most successful movies of the last decade. Two of the most successful genre films of the last decade (The Dark Knight and the Star Trek reboot) had next to no Convention presence, yet that worked out for them.

I don't think this is the end of Hollywood at Comic Con. I just think we're at the point where Hollywood has to rethink their strategy.

Simps
06-13-2011, 10:07 AM
Wait, people at comic-con have opinions?!? Yes, they definitely need to avoid that shit.

I don't really even agree with that premise, though. The buzz for Scott Pilgrim and Tron Legacy were so big that, if the opinions of Comic-Con were in any way indicative of the real world, those two movies would have been two of the highest-grossing films of last year. I think that's finally becoming clear to studios who realize they don't really need to pander to what amounts to a small percentage of the paying audience.

WhindamPryce
06-13-2011, 10:10 AM
Them Nerds will Turn on ya right quick!

Gregory
06-13-2011, 10:14 AM
It's too simple for studios to mistake celebrity sightings/conversation with interest in a film.

SteveFlack
06-13-2011, 10:16 AM
It's too simple for studios to mistake celebrity sightings/conversation with interest in a film.

huh?

Evan the Shaggy
06-13-2011, 10:19 AM
I don't really even agree with that premise, though. The buzz for Scott Pilgrim and Tron Legacy were so big that, if the opinions of Comic-Con were in any way indicative of the real world, those two movies would have been two of the highest-grossing films of last year. I think that's finally becoming clear to studios who realize they don't really need to pander to what amounts to a small percentage of the paying audience.

I'd attribute a small part of Scott Pilgrim failing due to the fact that the target audience had already basically seen the movie due to scores of "free screenings" before the movie. They had basically wiped out a large demographic by letting them see it for free prior.

I for one am glad that the studios are steering clear of Comic Con.

Simps
06-13-2011, 10:24 AM
I'd attribute a small part of Scott Pilgrim failing due to the fact that the target audience had already basically seen the movie due to scores of "free screenings" before the movie. They had basically wiped out a large demographic by letting them see it for free prior.

While I know what you mean, and agree that it didn't help, I don't know that it could have realistically hurt the numbers that much. Even if each of the 100,000 Comic-Con attendees saw the film (which certainly seemed to be the case), we're talking less than $1 million in lost revenue. Nothing to scoff at, sure, but hardly what was going to make or break the film's numbers.

Jew Mafia
06-13-2011, 10:26 AM
Two of the most successful genre films of the last decade (The Dark Knight and the Star Trek reboot) had next to no Convention presence, yet that worked out for them.

TDK did have a convention presence, it just happened to be in Chicago rather than San Diego.

Anyways, I don't mind the studios pulling back a bit. You could see it was getting a tad out of hand. That said, I'm looking forward to the premiere of Cowboys & Aliens at the con.

Buk Was Right
06-13-2011, 10:27 AM
Whatever clears more floor space for the Honky Tonk Man to sign more autographs I'm all for.

Superior Kiai
06-13-2011, 10:29 AM
Thank you Jesus!!

Vigilance
06-13-2011, 10:31 AM
I don't really even agree with that premise, though. The buzz for Scott Pilgrim and Tron Legacy were so big that, if the opinions of Comic-Con were in any way indicative of the real world, those two movies would have been two of the highest-grossing films of last year. I think that's finally becoming clear to studios who realize they don't really need to pander to what amounts to a small percentage of the paying audience.

And it's hilarious that they EVER thought that.

No one, except maybe Comic Con who were reaping financial benefit, really was begging for THREE YEARS of Tron at comic con. If you put on a good stunt at a con, sure, you'll get a great reaction.

If you expect that to translate into ticket sales, that's not anyone's fault but yours.

In fact, most fans and comic creators I've heard mention this shit, they seem like they'd rather it wasn't there anyway.

Ben
06-13-2011, 10:31 AM
I'd attribute a small part of Scott Pilgrim failing due to the fact that the target audience had already basically seen the movie due to scores of "free screenings" before the movie. They had basically wiped out a large demographic by letting them see it for free prior.

I for one am glad that the studios are steering clear of Comic Con.Even if all those people had paid to see it, I don't think it would've affected teh box office numbers that much. I think you're overestimating how many people saw it for free and underestimating the number of people that need to pay to see it to actually make it a successful movie.

Ben
06-13-2011, 10:34 AM
I know of one professional wrestler that won't be appearing this year.

Evan the Shaggy
06-13-2011, 10:35 AM
I know of one professional wrestler that won't be appearing this year.

Virgil weeps!

A.Huerta
06-13-2011, 10:41 AM
TDK did have a convention presence, it just happened to be in Chicago rather than San Diego.

Anyways, I don't mind the studios pulling back a bit. You could see it was getting a tad out of hand. That said, I'm looking forward to the premiere of Cowboys & Aliens at the con.

TDK had a presence at SDCC. SOmething about people finding Joker money or something, I don't remember exactly.

Bervda
06-13-2011, 10:42 AM
So Hollywood might leave the show? So that means I might actually want to go one year!?

SteveFlack
06-13-2011, 10:43 AM
TDK had a presence at SDCC. SOmething about people finding Joker money or something, I don't remember exactly.

It was a viral stunt that really didn't have anything to do with Comic Con. I wouldn't be surprised to see WB run a similar stunt this year, but I wouldn't call that a "Comic-Con presence".

Jew Mafia
06-13-2011, 10:44 AM
TDK had a presence at SDCC. SOmething about people finding Joker money or something, I don't remember exactly.

You're right, but during WWCHI they had the cast and director, a panel, premiered footage, and did giveaways.

A.Huerta
06-13-2011, 10:47 AM
You're right, but during WWCHI they had the cast and director, a panel, premiered footage, and did giveaways.

Yeah, we didn't get that. :(

Still, TDK make bank.

Spidey616
06-13-2011, 10:50 AM
Really? :mistrust:


Even Marvel Entertainment, whose panel for “The Avengers” was a highlight of Comic-Con 2010, is on the fence about whether it will mount a major presentation.

Evan the Shaggy
06-13-2011, 10:52 AM
Really? :mistrust:

Yeah really, what? Marvel is thinking of pulling out?

SteveFlack
06-13-2011, 10:54 AM
You're right, but during WWCHI they had the cast and director, a panel, premiered footage, and did giveaways.

The big thing though: it didn't cost the studio that much money for their WWChi presence. The cast and crew were already in town shooting, they didn't have to throw and extravagant party for it. There was no giant city wide advertising, or large attention grabbing display either on the show floor, or somewhere else in town. It was more of a throwback to the way ComicCon used to be: a treat for the fans, instead of the latest show floor for the studios to try and grab some attention.

I don't see Hollywood leaving Comic Con. I just see them going a smaller route, similar to this.

Gregory
06-13-2011, 10:54 AM
huh?

I'm saying that it's easy for a studio to think star gawkers translate into movie audiences. Just because you want to see them in person doesn't mean you're willing to go to the theatre to see them.

SteveFlack
06-13-2011, 10:55 AM
Yeah really, what? Marvel is thinking of pulling out?

It's their preferred form of birth control.

SteveFlack
06-13-2011, 10:57 AM
I'm saying that it's easy for a studio to think star gawkers translate into movie audiences. Just because you want to see them in person doesn't mean you're willing to go to the theatre to see them.

I disagree. I don't the problem is getting the Comic Con crowd to the theaters. It's that they don't bring people along with them. If SDCC has 100,000 attendees, even if they all show up for your movie, it's still could be a failure. The problem is that people outside of the fanbase couldn't give a shit what the crowd at Comic Con liked.

And rightfully so, since they're nerds.

capntightpants
06-13-2011, 11:11 AM
It's disappointing to hear we might not get cool previews and stuff from The Avengers and stuff, but I'm mostly okay with less movies to come through, because hopefully it'll mean less crowds in general. Buying tickets have become a pain in the ass over the last few years.

KirbyKrackle
06-13-2011, 11:45 AM
If it means less hassle to get passes, good.

RickLM
06-13-2011, 11:48 AM
Yes, blame Comic Con for not delivering huge numbers for a piece of garbage movie like Tron 2.

Dan-C
06-13-2011, 12:05 PM
If not box office, the buzz from Comic Con helped deliver Disney huge licensing deals for Tron. So its not like its not worth the money. But what does WB need to go to comic con for? Dark Knight made $500 million, and Superman will hit $200 million on the name alone.