Outside of the madness of Hall H or Ballroom 20, where major movie and television properties pitch upcoming features to eager fanbases, industry folks attending San Diego Comic-Con can learn about the progress of the storytelling process – both behind the scenes and in front of the cameras – in major panels in and around the Convention Center. Venturing away from the fray of gathered fans, you really can learn valuable information about how the people creating the media you consume are approaching projects, both big and small.

One such panel took place Thursday morning at San Diego Comic-Con, where 20th Century Fox senior vice president Daria Cercek (X-Men, Spy), Warner Bros. senior vice president Drew Crevello (Dungeons & Dragons, Akira), and Lionsgate executive vice president Jim Miller (The Hunger Games, Power Rangers) opened up about "the development process, how they choose intellectual property (IPs) to adapt, how movies get green lit, how filmmakers and actors are selected, what mistakes can lead to bad movies, how they balance originality vs. faithfulness to source material, and how much they care about the opinions of fans." That’s the official description, from the panel book. But here are the 5 most interesting things that we pulled from the panel, as they pertain to the major film franchises that you love.

X-Men First Class
A Franchises' Success Is Defined By 'Emotional Equity'
Hollywood doesn’t have to be a numbers game. Financial success matters, of course. But Daria Cercek talked at length about "Emotional Equity" that can be earned by a film that is either launching or rebooting a franchise, and that can tell a studio that it’s worth continuing down the path. Her example was Fox’s X-Men: First Class, which earned less than X-Men: The Last Stand, even though creatively, Matthew Vaughn’s film is considered far more successful than Brett Ratner’s mutant sequel. But the "Emotional Equity" gained by movies like First Class, The Maze Runner and more often lead to sequels. Could this be the hope for this summer’s Fantastic Four reboot?

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