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Over the years, San Diego Comic-Con has grown from a small convention that actually focused on comics to the single largest media convention in the universe. Every major entertainment company uses it as the showcase location for all of their upcoming properties. At least, they all did. A new report says that Fox is pulling out of doing major unveilings at the con because they can’t protect their exclusive content from pirates.
While Fox has not made an official comment, The Wrap is reporting that Fox will not be doing any major previews in Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con this year. In recent years many studios, Fox included, have created custom trailers for the attendees at SDCC and almost without fail that material has ended up online. Since preventing this from happening is essentially impossible, the hall is just too large and too packed with people, Fox has decided the next best thing is not to bother. The same source is also reporting that Disney is considering making the same decision, although a rep from Disney has denied that.
Fox will not be entirely absent from San Diego Comic-Con, there will be a smaller panel for their upcoming Dreamworks Animation collaboration Trolls. However, this decision does mean there will likely be nothing to see from upcoming major releases like the Assassin’s Creed movie, the third chapter of the Maze Runner movies, or Wolverine 3. That last one especially, would likely only have unfinished footage to show anyway so it was never a guarantee it would have been seen.
Seeing exclusive footage of your most anticipated movie or TV show has been one of the major draws of SDCC as an event. It’s difficult to tell how many people attend for solely this reason but certainly many do. Different studios have reacted to leaks in different ways, but in general, the exclusive trailers have been officially posted to YouTube within a few days of the pirated versions. Thus making the "exclusive trailer" no longer exclusive.
If this does turn out to be true it could spell disaster for San Diego Comic-Con as a whole. The other thing that this will do for Fox, beyond preventing leaks, is save them money. Events like SDCC are not cheap and if Fox doesn’t see any major repercussions from not making a big show, then other studios may follow suit, if only to save the cash.
Do you think this is the right move for Fox? Is not showing at all the only way to combat piracy? Could this be the beginning of a major decline of San Diego Comic-Con’s importance in the industry?