Monday, June 13, 2011

Are Movie Studios Running Away from Comic-Con?

    The power of the geeks can be a tricky thing; either it works for Hollywood or it doesn't.  So far, it's not fairing so well.  In fact, it may changed the overall power of Greek Prom a.k.a Comic-Con.

    This year, several studios will not showcase anything for the event.
    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. 

    “It’s a red-letter opportunity, but you shouldn’t go simply because it sits there on the calendar,” said Michael Moses, co-president of marketing for Universal Pictures. “You have to be absolutely certain you have goods ready that can really make a difference for your film.” 
    But there is an opposite effect too, 'We love it and everyone hates it'.

    Last year, folks loved the 'Sucker Punch' preview, but once that mess hit the screens, it was torn apart.  This also happened to 'Scott Pilgrim' and 'Tron 2'. So in some ways, our viewpoint may not be all that powerful.

    However, this could be a blessing in disguise. With studios backing down and fans demanding better stuff... Will this force Comic-Con to return to it's roots? Less studios, more independent projects and comics? This could be a start of something good.

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