Movie Studios Abandon San Diego Comic Con!

Warner Bros., Disney, Dreamworks and more aren't bothering this year. Marvel Studios might not either.

William Bibbianiby William Bibbiani

We're surprised… that it didn't happen earlier. The major movie studios, which in recent years have turned San Diego Comic Con into a Mecca for just about everything but comics, are starting to walk away from the world's biggest pop culture fest. The New York Times reports that neither Warner Bros., Disney, Dreamworks nor The Weinstein Company are planning to bring nothing whatsoever to the convention, and believe it or not Marvel Studios might not either. What the hell happened?

The damned obvious, that's what happened.

Comic Con is a convention for fans, not industry people. Making presentations of early films to your target audience early does no good whatsoever, the studios have discovered. If they go nuts for Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, as convention-goers did this last summer, it means nothing whatsoever to the film's box office success, since the majority of movie audience members have different tastes. (Scott Pilgrim more or less tanked, despite rave reviews and excellent word of mouth.) What's worse, if your presentation actually disappoints the target audience you've just plain alienated them months in advance, and your publicity department has to do damage control on some ugly word of mouth.

Of course, Hollywood will still be represented at Comic Con. 20th Century Fox, Universal and Sony are all expected to turn up with previews of films like Cowboys & Aliens, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Amazing Spider-Man, so those of us who report movie news will still be busy as hell and unable to get any shopping done. Damn it.

Crave Online will be back with more San Diego Comic Con news, especially in July during… You know, Comic Con.