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20th Century Fox Exits San Diego Comic Con Over Piracy Fears

20th Century Fox Exits San Diego Comic Con Over Piracy Fears

Every year there’s a conversation about which studios will or won’t show up at San Diego Comic Con. However, in 2016, that chatter now has a twist, with one major studio skipping the weekend for reasons that speak to the social media age.

20th Century Fox has decided not to showcase their upcoming slate at SDCC, reportedly over fears that the trailers and footage cut for the event would be leaked or pirated. And it’s a legitimate concern. The past few years have seen trailers leak out of the halls of Comic Con, either in shaky mobile phone footage or in legitimately good copies, hitting the web, spoiling the exclusivity for those in attendance, and the carefully managed marketing by the studios. Just last summer, Fox had to scramble after their “Deadpool” trailer cut for Comic-Con hit the web not long after it screened in Hall H.

Some might argue that grousing about marketing material that is meant to be seen by the public being pirated is small potatoes, but that’s a perspective that doesn’t take into consideration how much is at stake for studios. Marketing is as much about promotion as it is about messaging and positioning, and studios make careful considerations about how they want to rollout the first look at their expensive tentpoles, and craft it specifically for the San Diego Comic Con audience in mind. There’s an argument to be made that out of that context, marketing material will have a different resonance to the public at large.

Either way, Fox’s exit is a loss for Comic Con, as it means fans won’t be seeing anything from studio which could’ve shown footage from “Assassin’s Creed,” “War Of The Planet Of The Apes,” “Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children,” or even “Alien: Covenant” which has started filming. However, the studio will be in San Diego to promote their co-productions like the animated “Trolls,” or smaller size fare.

Thoughts? Is this a reactionary move, or does San Diego Comic Con need to step up their efforts to keep studios happy, and protect that element of exclusivity that makes their event so special to many? Let us know below. [The Wrap]

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