Fox Not Coming to Hall H in 2016? [UPDATE: CCI Statement]

In Panel & Autograph News by James Riley29 Comments

GeekShot Exclusive Series Week 11 - X-Men Days of Future Past James McAvoy Michael Fassbender Bryan Singer Hugh Jackman XMenThose hoping to see Assassin’s Creed, Wolverine 3, the latest Maze Runner, or any other Fox movie at San Diego Comic-Con this year have possibly just been let down. In a post on TheWrap today it was revealed that 20th Century Fox has pulled out of a Hall H presentation.

Why would Fox make this decision? In most cases, a studio will decide to skip SDCC because they don’t have enough ready to show. For Disney specifically they likely choose not to come because they can showcase their films at their own D23 every 2 years, the next one being the week before SDCC in 2017. For Fox this year though, the reason is leaked/pirated footage.

According to TheWrap, “the studio feels it cannot prevent the piracy of custom trailers and exclusive footage routinely screened for fans in attendance.”

TheWrap is only reporting that Fox is planning to pull out of Hall H – and we specifically think they’re referring to their films, and that TV likely wouldn’t be impacted.

They also say that Disney is considering skipping a Hall H this year, although a rep denied that claim per TheWrap. Considering this isn’t a D23 year, you can make the case that at least Marvel and Lucasfilm movies will show up as they have in the past. Walt Disney Studios hasn’t had a Hall H panel in a few years so we already aren’t expecting anything this year.

While the reason of leaked footage is valid, it only applies to a certain extent. It is rumored, and mostly confirmed by Ryan himself, that Ryan Reynolds leaked the original test footage that got Deadpool greenlit. Then last year their exclusive footage made its way online soon after the Hall H showing. But how awful is it for the studio? Deadpool has made over $750 million worldwide. The leaked footage has not harmed them at all, and likely has helped. The same case can be made for Suicide Squad, as the footage that was leaked impressed most fans.

There are other reasons Fox could be skipping Hall H this year. Maybe they don’t have enough films ready to show? Maybe they don’t want to compete with Star Wars and Marvel for headlines? We really don’t know except for what they say publicly. Hopefully we’ll get official word soon.

[UPDATE] Comic-Con International has issued a statement to us and other outlets about piracy at the convention:

As any fan of Comic-Con knows there are a great many things that go into making a great panel presentation. For television networks and movie studios sometimes that includes exclusive footage, and while we have been very diligent in trying to prevent footage from being leaked, the truth is today’s technology makes any guarantee difficult.

We are working with our friends at the different studios and networks in hopes of finding a remedy that will be beneficial to them, us and most importantly the fans who make Comic-Con the best convention of its kind in the world.

While piracy may be the (un)official word given for this year’s absence from 20th Century Fox, it’s important to note that there may be other factors in play as well in the decision. Beyond Assassin’s Creed, which debuts in December, Fox may have simply decided they didn’t have enough to fill a complete programming block and opted to sit this year out.

And that doesn’t necessarily mean there will be no Fox films this year – Trolls is a DreamWorks Animation project and they’ve held their own panels before (TheWrap even mentions they’ll be there), and even Assassin’s Creed is co-produced with Ubisoft Motion Pictures, meaning they could show up without Fox technically attending. Stranger things have happened.

What do you think of Fox possibly skipping Hall H this year? Let us know in the comments.