San Diego Comic-Con is the Mecca for comic book enthusiasts, gamers, and genre movie fans. If we’re continuing that analogy, then Hall H is the Kabah of the SDCC.
It’s in Hall H that major studios have panels where they show off sneak peeks to upcoming tentpole blockbusters, along with exclusive trailers and even announcing new films and casts. But as Mashable points out, this year there are only two studios presenting anything in the massive hall: DC / Warner Bros. and Marvel / Disney.
Admittedly, those tend to be the biggest panels there, and Marvel was conspicuously absent last year, but why are there so few films and studios this time around? The official reason is that all the studios weren’t ready to show anything with the production schedules and unfinished VFX, but they all plan on coming back when everything lines up. Mashable presents another reason, however, as piracy in Hall H has gone through the roof.
In fact, both of those reasons go hand-in-hand. It used to be that studios would have no problem showing unfinished work, and even last year’s early look at X-Men: Apocalypse came in just five weeks into the production of the film with ungraded footage. It seems that the studios are now unwilling to show anything that hasn’t been polished, should it leak. And even if it doesn’t get out, the footage tends to be released by the studios online shortly after the panel anyway.
Could the golden age of Hall H come to an end? If that’s the case, I’m actually kind of happy about that.
Look, I love watching exclusive material, and every time I go to a comic convention, it’s for the panels, but Hall H has been frustratingly difficult to get into. Even as a member of the press, I need to line up along with everyone else to get into the panel, which means going to bed early, waking up around 2 am and lining up around 3 am, where I tend to be near the back of the line (and taking my second sleep).
Then I have to wait in the hall for hours to get to the good stuff while fighting off days of bad sleep. It wasn’t always this way, but that’s how it is now, especially after Twilight fans made endurance lining up a sport there a few years ago.
The reason it wasn’t always this way was that it wasn’t always this insanely popular to hit Hall H. It’s morphed over the years, and now technology is changing it to what it currently is. And hey, watching exclusive material on one of those screens in the hall from a weird angle once (or twice if you’re lucky) is murder on the back.