Comic-Con 2015: Should Studios Release Their Hall H Footage?


Debates where there are solid arguments on both sides can be a little frustrating since there’s no obvious “right” answer, but that’s also what makes them interesting. Such is the case with movie studios and their Hall H presentations at Comic-Con, which became a relevant topic once again in the wake of SDCC 2015.

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It’s pretty clear that Warner Bros. had no intention of releasing the Suicide Squad footage that was shown at its Comic-Con panel over the weekend. In fact, the trailer that was rolled out for the attendees wasn’t even a trailer in the official sense, but a “First Look” at the upcoming David Ayer film.

Nevertheless, once the inevitable leaks occurred, Warner Bros. was forced to make a decision. It could either let the general public make up its mind about how Suicide Squad is coming along based on footage from people’s phones, or officially release it and put it out for the world to see in full HD.

The studio chose the latter, but its official statement (via on the matter sounded unhappy that its hand was forced.

"Warner Bros. Pictures and our anti-piracy team have worked tirelessly over the last 48 hours to contain the Suicide Squad footage that was pirated from Hall H on Saturday.  We have been unable to achieve that goal.  Today we will release the same footage that has been illegally circulating on the web, in the form it was created and high quality with which it was intended to be enjoyed.  We regret this decision as it was our intention to keep the footage as a unique experience for the Comic Con crowd, but we cannot continue to allow the film to be represented by the poor quality of the pirated footage stolen from our presentation."

Warner Bros’ wasn’t alone in this dilemma, as Fox also showed a popular trailer for Deadpool. It, too, was leaked to the internet, but so far, the studio has chosen not to officially release the footage, with star Ryan Reynolds stating that the special effects work isn’t even done yet. Unsurprisingly, web searches for “Deadpool trailer” or “Deadpool leak” are among the hottest Comic-Con-related things out there right now.

Two studios, two different decisions, but one singular issue. Do the movie-making companies respect the fact that Comic-Con attendees literally sleep in line for a chance to see the Hall H panels and should have a chance to see something special? Or do they acknowledge the idea that the genie is out of the bottle when it comes to leaks (thanks smartphones!) and “own” them by releasing high quality copies of the footage on their own?

Digging in heels and refusing to do an official release keeps the folks who paid a lot of money and spent hours or days queued up happy but cedes control of public opinion to the leakers. Going the opposite route makes the paying customers at Comic-Con angry. There’s no easy answer, which is why some studios have at least floated the idea that they’re going to stop showing exclusive footage in Hall h, which honestly sounds like the worst solution of all.

How you feel about this situation is going to largely depend on whether you make the pilgrimage to Comic-Con every year or not, but we still want to hear from you. Hit us with a comment or sound off on Twitter and help us take the pulse of the fan community.

Next: See the Official Suicide Squad First Look Footage

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