Footage leaks at this year's Comic-Con were at an all-time high. Aside from the 7-minute sneak peek of director Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight that played to a packed Hall H, every other big movie saw it's exclusive trailer bootlegged and uploaded on the Internet just minutes after each panel concluded. This included leaks for Deadpool, Suicide Squad and X-Men: Apocalypse. Some believe that 20th Century Fox is responsible for leaking the Deadpool and X-Men: Apocalypse Comic-Con teasers themselves. But did they?
San Diego Comic-Con is meant to be a premiere event for movie and comic book fans who are promised footage they won't be able to see anywhere else. Fans wait in line for days to get into Hall H for this inclusive experience. The major perk of all this is getting a never-before-seen sneak peek that will never be shown anywhere else. It gets a conversation started, and fans have something to brag about. But in this age of social media, it's easier than ever to bootleg this footage and send it out to the masses. And with Periscope, the live events were even broadcast in real time this year (thanks, Paul!).
Suffice it to say, the studios are not happy about all the leaks. And the Suicide Squad even forced Warner Bros. hand in releasing the teaser trailer early, before it was meant to be seen by the general public. Thing is, security is pretty tight in Hall H, and it is a true Mission: Impossible to video record a bootleg. This fact has some thinking that 20th Century Fox are, themselves, responsible for the leaks that occurred last weekend. Well, Collider spoke with X-Men: Apocalypse producer and former 20th Century Fox executive Hutch Parker, and he doesn't believe it. About Fox possibly leaking the footage, he explained the following.
"The problem with the theory about the marketing is, I don't actually think it's good marketing. Leaking footage a year in advance of a movie's release is not such a good thing. The reason you don't see footage out that far is you run the risk of it getting stale. Generally speaking, and I can't speak for other studios, I can't even speak for Fox any more, but I don't believe their intention is [for footage to be leaked]. I think their intention is to get the most important opinions and opinion-makers in this community engaged in the promise of what's coming."
The sole purpose of the advanced Comic-Con Footage, Parker says, is to get the core fan base hyped about whatever movie or TV show the studio is selling. These first-look teaser trailers are generally edited and created with the fanboy in mind, and cater to what that specific audience wants to see. This will not be the trailer used to market the film later down the line. That is evident if you look at the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Comic-Con trailer compared to the one released for theaters yesterday. Gone is all mention of The Joker, with the footage relying on the action more than cool DC Comics Easter eggs.
Some consider Parker's statement to be a little off the mark. Saying the leaks are not 'good marketing' doesn't hold in terms of Suicide Squad. The teaser trailer has brought a lot of positive attention to the movie. And it got a huge awareness boost from people who would never step foot inside Comic-Con. And the Deadpool trailer is continuing to create massive buzz. It won't be officially released for three weeks, but star Ryan Reynolds has long credited the original footage leak for getting his movie made in the first place. When all is said and done, it appears the leaked footage has done more good than harm. Unless you're talking about Apocalypse himself. Now, there's a villain people are having a problem with. But the leak wasn't the problem. At the time, people thought his effects simply weren't done. But the cover of this week's Entertainment Weekly proved that to be a wrong notion. Yes, the X-Men: Apocalypse villain does look like he belongs in a Power Ranger movie from the 90s. And that has nothing to do with leaked footage (which you can watch here, again, in case you missed it the first time!)