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Why DC Films Is Skipping San Diego Comic-Con 2019

DC Films won’t have a Hall H panel San Diego Comic-Con 2019. Each year hundreds of thousands converge to downtown San Diego for the unparalleled entertainment event of the year. As a result, SDCC has become a prime spot to release footage and build up hype for upcoming titles. And DC sure has a lot of those.

This October, DC Films is set to release Joker starring Joaquin Phoenix, a teaser trailer for which was released back in April. In the DCEU proper, 2020 sees the release of Birds of Prey and Wonder Woman 1984. Director Patty Jenkins has already stated that the marketing for Wonder Woman 1984 won't begin until December, and it's expected that a Birds of Prey trailer will release between August and October. But none of these will be represented at SDCC 2019.

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Related: How To Watch San Diego Comic-Con 2019

Warner Bros. is skipping SDCC 2019 which means its label, DC Films, will not be hosting its regular Hall H panel. WB joins Universal and Sony as the major studios passing up the offer to showcase their upcoming projects. There are multiple reasons behind the decision. Perhaps the biggest is the evolution of Comic-Con as a marketing tool. In the past, Hall H footage was exclusive to the panel itself, but an increase of leaks forced studios to released unfinished or unrepresentative footage online early (see: WB with Suicide Squad's SDCC 2015 trailer). There have been attempts to combat this (last year, DC released trailers for both Aquaman and Shazam!), but it nevertheless changes the meaning (and expectations) of taking a film to San Diego.

This has brought the importance of the event as a platform into question. Believe it or not, the buzz created at SDCC or other big entertainment events doesn't directly result in increased ticket sales. They're about early awareness, and that's not always worth the cost. Hall H panels are known to be very expensive for studios, especially when it comes to inviting talent and creators to discuss their projects. The most important aspect to get audiences into theaters is to direct trailers to the general public. Having a well-timed promotional campaign in the months leading up to the film's release is, if anything, more valuable.

Just because DC Films won't be in Hall H this year doesn't mean they won't have a presence at San Diego Comic-Con. There will be a number of DC panels for other areas including comics, TV shows, and animated series. That's in addition to the fan-driven panels and events being held through the weekend. DC will also have a presence on the San Diego Comic-Con convention floor.

Next: All 30 Upcoming & In-Development DC Films

Key Release Dates
  • Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
  • Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) release date: Feb 07, 2020
  • Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019
  • The Batman (2021) release date: Jun 25, 2021
  • The Suicide Squad (2021) release date: Aug 06, 2021
  • Aquaman 2 (2022) release date: Dec 16, 2022
  • DC Super Pets (2022) release date: May 20, 2022
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