Another year of San Diego Comic-Con is in the books, and the 2016 edition of the event certainly made a lot of news. There was the official unveiling of Brie Larson as Captain Marvel. There were trailers for upcoming DC Extended Universe installments Justice League and Wonder Woman. There was even a big, Hall H presence for Pokemon Go.
So who “won” Comic-Con? That, as with most things of its nature, is a matter of conjecture. However, according to one measure, the most important things at Comic-Con (read: those which generated the greatest amount of buzz online) were a TV show that just wrapped up its latest season earlier the year, and a movie that’s debuting next week.
Suicide Squad and Game of Thrones had the most buzz of any movie or TV show, respectively, at this year’s Comic-Con, according to the “Interest Score” put out by research firm ListenFirstMedia and cited by Variety. Other leading movies, going by ListenFirst’s score, include Star Trek Beyond, Wonder Woman and Justice League, while the top TV shows count USA’s Mr. Robot, Starz’s American Gods and Netflix/Marvel’s Luke Cage among their ranks.
ListenFirst’s model measures “organically generated activity by fans of a TV program or film,” taking into account hashtag mentions and Wikipedia page views. In addition to Suicide Squad, Star Trek and the two 2017 DCEU films, the rest of the rankings for movies included Lights Out, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Kong: Skull Island, Doctor Strange and Spider-Man: Homecoming. The TV list was rounded out by The Walking Dead, Preacher, Power, The Night Of, Steven Universe and Vikings.
The ListenFirst measurement is somewhat imperfect. It does not take into account how much buzz these movies and shows got during their actual presentations at Comic-Con; and thus, represents more of a trickle-down effect of how much the studios’ marketing and social media teams were able to shoehorn the Comic-Con buzz into online excitement.
It does show, though, that the way to create buzz out of Comic-Con is to give fans something newsworthy, whether it’s new trailers (the future DCEU films), a large portion of the film/TV show's cast appearing live in Hall H (see what happened with Suicide Squad) or the glimmer of hope about getting future plot answers (Game of Thrones).Can Comic-Con and online buzz lead to actual excitement? We’ll find out very soon.
Suicide Squad is scheduled to arrive in theaters on August 5, 2016, followed by Wonder Woman on June 2, 2017; Justice League on November 17, 2017; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; an untitled DC Film on October 5, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League 2 on June 14, 2019; an untitled DC film on November 1, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps on July 24, 2020. The Flash is currently without a release date.
Game of Thrones season 7 premieres on HBO in summer 2017.