Marvel Studios had already announced it was skipping a panel in the famous Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con this year. They were just the first. More are bailing, with more expected. The 8,000-capacity hall will be silent for Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, HBO, Netflix, and possibly Lucasfilm according to Screen Daily. News is expected from Warner Bros. Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Lionsgate, and the rest of Disney.
The reason? The Writers Guild strike means no writers can be there to promote their work, and none can create the presentations, the gags, and the punchlines that the panels oh-so naturally deliver every year. With a potential actors strike on the horizon, that would take the stars of the show out as well. If studios are pre-emptively avoiding taking talent in anticipation of that strike, it also means they aren’t likely to be settling early in the industrial action. Studios are losing money. Sure-fire hits and mega franchises are failing, profitability is squeezed as movies are around 30% more expensive than they should be, and they have decided now is the time to ask for a huge raise.
Studios will still have a presence on the convention floor, but they are avoiding lackluster panels where they are forced to bring out the Craft Services supervisor to talk about the catering budget.
Comic-Con this year runs from July 20th to July 23rd at the San Diego Convention Centre in California. The convention was founded as the Golden State Comic Book Convention in 1970 by a group of San Diegans that included Shel Dorf, Richard Alf, Ken Krueger, Ron Graf, and Mike Towry. The first event was attended by 300 people. It really started to hit the big time in the 1990s as the post-Batman movie boom started to take hold.
The convention’s 2023 panel schedule is released on July 5th.
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