Comic Con has become a venue unlike any other in entertainment. Staged in San Diego it has become a viable method for studios to present Film/TV projects directly to the audience without interference.
It also has inspired others to showcase (like Wondercon and South By Southwest for example). Not all are pleased though.
Film makers really need to take the “entertainment” out of…entertainment.
Reporting news associated with the event is all good, but more and more are trying to take it a step farther in creating a mindset that the “Con” is somehow deflating or no longer needed. You’ll find a couple darlings on this here from the New York Times and another as recent as this…
If you’re scratching your head as to why they would be doing this, trust me, you’re not alone.
This especially considering the overall successful effect they have on properties. What they’re really doing is glossing over the real reasons they hate the event. The four most prominent being as follows…
1. It steals their prestige.
In the past critics and media elites could rely on studios catering to them in holding functions, press outings, and special screenings. Anything and everything to gain their positive opinion. This was done out of fear that a “negative” review, newspaper headline, or anything marketing related would lead to box office disaster.
Things have changed. The rise of Twitter and other social media has changed the landscape. Fans no longer need the critics to dictate word of mouth. Critics continue to find their prestige dwindling even today. This was already bad enough for them but every year also brings continued success from Comic Con who is honing in the studio prestige they used to enjoy.
2. Can no longer use certain mocking names in context.
Years ago the term “fanboy” was seized upon to mock and ridicule much of the fan base Comic Con hosts. Critics and elites alike enjoyed making up various terms to poke fun at a base they considered fringe and unimportant. This all changed when Comic Con reached its current popularity. Now year after year all major media outlets descend upon the event making terms like “fanboy” actually ring positive. Terms like “geek” and others can no longer be used to mock this audience and it drives them crazy.
“Even made a Fanboys movie…suck it!”
3. Con refuses to be a political mouthpiece.
This one really sickens them. Many critics and elites love films they label as “socially important” and “touching on important current issues.” In quick translation – “boring political trash.”
Hence the mind numbing positive reviews on film stinkers like Machete, Green Zone, and “cringe” Brothers. Comic Con refuses to fall into the trap that if you make the festival reflect overall the “political issues” the critics support you then get overall positive support in reviews and coverage.
In fact, Comic Con refuses to make any of its functions political. This is seen by many as Con’s refusal to “advance the political conversation.” To this Master Iron Fist notes “Someone better call the [explicative deleted]ing Whaaaaambulance, the critics are crying again that only entertaining movies are getting recognition.”
“Okay I want one…but Machete still sucks.”
4. Films are more often not just successful, but blockbusters.
The “selective memory” from the critics and elites is astounding. Constantly you’ll hear about Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World, Grindhouse (didn’t that guy also do Machete? ouch), and this year’s whipping boys in Cowboys and Aliens and, you heard it here first, Conan the Barbarian.
What they’re not telling you is how success stories involving projects presented at Comic Con far outweigh the ones who are not. Success stories at Con include but are not limited to: Tron Legacy’s entire evolution from brief teaser to film blockbuster, 300 becoming a blockbuster despite opening in March, Alice in Wonderland going from unknown to a billion dollar making property, helping The Expendables soar way over box office expectations, Captain America’s premiere/positive buzz helping lead a surprise win over Harry Potter its opening weekend, and some film introducing itself to its fan base for the first time called Twilight?
Another shell game the critics and media elites play is to try to make every bad or disappointing film (like the aforementioned Machete) that doesn’t do well in theaters indicate that Comic Con is “dead” and “no longer useful”. If you’re doing the math its like saying 5 films do bad, but 30 films do well, so surely Comic Con has no positive overall impact. The math just doesn’t add up on the elite and critics’ argument.
“We’ll just stick with Olivia Wilde…thanks.”
So no worries Comic Con fans. Consider it a badge of honor every time you hear one of the critics or elites say you’re losing prestige. This usually means, according to entertainment history, you’ll soon be more successful than ever.
Sensei White Lotus