Every year the biggest movies show trailers at San Diego Comic-Con. And every year, a few of those get leaked online hours after they show. These leaks are bleary and shaky. And overall not great quality. Studios tend to just live with the leaks. They refuse to release to the public because they are exclusives.
But, should they be?
I get it. Studios want to reward the fans that are at SDCC. They want to give the people there a reason to be. And exclusive footage is one of those rewards. But, I think the days of this is long gone.
As geek culture grows, tickets to SDCC get harder to get a hold of. Fans that are willing to go can't because of the demand for those tickets. And there are many more that can't afford the money or the time to attend. Plus, getting in to the Hall H panels take hours or even a day of waiting in line. So, why, in some fans mind, do they want to punish those that can't make it? I'm not saying I believe that it is punishing them, but I do believe that is a growing concern from many people.
Another problem is the leaks themselves. These are trailers, like Suicide Squad and Deapool, that are meant to be seen in HD. But, instead, are seen from the bleary, shaky, cellphone footage that a fan took illegally. Is that really what studios want to be fans first impression of a film? No. That is why they craft such trailers in the first place. But, with the leaks, fans don't have that HD. And with studios not releasing the trailers themselves, they are leaving fans with just that impression.
To be fair, when things leak, sometimes studios take action. Take the first trailer of Batman v. Superman. They planned this big fan event for the release of their trailer, but had it leaked early. What they do? They released the trailer. They controlled what people saw. And they did right by the people who want to their event by letting them see the movie a week early.
And that is what studios should do with leaks from Comic-Con. They need to control what people see. If a leak does happen, release the trailer. How do you think a fan would want to watch a trailer? In HD or bleary? And they should just plan on releasing the trailers beforehand. Why not tell people that the trailers showed would be released hours, days, even a week after the panel? It won't stop all the leaks or the people from watching the leaks, but it will cut down on them.
And don't worry. People will still go to Comic-Con panels weather there is exclusive footage or not. Believe me, they will. And by releasing the footage, they get so many more people excited than they could otherwise.