Rival DC may have new trailers, too

Warner Bros., which produces rival superhero films from the DC Comics universe, has a lot to celebrate heading into this year’s convention. It’s fresh off the heels of its first critical and commercial success in its up-and-coming cinematic universe, Wonder Woman. It will likely try to use that momentum to propel fans into its slate of upcoming movies.

We’re expecting a new trailer for Justice League, due out in November, and possibly a first look at Aquaman during the Warner Bros. panel on Jul. 22 at 11:30am local time. Fans are also hoping for an update on the troubled Batman film that’s in the works, the Suicide Squad sequel, and the as-of-yet-unannounced-but-come-on-it’s-going-to-happen Wonder Woman follow-up.

Fox is back

Also returning to SDCC this year is 20th Century Fox. The movie studio sat out the convention in 2016 after test footage from the Deadpool movie, intended as a Comic-Con exclusive, leaked in 2015. It turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to the film, though. Fans rallied around it, Fox green lit it with an R rating, and director Tim Miller and star Ryan Reynolds made an awesomely fun film. It grossed $783 million in theaters worldwide.

Fans were hoping to be rewarded with a sneak peak of Deadpool 2, slated for a June 2018 premiere, or, at the very least, a first look at the fan-favorite character Cable, who will be portrayed by Josh Brolin in the upcoming movie. New Mutants and an X-Men movie are also due out next year. But it looks like Fox will be promoting its upcoming sequel Kingsman: The Golden Circle during its panel on Thursday, July 20 at 11:00am local time instead.

Netflix comes to SDCC

Charlize Theron will be at the convention to promote Focus Features’s Atomic Blonde with a panel on Saturday afternoon in Hall H, too. And Netflix, which is now in the movie business, will be on hand. It’s holding a panel for Netflix Films in Hall H on Jul. 20 at 3:15pm local time, where it will debut exclusive footage of David Ayer’s upcoming sci-fi thriller Bright, starring Will Smith, and give a first-look at Death Note, which is based on a famous Japanese manga.

And there will be lots and lots of TV

San Diego Comic-Con is even more powerful for TV than movies these days. Held annually in July, SDCC sits at a critical juncture in the promotional calendars for TV’s fall programming. The event serves as a marketing launch pad for shows like The Walking Dead, which usually returns in October each year.

“The timing is such that it kicks off our marketing for the upcoming season,” Linda Schupack, head of marketing at AMC told Quartz. “The fact that Comic-Con is getting bigger, that it’s appealing to a wider range of fans, that fans can celebrate the shows—it’s wonderful and magical.”

AMC plans to premiere a new trailer for season 8 during its The Walking Dead panel on Friday afternoon. And it will be holding others for Fear the Walking Dead, Preacher, and Visionaries: Robert Kirkman’s Secret History of Comics.

Here are a few of the other TV panels attendees can look forward to:

But how much longer will this last?

As geekdom and pop-culture fandom become pervasive, the 130,000-person gathering seems to have lost some of its relevance, despite all of the big names that still show up. This year, at least half of Hollywood’s major studios will be missing the action:

Movies like Avengers: Infinity War and Star Wars: The Last Jedi are now so big that their audiences extend beyond the true believers. Many of those core fans can no longer be found at SDCC anyway—it’s too commercial, too hard to get tickets, and the lines are too long. And there are now dozens of other conventions throughout the year that are just as star-studded and more accessible for some like New York Comic Con, which has a larger venue capacity, and niche gatherings, like the D23 Expo just for fans of Disney properties like Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars. (Star Wars has also has its own fan convention, Celebration.)

📬 Sign up for the Daily Brief

Our free, fast, and fun briefing on the global economy, delivered every weekday morning.