Though Hollywood has cosied up to Comic-Con, which is in San Diego on July 22, a film's strong showing there does not necessarily portend success at the box office. Nor does a poor screening imply a bomb.
In a look at Comic-Con The New York Times notes that a film industry dazzled by the faith that comic-book adaptations are a no-lose, license-to-print-money proposition, they're missing a larger point in seeking Comic-Con approval: It's an inherently tribal audience, and one that tends to be the most fired up about something when they think no one else is. It's part of that insular, clubhouse mentality that also bubbles up in games.
To wit, "Jonah Hex," the adaptation of the DC Comics title got a rousing welcome at last year's convention, aided and abetted by Megan Fox's cooing appearing, perhaps. "Hex" has been a disappointment at the box office. "The Last Airbender" got a lukewarm, at best, reception, with nitpicking fan criticism dogging it with the dread it'd be an expensive dud, right up to release. We all know what happened in reality.
To me it sounds a bit like a primary election whose candidates must appeal to the hardcore partisans, then become more accessible and moderate for the general public. Some films haven't gotten, or by their nature simply can't get, that second part.
I suppose it's axiomatic that when you market to people who by nature don't want to be a part of the crowd, you can't expect them to speak for it, either. That won't stop the studios from trying for their endorsement.
Here Comes Hollywood, Courting All Planets [The New York Times]