The rise of San Diego Comic-Con as a major pop culture force can be traced pretty directly to the expansion into the cavernous Hall H of the San Diego Convention Center in 2004. Before that, the convention was already the nation’s largest, attracting as many as 70,000 fans. After it took over the extra breathing room of the expansive Hall H (which is essentially just a large auditorium with a stage and a few hundred seats), the size of the convention exploded–attendance in 2015 was a whopping 167,000.
Taking on Hall H didn’t just give Comic-Con the entire facility for the convention–it also gave them a space to host exclusive events highlighting the biggest movies. The first trailer for the original Iron Man debuted in Hall H to a rapturous reception; quickly, properties like Twilight became Hall H mainstays, while James Cameron offered the crowd a 25-minute sneak peak into Avatar in 2009. Marvel rolled out The Avengers in Hall H, Warner Bros announced Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice in the space, and Disney/LucasFilm gave fans a look at Star Wars: The Force Awakens there.
Still, the meaning of a Hall H presentation–outside of the prestigious legacy–is unclear, when it comes to determining a film’s success. Fortunately, Screen Crush put together a helpful infographic to break down what it actually means. Nearly two-thirds of Hall H film presentations are for movies that don’t go on to light the box office on fire–of the 113 movies to present in Hall H since 2011, only 41 of them grossed more than $100 million. It’s also clearly not necessary to have a Hall H presentation to get audiences excited–only one-third of the 50 highest grossing films of the past five years actually presented at Comic-Con. (Indeed, studios like Marvel–which returns to Hall H this year after a several-year-long hiatus–have been known to opt out all together.)
Screen Crush’s graphic documents a shifting in the conventional wisdom around Hall H and Comic-Con. While both Marvel and Warner Bros are back this year, the star power drops off dramatically after that. Sony, Paramount, Fox, and Universal are all sitting out this year’s convention. Hall H might not be finished–presumably both Marvel and Warner will have some cool moments for attendees–but the data suggests that it has, perhaps, been overstated in the past.