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Avengers: Infinity War trailer leak proves Marvel needs to give up on Hall H exclusivity

Just release the trailers, Marvel

Thor Ragnarok Marvel

If you missed out on the Avengers: Infinity War trailer shown exclusively at Disney’s D23 convention and in San Diego Comic-Con’s Hall H, don’t worry. Since that debut, leaked versions of the trailer have found their way online. For each streamable link that gets taken down, another one springs up.

Despite Marvel’s best attempts to keep the trailer exclusive, it found its way online — just like footage that Marvel showed the year before and the year before that. As camera technology makes it it easier to film discreetly, it’s becoming less problematic to hide cameras and figure out how to get around Hall H’s already questionable ability to keep an eye on everyone’s hands. Cameras are being hidden in hats, sleeves and other articles of clothing to ensure footage is captured.

Bottom line, it’s making exclusivity — the one aspect of attending Hall H that fans literally sleep outside three days for — an issue.

Other studios have figured this out. Warner Bros. now releases all of its big trailers online at the same time it goes live in Hall H. Netflix, a newcomer to Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con this year, put its trailers and footage on YouTube as soon as the panel was over, giving those who couldn’t attend a chance to watch the trailer. Even HBO managed to put its Game of Thrones and Westworld teases on following the series’ panel.

This has become a fantastic trend for those around the world, otherwise stuck at home refreshing Twitter every few seconds to see people livetweet the trailer. More importantly, it makes Marvel look bad. It would be one thing if Marvel could keep its footage exclusive, but something always leaks. Always.

Polygon was in Hall H during the panel and, while Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige, Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi and moderator Chris Hardwick begged the audience not to record, page views are worth more than loyalty.

Marvel doesn’t have a good reason for not publishing footage anymore, either. Even if the studio added the phrase “conceptual trailer” or something akin to that in the title, people would understand this isn’t the complete package. We understand that they’re in the middle of filming. We understand this is not a full representation of what will appear in the movie — and we even understand that not all of these scenes will be in the final film.

But trying to label something as exclusive and then dealing with low-res, blurry, shaky hand-cam style leaks that appear online isn’t fun for anyone. It’s not fun for Marvel and it’s not fun for those who have to make out blurry character faces for two minutes. Instead, the company can just follow in Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox and Netflix’s footsteps: bring the actors from the film out to give those gathered in Hall H something to appreciate and then release the trailer online. Whether it’s during the show or after, once those in Hall H have seen the trailer with the cast standing in front of the giant screen, they won’t care that the same video is being watched by millions globally.

Marvel has always been the studio reluctant to do this — and some see that as a win. But for those who don’t want to have to wait potentially until November and the release of Thor: Ragnarok, Marvel finally taking the plunge and hitting the publish button on its YouTube channel would be seen as nothing but a win.

Trust us, Marvel; people are still going to sleep outside night-after-night to get a glimpse of Tom Hiddleston or Tom Holland.

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