20th Century Fox is skipping out on Comic-Con this year, and it’s all your fault. Specifically, those of you who violated the sanctity of Hall H by filming surreptitious videos of the sneak peek footage Fox showed at the convention last year, and then the rest of us for watching the videos when they made their way online. According to The Wrap, the studio—which owns and distributes the X-Men movie franchise, including the upcoming third Wolverine movie and recently announced Deadpool 2—wants it to be very clear that it’s pulling out of San Diego because of the security risks posed by these dastardly pirates, and not because they don’t really have anything to show this year.
It’s not clear whether leaking not-as-convention-exclusive-as-they-think footage—which happens every year, and for every release, like clockwork—is actually bad for the studios. Certainly, Deadpool picked up a lot of word of mouth after its initial teaser illegally made its way online. Often, though, the studios (and directors, like Suicide Squad’s David Ayers) claim they’re concerned about it being unfair to the horde of loyal fans who lined up at Comic-Con to see the trailers in person, because if there’s one thing major movie studios love to wring their hands about, it’s playing fair:
But it’s not actually clear what the pirates would be pirating at a Fox panel this year, anyway. Assassin’s Creed might be ready to show off some Michael Fassbender-heavy parkour, and it’s possible they might be able to cobble together a snikt or two from Wolverine 3. (Maybe just a blooper reel of Stephen Merchant pronouncing bad X-Men names in his charming British accent.) But X-Men: Apocalypse will have already hit theaters by the time July rolls around, and Deadpool 2 won’t even have started filming. There just isn’t that much Con-friendly material on the studio’s schedule on the moment, a stark contrast to the star-heavy panel they put together last year. All in all, it suggests that Fox’s decision to pull out of Comic-Con 2016 may actually be less about worrying that someone might pirate their stuff, and more about worrying that people wouldn’t even be bothered to try.