BY GEOFF WEISS
For the first time, exhibitors will include 20th Century Fox, Netflix, and Warner Bros., according to a report in The New York Times, while returning participants include Universal Pictures, Lionsgate, and DreamWorks Animation. Warner Bros. is “planning an elaborate stunt” for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a prequel to Harry Potter—as its fandom heavily intersects with the YouTube community. It will also promote Lights Out, a thriller that started out as a YouTube short.
Additionally, Universal will screen The Secret Life of Pets and DreamWorks will promote Trolls, which features the voices of prominent YouTubers Kandee Johnson, Ricky Dillon, GloZell Green, and Meg DeAngelis.
And it’s not only studios that will be storming VidCon, reports the Times, which likens VidCon to “a younger version of Comic-Con International.” Joining the plethora of digital stars in attendance will be Hollywood celebrities like Emma Roberts, who is set to promote her upcoming Lionsgate thriller Nerve.
“Even if I wanted to fight against it, it would be like bailing out the Titanic,” VidCon co-founder Hank Green told the Times. “The overlap is great, in part because it’s important for studios to understand video fans and creators, both the culture and the excitement. That will hopefully lead to fewer studio efforts in this area that are inauthentic and gross.”
Though Hollywood is slated to be out at VidCon in full force this year, many players in traditional entertainment have had a presence at VidCon—which is expected to host 30,000 guests from June 23-25—for years. For instance, television networks like Nickelodeon, NBC, and HGTV were early adopters, per the Times, and DreamWorks Animation’s Jeffrey Katzenberg delivered the event’s keynote address in 2014.