Comic-Con roars back to relevance
The Future. Fans rejoice… San Diego Comic-Con returned with plenty of patrons and (COVID) masks. With a solid turnout in comparison to pre-pandemic times, entertainment companies may have been reminded that packing people in a big convention space so that they can feel the hype of upcoming projects is still the best way to plant your flag in culture.
Bring back the butts
The ultimate blockbuster launch pad is back with a vengeance.
- Despite studios launching their own fan events during COVID, every major studio with something “geeky” to promote came back for Comic-Con.
- That included big reveals from Marvel and DC (of course), but also major looks at Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings series, Paramount’s Dungeons & Dragons adaptation, and AMC’s The Walking Dead.
And Comic-Con is more than just a marketing destination. It’s also a launch pad for comic sales. Spawn-creator Todd McFarlane, who was announcing a crossover Spawn/Batman comic with artist Greg Capullo, admitted that “For our audience, we only have to say four words. Batman. Spawn. Capullo. McFarlane. That’s going to be 90 percent of the sales there.”
It’s also a warm destination for movie premieres, historically hosting surprise screenings of films like Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and Blair Witch. This year, 20th Century treated fans to surprise screenings of the new Predator entry, Prey, and the original horror movie Barbarian. The buzz for both may be exactly what was needed to make the film cut through the noise.
At the end of the day, very few films, shows, or comics suffer from the goodwill of an in-person crowd.