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November 25, 2014

The convention that WAS and WASN'T - Comic-Con Report

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Jul 27th 2009 10:09AM
Not everyone at Comic-Con International was a fan of Twilight.There's still plenty of Comic-Con International coverage en route from me, including exclusive interviews you'll only find here.

But, as the Monday morning after the madness dawns, we'll take a few minutes and review the major impressions left by the four day weekend.

What happened? What were the biggest themes of the convention and what didn't happen that everyone was hoping would. In other words, what was Comic-Con 2009, and where did it fall short?

First of all, SDCC 2009 was:

  • ...All about Twilight and its sequel, New Moon. The Twilight panel got more buzz than anything else during the entire weekend, including the Avatar footage and the Iron Man II panel. But, since for every action there's an equal and opposite reaction, the backlash against Twilight and its fans was aggressive -- but non-violent.
  • ...Heavily influenced by 3D projects and technology. Back in the 1950's, movies turned to gimmicks like 3D to combat the fear that television would take away all of the theater business. The studios seem desperate to do so again -- though this summer's box office numbers are piling up better than last year's, despite the still unwinding stimulus and continued recession. But, with Avatar, A Christmas Carol and a slew of other 3D projects slated for theaters, it's clear the studios are banking on gimmicks to get butts in seats.
  • ...Proof that Star Wars is still king. Yes, Twilight was big Thursday. And Avatar was big Friday. And Iron Man II was big Saturday. But, from the merchandise floor, to the panel discussions, to the neverending march of costumes, no single franchise was more uber-present than the George Lucas empire. And The Clone Wars is making sure the next generation joins the imperial fleet.

However, SDCC 2009 was not:

  • ...Full of big reveals and surprises. There were some surprise star cameos -- like Johnny Depp and Denzel Washington. But, nothing hit the convention that no one saw coming. It was cool to see Avatar footage, but we knew that was coming. We knew Tron and Iron Man II trailers were imminent. We knew there would be star-rich preview panels for Lost, Heroes, Fringe, etc. But there was no confirmation of a live-action Star Wars movie. David Tennant didn't announce a Doctor Who movie. Peter Jackson didn't unveil big casting news for The Hobbit. As conventions go, it was fairly pre-programmed and thin on blockbuster announcements.
  • ...Knee-deep in Star Trek. For a franchise that's supposed to be bouncing back off of a new movie that grossed north of $300 million domestically, you had to look to find Star Trek at Comic-Con. With the DVD of the movie coming soon, you'd think Paramount would hype their summer blockbuster. But, it's possible that the movie did well at the box office without getting real traction with kids and hardcore genre fans.
  • ...Boring. It was vibrant, insane, happy, overcrowded, loud, hot, smelly, jubilant, juvenile, invigorating and exhausting. After being on my feet and covering multiple events for four and a half straight days, I'm exhausted -- but grateful and sad to see it over for another year.

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