Comic-Con: Looking Ahead To 2014

IMG_0409Even though we aren’t even done with our 2013 coverage, we’re already starting to look forward to 2014. And when we say “look forward to”, we actually mean “start planning” because in the world of Comic-Con, there’s no such thing as “too early”. So we found some tidbits of information relating to next year’s SDCC that our readers might find interesting.

First off, everyone start marking your calendars and booking your arrangements now. San Diego Comic-Con 2014 will be on Thursday July 24 through Sunday July 27.

Next, the New York Times has a piece on the influence of Comic-Con and mainstream success of Hollywood big budget pictures, and how it doesn’t always work out. The latest example is Legendary’s Pacific Rim, which debuted last year at Comic-Con but has been one of the bigger box office disappointments in recent months. We’ve seen this in the past – Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and Cowboys & Aliens, for example, where Hall H acceptance doesn’t necessarily translate to the outside world.

It begs the question, is Comic-Con already too big? If Hollywood feels it needs to fill the space in Hall H with films that their market research says are perfect for the Comic-Con crowd, yet a high number of them underperform, will Hollywood feel the investment is worth it? And when the expansion to the Convention Center finally becomes reality, that just means more programming is needed to fill that space, and more of the same.

The article is more of a damning of the Hollywood machine; Comic-Con is just a by-product of it. As long as Hollywood keeps churning out sequels, reboots and remakes, the more “same-y” the programming schedule might start to feel, and it will be interesting to see how attendees respond to it.

On the flipside, ICv2 interviewed CCI’s David Glanzer on how he felt this year’s convention went and what changes they might do for the future. In the article, Glanzer talked about the “Comic-Con campus” they are promoting in lieu of the completed expansion to the Convention Center, something he talked to us about earlier in the year. And we have to say, we were mightily impressed with the use of the surrounding locations this year, although we noticed that more of them required attendees to have a 2013 badge. This is good in that it pulls the 130,000 badge holders in different directions, and avoids the dreaded logjam of people trying to line up for one panel or squeezing onto the show floor. But we’re not completely sold in that, as the quest to acquire Comic-Con badges becomes more and more difficult for the average person, that means more and more people without badges descending upon San Diego who would normally be able to attend, like the Xbox Lounge, are shut out from participating in these activations as well.

But aside from that, special kudos goes to CCI for the myriad of improvements implemented, such as moving the big gaming booths to the other end of the Convention Center and general queue management.

In the meantime, we want to leave you with something to think about. Earlier this week we tweeted how 2014 will be a crazy year for Hollywood and Hall H. So many big blockbusters in 2014 and 2015 will be expected to show at Comic-Con: Avengers 2, Ant-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy, the return of Disney with Pirates of the Caribbean 5, Star Wars Episode VII, Tomorrowland and Into The Woods; The Hobbit: There and Back Again, Batman vs. Superman, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, Jurassic Park 4, Terminator, Independence Day 2, The Fantastic Four and more. With that line-up, and countless surprises and yet-unannounced projects, Comic-Con ain’t big enough.

About Jeremy Rutz