On the roof of the Hotel Solamere, we hung out with Hitfix's Gregory Ellwood and Kris Tapley, Baddass Digest's Devin Faraci, Warners online PR exec Michael Tritter and two Erins, Popular Mechanics' McCarthy and Variety's Maxwell. At the Lionsgate/Summit "Twilight" poolside fete at the Hard Rock Hotel, Summit chiefs Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger, now running Lionsgate's motion picture division, admit they are applying the same approach to "The Hunger Games" franchise as they did the "Twilight" sequels: don't waste any time. In fact, as Francis Lawrence preps "Catching Fire," their production chief Eric Feig and producer Nina Jacobson are already looking for the next Bill Condon to direct the last two "Mockingjay" films.
Thursday I hit the last Comic-Con "Twilight" press conference and panel, as the team expressed their sadness at saying good-bye to making the films, after four years, and their off-screen family. On the last week of shooting, "I was sad not to be able to hang out with these people," said Stephenie Meyer. "This is the last question, the last press conference," added a smiling Rob Pattinson, who at that point seemed very much in love with costar Stewart. In the Hall, director Bill Condon sent a video message from London, where's he's scoring the film. Taking up where the last film left off, he opted to show the first seven minutes, which starts with Bella Swan opening vampire eyes. (See full coverage here.)
So who came out ahead at Comic-Con 2012? Arguably the indies, including Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" and little Focus Laika stop-motion feature "ParaNorman" got the biggest boosts in awareness, as did Open Road's "Hit and Run" and "End of Watch." And new web series reached out to fans, from Bryan Singer's "H+" to Tom Hanks' Yahoo animated sci-fi series "Electric City." So did Movies on Demand, which tried to brand itself with an MOD lounge as The Cable MOD destination.