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Risky Business: Comic-Con Comes of Age

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood July 21, 2009 at 6:45AM

Post-Twilight, Comic-Con comes of age. And yet, it can be risky to chase after that fan buzz. Memorable duds in Hall H include The Spirit and Zathura. When a movie isn't working, the fans sniff it out. But when it does--300 and Superman Returns are vivid examples--they turn up to see the movie in droves. How it plays in theaters is another matter. Watchmen was a hit in Hall H last year--but the good buzz didn't guarantee a wide appeal commercial movie.
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Post-Twilight, Comic-Con comes of age. And yet, it can be risky to chase after that fan buzz. Memorable duds in Hall H include The Spirit and Zathura. When a movie isn't working, the fans sniff it out. But when it does--300 and Superman Returns are vivid examples--they turn up to see the movie in droves. How it plays in theaters is another matter. Watchmen was a hit in Hall H last year--but the good buzz didn't guarantee a wide appeal commercial movie.

Big announcements are flying pre-Comic-Con: after he completes Spider-Man 4, Sam Raimi will take on the video game Warcraft, a fresh franchise-in-the-making for Warner Bros.


AICN's Harry Knowles liked the new post-Cannes cut of Inglourious Basterds. He announces the Weinstein Co. will screen Quentin Tarantino's latest at Comic-Con on Saturday night at 8 PM at the 250-seat Reading Gaslamp Theater in downtown San Diego. It sure makes sense to take advantage of that prime geek demo. So far TWC seems to be meeting its marketing commitments on the movie, which needs to score at least $50 million domestically and much better than that overseas.

Here's a nifty piece from LAT's Geoff Boucher (who once got beat up in the wild back streets of San Diego during Comic-Con) about hard-boiled graphic novels from Donald Westlake.

Last year at this time I was reporting on the much-delayed Where the Wild Things Are, which will finally open in October. Director Spike Jonze posts about visiting Maurice Sendak.


This article is related to: Directors, Festivals, Franchises, Headliners, Independents, Quentin Tarantino, Comic-Con, Twilight, Rob Pattinson, Brad Pitt, Kristen Stewart, Weinsteins


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.