NewsWire: Comics Fans Live a Film Fantasy - Los Angeles Times
Despite their outward differences, however, the estimated 70,000 attendees of the 32nd annual convention, which ran from Thursday through Sunday, had one thing in common: They all buy movie tickets. For that reason, Hollywood has increasingly come to view the event as a one-stop marketing venue for films with a fantasy or sci-fi bent.
"These are definitely the hard-core fans," notes Valerie Pappas, director of national promotions for New Line Cinema, which was touting its upcoming epic adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. "These are the moviegoers, that's the bottom line, and it's grass-roots marketing. These are loyal Lord of the Rings fans who are also 13-to-24 [year-old] moviegoers, who we can hit with other films as well, not specifically those in the comic-book or sci-fi genre."
Film promotion at the convention took another leap in 2000 through the appearance of Ian McKellen, who showed up to promote X-Men, greeting fans and signing autographs from the floor of the convention center. (This year McKellen greeted Comic-Con attendees via video, along with his Rings co-stars Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Elijah Wood and Sean Astin.)
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