130,000 expected to attend Comic-Con

Posted July 17, 2011, at 7:17 p.m.

LOS ANGELES — Perhaps the only ones more excited than the 130,000 fans getting ready for this week’s Comic-Con are the Hollywood studios and networks hoping to capture their attention.

San Diego’s annual pop-culture festival draws passionate (and often costumed) consumers of movies, TV shows, video games, collectibles and comic books. It’s a crowd that’s quick to tweet or blog about their favorite things, and Hollywood covets that fandom and their Internet reach.

Sony will showcase seven upcoming films at the four-day convention. Paramount is bringing Steven Spielberg to his first Comic-Con. Twentieth Century Fox is ballyhooing its film slate, including “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.” Universal is holding its world premiere of “Cowboys & Aliens” at Comic-Con.

Small-screen offerings include Showtime’s “Dexter” and “Shameless,” Fox’s “Glee,” “Family Guy” and “The Simpsons,” HBO’s “True Blood” and “Game of Thrones,” and dozens of other popular shows distributed by ABC, NBC, MTV and Warner Bros. Television.

Then there are scores of video games, graphic novels and, yep, comic books that will make their debut or reconnect with their audiences at Comic-Con.

“It’s all about fandom,” said Lisa Gregorian, chief marketing officer for Warner Bros. Television Group, which will be featuring “The Big Bang Theory” and “Fringe,” among others. “The convention, you can say it’s about science-fiction, you can say it’s about pop culture. I say it’s about fandom. It’s people going there because they have an affinity for our titles in a big way, so they become evangelists for us, and it’s perfect timing for us when our shows are launching in the fall.”

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