Comic-Con Wraps in San Diego; Unofficial Attendance Figures Exceed 125,000

By Alesandra Dubin July 28, 2009, 11:06 AM EDT

After a preview night on Wednesday, July 22, before its Thursday kickoff, Comic-Con wrapped on Sunday in San Diego. Local outlet 10News reported that although final numbers have not yet been tallied, the 40th anniversary convention is thought to have raked in millions of dollars and more than 125,000 attendees over its four-day run. The TV station also reported that some fans worry the convention may have outgrown the San Diego Convention Center, where its contract expires in 2012.

“When we moved here, when it first opened, we didn't know if we'd actually be able to utilize the entire facility. We did, even with the expansion, and now of course we're busting at the seams,” Comic-Con spokesman David Glanzer told 10News.

Los Angeles Times blogger Geoff Boucher found the convention's particular breed of growth disappointing. “The one thing I've seen over the years at Comic-Con—and find disheartening—is the increase of parties by studios and others. It's becoming like Sundance. Everyone is vying to get into one party or another, which leaves virtually less room for comic creators.” Parties included a biggie hosted by Entertainment Weekly and SyFy. Comic-Con has steadily grown its celebrity draw, with stars like Scarlett Johansson and the cast of Twilight on site.

Boucher had good things to say about the “insane, inspiring” Comic-Con experience: “There's nowhere else on Earth where creators can interact with their audiences in such a mad, flash-mob kind of way.”

In 2008, Comic-Con sold out in advance for the first time in its history, and the show repeated that feat this year. Wi-Fi was available throughout the space, courtesy of iGoogle, and attendees could download a Comic-Con iPhone app for an extra techy touch.

New this year, the ICv2 Comics and Media Conference, a ticketed half-day event, took to the San Diego Marriott on the afternoon of July 22, prior to the preview night. Comic-Con assisted with promotion and logistics for that event.

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