Comic-Con 2019: The Coolest Things You Missed at the Massive San Diego Convention
NBC, Fox, Amazon Prime Video, Epix, and more fought for attention with wacky, eye-catching stunts and activations. Here are some highlights.
Photo: Brandon Means/FoxSAN DIEGO—A 20-foot traveling shark. A superhero crime scene. An underground dungeon photo op. The Interdimensional Hole of Pancakes?
There may be only one event where all of these things come together, and it's—of course—Comic-Con International. The massive pop culture convention, which celebrated its 50th anniversary this year from July 18 to 21, annually features a slew of creative brand activations inspired by movies, TV shows, and comics.
While the ticketed event inside the San Diego Convention Center caps attendance at around 135,000 people, countless more fans descend upon the city for the free activations, most of which take place outdoors. (It's no surprise that Comic-Con generates an estimated $149 million in economic impact for San Diego.) Highlights from this year included Fox's inaugural Fan Fare, a carnival-like space promoting the network's slew of animated shows, plus NBC's comedy-focused plaza featuring a Brooklyn Nine-Nine escape room and a pun-filled restaurant inspired by The Good Place.
This year, some of the brand experiences started before guests even arrived: Southwest Airlines passengers on a flight from Dallas to San Diego, for example, were surprised with Nintendo Switch consoles and a copy of Super Mario Maker 2.
On site, one of the more headline-grabbing activations came from Amazon Prime Video. In a politically tinged experience for the new series Carnival Row, fans were asked to identify as a human or a creature; those who picked creature were given an identity card that evoked the immigration process in the United States. According to series star Orlando Bloom, San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer left the experience when he heard the metaphor, though the Republican mayor's office has denied the claim.
Meanwhile, inside the convention center the buzziest moments came from panels, particularly for fans who get a seat in the much-coveted Hall H. This year's convention was highlighted by Marvel Studios' new slate of movie announcements, which featured surprise appearances from Angelina Jolie and Natalie Portman.
Here's a look at some of the more memorable activations, stunts, booths, and parties from this year's Comic-Con International.