At Comic-Con in San Diego, fans are marketing superheroes
San Diego - With over 100,000 fans over four days, the annual San Diego pop culture fest is by far the biggest
An old woman dressed as a zombie. A man disguised as a drag-queen Joker. Entire families kitted out as superheroes.
At first glance, the crowds at Comic-Con International in San Diego can looks like they've escaped from a strange sect.
But for movie studios, video game makers, TV show producers and others, they are a powerful tool to sell their wares around the world, generating billions of dollars.
"Comic-Cons provide a way for studios to reach a concentrated group of fans," said Jonathan Kuntz, a professor at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, using the common abbreviation for comic conventions.
"They are very influential because they are connected instantly to millions of other fans through social media. They instantly reach a very motivated fan base," he added.
With over 100,000 fans over four days, the annual San Diego pop culture fest is by far the biggest, drawing major players, including Disney and its subsidiaries Marvel and Lucasfilm, as well as Warner Bros, Universal or video game groups like Activision.
Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth, stars of the blockbuster "Hunger Games" franchise, were among those present in San Diego this week.
This weekend in San Diego fans are hoping to catch a glimpse of Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill and Amy Adams, stars of "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice," a blockbuster due out next year.
A zombie practices his walk at AMC's "Walking Dead" booth
Costumed characters pose for photographers in front of the convention center on the first day of the 2015 Comic-Con International at the San Diego Convention Center
Zombies practices their walk at AMC's "Walking Dead" booth