The strange case of the superheroes, the geeks and the studios

Friday, July 25th, 2008

The strange case of the superheroes, the geeks and the studios explains that Comic-con is put on by a non-profit entity:

I posited to the folks that put together Comic-con that not only might they be making a wack-load more money if they went into business — or at least had a for-profit arm — but that they might even be better at fulfilling their stated mission. Why let the studios make all this money off their backs? Some obvious profit-maximizing efforts for Comic-con would include raising ticket prices or moving the whole event — which sells out and bursts the seams of San Diego’s convention center — to a bigger venue like Las Vegas. Variety recently noted that the event’s $75 four-day passes were being scalped for as much as $300.

Here’s a quick financial profile, based on Comic-con’s most recent publicly-available financial statement, for the fiscal year ended August 2006: The company earned roughly $1 million on revenues of nearly $6 million, and had some $5 million in retained earnings. Only four full-time employees make more than $50,000, and the highest paid made $76,000 that year. One of the four, marketing chief David Glanzer, told me eagerly that the convention “isn’t about the money, it’s about the content. We’re a group of fans trying to put on a show.”

Leave a Reply