People on line hoping to get into Lionsgate and IGN's Comic-Con 2012… (Patric T. Fallon )
At this year's Comic-Con International, Warner Bros. set up a VIP-only tent so packed with luxury that some of those allowed in said it reminded them more of the Cannes Film Festival than the annual gathering of geek fans.
There was little indication outside that there was anything special about the white tent that sprouted up for the first time this year. Located in between the San Diego Convention Center's Hall H, where the most popular panels for movies and TV shows are held, and the "Extra" stage where Warner touted many of its TV shows in an outdoor setting, it was surrounded by shrubbery.
A single entrance was flanked by two security guards who stood in front of a green carpet with velvet ropes for the VIPs exiting their cars. The only people allowed inside appeared to be Warner executives and the actors, writers, producers and directors whom the studio brought in to promote its films and TV programs.
But inside it was a world removed from the jam-packed environs of the Con, where it's often difficult for famous names to walk five feet without being accosted by fans.
As described to The Times by three attendees, guests sat on white couches and enjoyed amenities such as free foot massages and scrubs, pool tables, Xboxes, an open bar and free food, hair and makeup touch-ups, plus a Sundance-style gifting suite. Even the port-a-potties were more luxurious than those typically found at a concert or construction site.
(A Warner Bros. spokesman said media were not allowed in and did not respond to further requests for comment).
Several Comic-Con veterans said they did not know of any other Hollywood studio going to such lengths to accommodate its VIP guests at Comic-Con in the past. But they noted that it's part of the growing alternate world for Hollywood professionals who go to San Diego for Comic-Con but can spend their days in luxury lounges and their nights at exclusive parties without ever setting foot on the show floor.
At Comic-Con International, ther'es lot of party business to do
Fewer Hollywood movie studios will show up for Comic-Con
Comic-Con can be a pop culture clash