Comic-Con 2014: Will Disney and Time Warner Continue to Cash In?

Enormous lines and big reveals make Comic-Con what it is. Credit: SDCC.

Over 150,000 deep-pocketed nerds descended on San Diego Thursday morning, kicking off Comic-Con 2014 and a weekend war to win the hearts and minds of fans. No two companies have more to win (or lose!) than Time Warner (NYSE: TWX  ) and Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS  ) . What should investors expect?

Guest host Alison Southwick puts this questions to Fool analysts Nathan Alderman and Tim Beyers in this week's episode of 1-Up On Wall Street, The Motley Fool's web show in which we talk about the big-money names behind your favorite technology, movies, toys, video games, comics, and more.

Tim says the pressure is on Warner to generate significant buzz for a full slate of new fall TV shows based on comic books, including Constantine, The Flash, and Gotham. The studio takes over SDCC's famed Hall H on Saturday night to preview each, with Arrow star Stephen Amell acting as emcee for the three-hour affair.

Strong initial reviews for The Flash suggest a mostly positive outcome for Warner. What could get in the way? Unspecified casting changes for iZombie, a last-minute cancellation during Wednesday night's pilot screenings for the early Comic-Con crowd. Also, at the summer Television Critics Association (TCA) gathering, DC Entertainment Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns told reporters that there would no crossover between DC's TV and movie universes, which Tim says is a mistake.

Nathan agrees, noting that Disney enters Comic-Con as the show's most beloved brand thanks to a string of hit movies. Strong tracking for Guardians of the Galaxy, which opens Aug. 1, suggests the streak is likely to remain alive and well heading into next May's Avengers: Age of Ultron.

The bigger question for both fans and investors is what comes after. Marvel Studios now has eight untitled movies announced for between now and May 2019. Nathan says it's a good bet that Marvel will provide details on many or even most of those projects at Comic-Con 2014.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. Which company will do more to engage fans at Comic-Con 2014? Click the video to watch as Alison puts Nathan and Tim on the spot, and then leave your take in the comments box below. You can also follow us on Twitter for more segments and regular geek news updates!

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Tim Beyers

Tim Beyers first began writing for the Fool in 2003. Today, he's an analyst for Motley Fool Rule Breakers and Motley Fool Supernova. At, he covers disruptive ideas in technology and entertainment, though you'll most often find him writing and talking about the business of comics. Find him online at or send email to For more insights, follow Tim on Google+ and Twitter.

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