A man, dressed as "Nightwing" waits in line with friends for the opening preview night at Comic Con International in San Diego,California, US on July 19, 2017.
A man, dressed as "Nightwing" waits in line with friends for the opening preview night at Comic Con International in San Diego,California, US on July 19, 2017.

The celebration kicked off on Wednesday night with a preview of the San Diego Convention Centre's showroom floor: 460,000 square feet of TV, film and video game displays, along with toys, art and comic books for sale.

A group of zombies arrive in costume as they participate in the opening preview night at Comic Con International in San Diego,California, US on July 19, 2017. [Reuters]
A group of zombies arrive in costume as they participate in the opening preview night at Comic Con International in San Diego,California, US on July 19, 2017. [Reuters]

What started as a comic-book convention with 300 participants in 1970 has grown into a corporate-heavy media showcase that draws more than 130,000 attendees.

A lady is dressed at Jennifer Lawrence's character Mystique from the
A lady is dressed at Jennifer Lawrence's character Mystique from the "X-Men" franchise during Preview Night of the 2017 Comic-Con International in San Diego,California, US on July 19, 2017. [AP]

Netflix, Warner Bros., Fox, HBO and Marvel Studios are among the companies hosting large-scale presentations with top-name talent.

Power Rangers attend preview day at San Diego Comic-Con 2017 at San Diego Convention Center on July 19, 2017 in San Diego, California.
Power Rangers attend preview day at San Diego Comic-Con 2017 at San Diego Convention Center on July 19, 2017 in San Diego, California.

But while Hollywood has raised Comic-Con's profile, comic book enthusiasts say it keeps edging out the book buyers and sellers at the heart of the event.

Attendees arrive dressed in costume for the opening day of Comic Con International in San Diego, California, US, July 20, 2017. [Reuters]
Attendees arrive dressed in costume for the opening day of Comic Con International in San Diego, California, US, July 20, 2017. [Reuters]

Jamie Newbold, who's been attending Comic-Con since 1972 and selling comic books there for more than 20 years, said that as big entertainment companies have seized on the convention's fan base, the cost of exhibit space on the showroom floor has become prohibitive for small vendors.

Attendees in costume enjoy the opening day of Comic Con International in San Diego, California, US, July 20, 2017. [Reuters]
Attendees in costume enjoy the opening day of Comic Con International in San Diego, California, US, July 20, 2017. [Reuters]
Attendee with red hair and green eyes in costume during opening day of Comic Con International in San Diego, California, US, July 20, 2017. [Reuters]
Attendee with red hair and green eyes in costume during opening day of Comic Con International in San Diego, California, US, July 20, 2017. [Reuters]
Source: TRTWorld and agencies