Comic-Con’s party scene officially kicked off Thursday with the Hard Rock Hotel serving as the central hub, hosting IGN’s “Saint’s Row The Third” game and Summit Entertainment and Fandango’s bashes, which brought out “Twilight” castmembers Kellan Lutz, Ashley Greene and Elizabeth Reaser, along with “True Blood’s” Alexander Skarsgard and Ryan Kwanten. FilmDistrict’s first Comic-Con appearance had “Drive”-helmer Nicolas Winding Refn, thesps Carey Mulligan and Ron Perlman, and “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark’s” Guillermo del Toro, director Troy Nixey and Guy Pearce come out for its bash.
Lionsgate hosted an intimate dinner at the Se San Diego Hotel that featured the cast of its upcoming pics, including Jason Momoa and Rachel Nichols (“Conan the Barbarian”), Taylor Lautner (“Abduction”), Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton (“Warrior”) and Dominic Cooper (“The Devil’s Double”).
Showtime’s “Not Your Ordinary Television” soiree had Michael C. Hall, Mos Def, William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum mingling at the Omni Hotel, sipping “Dexter” themed drinks amidst blood-themed decorations. “Web Soup” host and head Nerdist Chris Hardwick and “Conan the Barbarian” producer Gudrun Giddings showed up to GeekChicDaily, IDW and Circle of Confusion’s party at The Fleetwood.
Jon Favreau was supposed to get behind the decks for a quick DJ set at the Complex Media/Joblo.com party, hosted by Latino Review and Daniel Alter, Thursday, but the “Cowboys & Aliens” director played the entire party, with the back of his Macbook Pro decorated so the Apple was Iron Man’s glowing chestpiece, as Faizon Love (“Elf”) worked the mic.
After a day of panels, Warner Bros. Television and DC Entertainment execs and talent, including “The Vampire Diaries'” Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder, “Shameless'” Justin Chatwin, DC Comics creative chief Geoff Johns, “Big Bang Theory” co-stars Johnny Galecki and Jim Parsons and Conan “Coco” O’Brien, who celebrated at the Hard Rock Hotel’s Float bar that featured go-go dancers galore dressed only in body paint and smiles.
As UTA and Electronic Arts held an event at Basic Bar, AMC Theatres and Poynt’s “From Dusk Till Con” was underway rooftop at the Stingaree nightclub whose guestlist included Channing Tatum, Kellan Lutz, Dmitri Martin, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and producer Jeff Katz.
A battle of the bashes broke out between men’s magazines Playboy and Maxim Thursday night, as Playboy co-hosted Sony’s bash for the comedy “Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star” at a Camp Playboy backyard-themed shindig that offered Bunnies, campfires, BBQ by STK, and zip lining. With a large Maxim logo lit up on a nearby building, the mag’s rooftop bash at the Hotel Solamar, sponsored by FX, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, handed guests FX TV show-themed drinks for “Sons of Anarchy,” “Wilfred,” “Archer,” “The League” and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” sipped by Ginnifer Goodwin, Ryan Kwanten, Nina Dobrev, Danny Devito, Chris Parnell, Judy Greer, Elijah Wood, Charlie Day, Eric Balfour, and Jason Gann, who spent the night in his “Wilfred” dog-suit.
Universal’s premiere of “Cowboys and Aliens” packed the San Diego Civic Theater on Saturday with the sci-fi western’s cast, including Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde, Sam Rockwell, Adam Beach, scribes Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci and producers Steven Spielberg, Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, along with hundreds of fans who won tickets to attend. “For those who won the golden ticket, welcome to the chocolate factory,” said director Jon Favreau to cheers. “We want the fans input on the movie. That is what Hollywood needs. So it’s great to bring it to Comic-Con.” Before the film unspooled, Favreau compared pic to a Chrismas present: “This summer, we’ve had a lot of Christmas presents, but this is the one that has us shaking the box. People just don’t know what to make of ‘Cowboys & Aliens.’ You are the first to unwrap the present. Enjoy.”
Afterward, Entertainment Weekly hosted its annual end-of-Comic-Con soiree at the Hard Rock’s Float bar, with a mix of TV and film producers and personalities that included “Glee’s” Darren Criss, “The Killing’s” Joel Kinnaman, cast of “Community,” including Joel McHale, new “Spartacus”-lead Liam McIntyre, “Transformers” producer Tom DeSanto, “X-Men: First Class'” Lucas Till, and fanboy favorite Nathan Fillion.
Nearby, Syfy and E! co-hosted their own bash from the Hotel Salomar, turning it into a playland with a candy room and arcade for guests that included “Eureka” guest star and panel moderator Wil Wheaton, Felicia Day, Colin Ferguson, Eric Belfour, “Sanctuary’s” Amanda Tapping, “Being Human’s” Sam Huntington and Anthony Head.