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    Posted July 25, 2014 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    San Diego Comic-Con 2014: Who wore it best?

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    San Diego Comic Con Opening Night


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Weszor is attending his third San Diego Comic-Con: 'Definitely great so far! Seems a little note relaxed than last time. "The Flash" screening was pretty fantastic.'
    - hhanks, CNN iReport producer

    San Diego Comic Con kicked off its first official opening day with  celebrities, concerts, packed exhibit booths, and a transformed Gaslamp  District.


    The convention, which pulls over 130,000 convention attendees and  countless others looking for off-site events, is the largest fan  gathering in the United States. This year’s opening slate continued the  trend of big announcements reserved for the largest crowds.


    While Preview Night is open to many attendees who purchase tickets,  Thursday is the first official day of the convention and when most of  the panels begin in earnest. The upper floors of the convention center  and ballrooms of local hotels maintained a constant stream of  programming throughout the day.


    Perhaps the largest panel of the day came from Hall H, the largest  ballroom of the convention, where Paramount Pictures brought out  Christopher Nolan to speak about his next film, Interstellar.  Nolan, notoriously protective of his properties, has famously avoided  the convention in the past during his production of the Batman  franchise.


    The Hall H panels also featured a panel on the upcoming film The Giver, which featured Jeff Bridges and author Lois Lowry. Fans seemed eager to  have questions answer about the adaptation of the popular book among  Millenials.


    “I told them we have to keep the kids 12,” said Jeff Bridges about  aspects of the book he fought to keep in the film. The Giver will open in August.


    Other special guests attend panels included the cast of Showtime’s Penny Dreadful, Benedict Cumberbatch for Penguins of Madagascar, and TV Land stars Betty White and William Shatner.


    Inside the exhibit floor and outside the convention center, companies  sold or gave away exclusive items, a tradition at SDCC. Fans followed  vehicles from Universal’s upcoming Jurassic World for an exclusive print, while Hasbro sold a full Transformer’s set inside the main hall.


    As the convention grows, so do the activities outside the convention. This year included a Gotham City zipline, Assassin’s Creed obstacle course, and a 40 ft. Godzilla sculpture.


    The evening concluded with a dance party at Nerd HQ in Petco Park and  the MTV Fandom Awards outside the baseball stadium. The awards show  drew thousands of spectators after MTV announced a headline show from  Linkin Park.


    More cosplayers, panels, and events are expected as Friday and Saturday  approach. The economic impact is estimated to be over $175 million,  according to Mayor Faulconer.

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