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Six Awesome Things Happening at C2E2 2019

On March 22 to March 24, 2019, Chicago Comics and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) celebrates its tenth anniversary in style. This is going to be my fourth year at C2E2, and one thing that I love about the show is its merging of different strains of pop culture into a fun experience. For example, you can get an autograph from the ageless actor/Ant-Man Paul Rudd, then hurry over to Artist’s Alley and meet a comics legend like Chris Claremont or George Perez or your favorite webcomic artist, and then wrap up things up with a beer at the Revolution tent. Whether you’re into comics, cosplay, films, TV shows, or all kinds of gaming, C2E2 really has it all.

Here are six fun things to do at C2E2 during the three days of the show at McCormick Place.

6. Try Out Some Escape Rooms (Friday-Sunday)

Unfortunately, there’s no “Escape from Being Crushed by Quarter Bins with Unsold, Polybagged Copies of Death of Superman”, but C2E2 does offer two fun Escape Room experiences if you want to get away from the hustle, bustle, and lines of the con and solve some puzzles in a mindbending environment. There are two Escape Rooms at C2E2: one is “Detention: Escape from the Cursed High School”, and the other is “Secret Aboard Starship Atraeus”. Each room has multiple endings, a 45 minute time limit, and mysterious elements like ghostly spirits and potential freaky aliens. Spots are filling up so book your escape room ASAP!

5. C2E2 Cinema (Friday-Saturday)

Sponsored by The Logan Theatre, C2E2 Cinema offers free movie screenings for anyone with a convention badge on both Friday and Saturday night. Friday’s movies are Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) and the timeless classic Princess Bride followed by Wayne’s World and Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. As if that wasn’t enough, Saturday’s movie is Clueless, and there’s also a 1990s themed pre-party with a costume contest. You can go from dropping the big bucks on Alicia Silverstone, Paul Rudd, Breckin Meyer, and Donald Faison’s autographs and attending their Saturday reunion panel to watching them in their heyday on the big screen.

Image result for clueless movie

4. Clueless Reunion Panel (Saturday)

Clueless is one of the greatest Jane Austen adaptations of all time and really encapsulated the various looks and attitudes of the mid-1990s. (Full disclosure: I watched it on my 21st birthday intoxicated with a British grocery store cake in my lap.) Alicia Silverstone, Paul Rudd, Breckin Meyer, and Donald Faison are all attending C2E2, and if you can’t get their autograph, this panel is opportunity to soak in some 90s nostalgia and not harass Mr. Rudd with questions about Avengers: Endgame. Also, this panel is secretly a partial reunion of the late, great boy band DuJour fromJosie and the Pussycats.

3. Marvel Next Big Thing Panel (Saturday)

So, some rumors/house ads have been going on around that Jonathan Hickman is making his triumphant return to Marvel Comics for his first new series after 2015’s Secret Wars. Hickman is a master of the long form epic/event with his work on titles like Secret Warriors, Fantastic Four, and New Avengers, and I’m excited to learn what his next saga will be. (I hope Leonardo da Vinci is involved.) You can find out more information about his work and fellow writer, Jason Aaron (Thor) at Marvel’s Next Big Thing panel. Marvel’s Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski will also be there so you know they mean business, and there will be some announcements about the House of Ideas’ summer slate of books.

2. AMC’s NOS4A2 Screening (Saturday)

Some of the best TV shows of all time, like Breaking Bad, Mad Men, and the criminally underrated Halt and Catch Fire, have aired on AMC, and the supernatural horror drama NOS4A2 might be their next big hit. It’s based on a novel by Joe Hill and is about an artist named Vic McQueen (Ashleigh Cummings), who has the power to track a mysterious immortal named Charlie Manx (Zachary Quinto). Manx is up to no good and feeds on children whose souls he places in a messed up world called Christmasland, where every day is Christmas. Fans at C2E2 will have the opportunity to see the first episode of NOS4A2 early before it airs on AMC on April 30.

HOLLYWOOD, CA – JANUARY 30: (L-R) Marv Wolfman, Carrie Bernans, George Perez and guest arrive for Excelsior! A Celebration of The Amazing, Fantastic, Incredible and Uncanny Life Of Stan Lee at TCL Chinese Theatre on January 30, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images)

1. Marv Wolfman and George Perez: In Conversation (Sunday)

George Perez recently announced a well-earned retirement from creating comics and attending most conventions (Except DragonCon and FetishCon). So, C2E2 is one of the last opportunities that fans have to meet the artist of New Teen Titans, Avengers, and Crisis on Infinite Earths, not to mention once the nicest people in comics. This panel with long time collaborator, Marv Wolfman, who was also responsible for co-creating Blade and Bullseye, should be interesting to attend as two legends reflect on their legacy and swap war stories of 40+ years in the comics industry.

The Upside Takes First While Aquaman Crosses $1 Billion

The Upside poster

Aquaman relinquished the box office throne this weekend to The Upside. That film opened with an estimated $19.59 million.

The Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston film received an “A” CinemaScore with an audience that was 59% female and 74% were aged 25 years or older. The film was originally rated R but was recut to get a PG-13 rating which seems to have worked out.

In second place was Aquaman which dropped the top spot after three weeks on top. The film added an estimated $17.26 million domestically and $27.9 million internationally. That pushed the film to $1.020 billion worldwide which has it as the second highest grossing DC Comics film worldwide. It’s the first film in the DC Cinematic universe to cross the billion dollar mark and the ninth comic film to do so.

The film’s box office success has China to thank where it has earned almost the same amount as it has domestically. Domestically, the film has brought in $287.9 million while in China it has earned $284.9 million.

The film needs to earn $64.6 million to be the top grossing DC film ever and it is likely to do just that before its run is over. It opens in Japan on February 8 so will likely succeed in doing that and more.

In third place was another debut, A Dog’s Way Home which brought in an estimated $11.3 million off of an $18 million budget. The film received an “A-” CinemaScore from opening day audiences which was 52% female and 51% aged 25 years or older.

In fourth place was Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse fresh off of its Golden Globe win. The film earned an estimated $9 million in its fifth week. Domestically the film has earned $147.7 million. Internationally it added. $9.4 million to bring that total to $154.6 million and worldwide earnings to $302.4 million.

Rounding out the top five was Escape Room which added an estimated $8.9 million to its domestic total bringing that to $32.4 million. After two weeks, that’s a solid number for a $9 million production.

We’ll be back in an hour for a deeper dive into 2018 year’s comic adaptations.

Aquaman Tops the Box Office for a Third Week as It Crosses $940 Million

Aquaman is the little film that could. After a domestic debut that some called a failure the film is now the top grossing DC Cinematic Universe film as it has now earned $940.7 million worldwide and will be the first of that film universe to cross $1 billion (though not the first DC related film).

This past weekend the film earned an estimated $30.7 million to come in first place for the third weekend. It has now earned $259.7 million domestically which is about what Wonder Woman did after the same time period. Wonder Woman went on to gross $407.2 million domestically to be the highest grossing domestic film of the DC Cinematic Universe.

Internationally is where the film has really taken off adding another $56.2 million this past weekend from 79 markets to bring its international total to $681 million.

The film is the top of the new batch of DC films beating the previous king Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice by nearly $70 million and that will only expand. As far as all films based on DC Comics, it currently ranks third behind The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises. It will need about $150 million to become the highest grossing DC film of all time worldwide and it will likely cross $1 billion. The film still hasn’t opened in Japan and will do so in February 8. That’s the last key market to see release.

In second place was a new film Escape Room which opened with $18 million off of a $9 million budget. Opening weekend audiences gave the film a “B” CinemaScore and demographics had with the crowd split 50/50 between men and women and 53% aged 25 years or older.

In third place was Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns which brought in $15.8 million to bring its domestic total to $138.7 million. Internationally the film added $23 million to bring that total to just below $120 million for a worldwide total of $257.9 million. It opens in Japan on February 1 and in Korea on February 14.

Fourth and fifth place was close with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse holding on to fourth with an estimated $13 million to bring its domestic total to $133.9 million. It added $11.7 million overseas to bring that total to $141.5 million and $275.4 million worldwide. The recent Golden Globe win should boost the film’s box office over the next week or two and a likely Oscar win will do the film well.

In fifth place was Bumblebee which added $12.8 million to its domestic total to bring that to $97.1 million. Internationally the film added $82.7 million to its total with China bringing in $59.4 million in its debut. The international total stands at $192 million with it opening in Japan on March 22, its final key market.

We’ll back in an hour for a deeper dive into this year’s comic adaptations.