Disney's D23 Expo Moves to July in 2017, Setting Up Clash With San Diego Comic-Con

Captain America: Civil War -Chris Evans- H 2016
Courtesy of Zade Rosenthal/Marvel
Could the move mean an even smaller presence for Marvel or Lucasfilm at Comic-Con next year?

Consider this the first salvo in a potential Southern California convention war.

D23 Expo, the Disney-owned pop culture event focusing on Disney, Marvel and Lucasfilm properties, said on Monday that next year's Anaheim event will take place July 14-16 — a space in the calendar more commonly associated with Comic-Con International's San Diego Comic-Con.

The biannual event will once again take place at the Anaheim Convention Center. The three-day convention will feature Mousequerade, a fan-cosplay contest, as well as an all-new exhibit curated by the Walt Disney Archives and the Disney Legends Ceremony, celebrating the work of those who have contributed to the House of Mouse and related companies throughout their long history. Tickets for the event will go on sale online July 14, 2016.

While dates for San Diego Comic-Con 2017 have yet to be officially announced, it's been speculated for some time that the event will be held July 19-23 after the San Diego Convention Center added an unnamed "private convention with trade show" to its calendar for those dates.

Traditionally, SDCC runs in the final two weeks of July; this year's event spans July 20-24.

Comic-Con International did not respond to a request for comment from THR for this story.

The addition of D23 a week before SDCC next year brings into question the presence of big-name players like Marvel and Lucasfilm at the latter event; last year, Marvel skipped Comic-Con for the first time in four years, ostensibly due to a lack of announcements, only to debut Captain America: Civil War footage at the Disney event less than a month later, in addition to debuting Doctor Strange concept art and a video message from star Benedict Cumberbatch.

Similarly, while Lucasfilm did hold a Star Wars panel at Comic-Con, the only new footage premiered at the event was a behind-the-scenes reel, with a new trailer saved for the following month's D23 Expo.

If D23 predates Comic-Con next year, could Disney's properties save themselves the trek of heading to San Diego by revealing all a week earlier in Anaheim?