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San Diego | July 18-21
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Comic-Con 2013: Movies preview

'Elysium,' 'Catching Fire' and 'The Wolverline' likely to have a big presence this year

By Don Kaye
Special to MSN Movies

The  2013 edition of San Diego's annual Comic-Con International is around the corner, which means that studios, TV networks, game publishers, comic book sellers and many more are preparing to promote their wares to more than 125,000 eager fans at the annual four-day pop/geek-culture blowout. Comic-Con kicks off this year on Thursday, July 18, and wraps on Sunday, July 21, and during that stretch hundreds of exhibitors and retailers will unveil their upcoming goodies; countless panels, interviews and presentations will fill the halls and conference rooms; and thousands of fans will clog the San Diego Convention Center with glee.

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What can we expect to see this year in terms of movie presentations, which are primarily held in the cavernous Hall H? As usual, the full schedule won't come out until around two weeks before the show, but based on the information we're starting to get from publicists, as well as poring over release dates, we can make some pretty educated guesses as to which movies will get their day in court with the 6,000 lucky fans gathered at any time in Hall H.

Related: Comic-Con 2013: TV preview | TV shows at Comic-Con 2013

There are always certain presentations we look forward to -- Marvel, Warner Bros., Sony Pictures -- but all we know for sure is to expect the unexpected, and to be open to some genuine surprises. Here's a breakdown of what we'll be looking for, studio by studio. See you there!

Warner Bros. Pictures: Last year Warner Bros. (and its producing partner, Legendary) blew the roof off the place with a three-hour presentation that included amazing first looks at "Man of Steel," "The Hobbit," "Pacific Rim" and even a short glimpse of "Godzilla." "Pacific Rim" opens the week before the show, but we certainly expect to see some marketing for it happening at the convention (and of course Guillermo del Toro is likely to be there, as always). James Wan's highly hyped new horror movie, "The Conjuring," opens that same weekend, so it's very possible that the studio might squeeze in a presentation or even a screening to get the word of mouth happening.

As for upcoming releases, we expect the WB to give the big push to "Gravity" (Oct. 4), the stranded-in-space thriller from director Alfonso Cuaron that stars George Clooney and Sandra Bullock. We don't anticipate seeing either star in Hall H, but we hope to get an eyeful of new footage. Look also for "The Seventh Son" (Oct. 18), a supernatural dark fantasy starring Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore. We also imagine that Peter Jackson and company will return to give us a peek at Dec. 13's "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug."

Looking even further ahead, we might get early looks at "The Lego Movie" (February 2014), "300: Rise of an Empire" (March 2014) and "Transcendence" (April 2014) -- although that last one is directed by Christopher Nolan's cinematographer, Wally Pfister, so don't be surprised if the famous Nolan Cone of Silence remains intact around it. And then, of course, there's "Godzilla" (May 2014), which is filming now. Will Comic-Con be where we get our first glimpse of what the big green lizard looks like? Fingers crossed ...

Disney, Marvel and LucasFilm: Disney has become the umbrella company now for such huge fan-centric properties that we have to take each one individually. The big question, of course, will be about "Star Wars: Episode VII." Will a title be announced? A star? What about Marvel? Will we get some footage from "Thor: The Dark World" or some news on Phase 3?

Related: Will Marvel announce 'Doctor Strange' at Comic-Con?

Sadly, it looks like we won't be getting anything from Walt Disney Pictures itself or LucasFilm: Disney has its own expo called D23 every other August, and since it's happening this year (down in Disneyland), film marketers are most likely going to preview upcoming releases like "Maleficent" (July 2014), "Need for Speed" (March 2014), "Muppets Most Wanted" (March 2014) and "The Good Dinosaur." (May 2014) at that event.

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