Farr initially thought that Salt Lake would draw between 5,000 and 10,000. He revised that range to 10,000 to 20,000 after seeing the interest generated on the Salt Lake Comic Con Facebook page, but one celebrity's manager urged him to be realistic. "He said 10,000 was generous."
Now, Farr has set his sights on Denver, which billed itself as the second-biggest comic con open ever in 2012 with 27,700. He's sure Salt Lake will beat that. But Farr believes Denver's second-year number, 60,000, is already attainable this year.
Should Salt Lake draw a more conservative 40,000, it would be one of the top 15 box-office hauls for a North American fan convention. The biggest convention, San Diego Comic-Con, draws more than 100,000, as do New York and Toronto. There is a steep dropoff after that, however, with Seattle ranking fourth according to a list provided by Farr with 64,000 in 2012.
Farr said there is also a question of how other conventions total their attendance. He's measuring unique visitors, meaning that those who buy a three-day pass are counted once. It is also worth noting that many conventions run through Sunday, so Salt Lake City which does not, due to the heavily Mormon population is actually at a disadvantage.
Forty thousand would make Salt Lake Comic Con the biggest convention in the state of Utah. Both Outdoor Retailer conventions together drew 45,000 in 2012, according to the Governor's Office of Economic Development, although it is likely a more valuable asset due to its lure for out-of-state guests.
"Right now it is," Farr said. "I don't know that that's always going to be the case."