The Walking Dead, Avengers Stars Hauling In Big Bucks At Conventions

'It's like a scene from Blow or Goodfellas: a room full of money with professional cash counters.' [...]

"It's like a scene from Blow or Goodfellas: a room full of money with professional cash counters."

That's what a producer involved with the Comic Convention circuit has to say, in a fairly exagerative statement, about the backrooms at geek culture fan festivals in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.

The way it works, for those who haven't dug into the business of fan festivals and comic conventions, is celebrities charge a minimum rate to appear a convention like Wizard World, Walker Stalker, or even Salt Lake City Comic Con for a weekend. The convention, in turn, guarantees a flat rate bottoming out at about $5,000 for lesser buzzed stars but reportedly bouncing up to $300,000 for a weekend with an Avengers or Walking Dead A-lister like Chris Evans or Norman Reedus.

Fans pile in the doors of convention centers, throwing money for admission tickets, to get inside and fork over larger amounts to share a moment with their favorite stars.

"If somebody wanted to do a convention every weekend, they could make more on the convention circuit than their episodic fee," says Arrow star and partial owner of Heroes & Villains FanFest Stephen Amell.

After the conventions take about $5 per autograph and $10 per photo, the celebrity guests can walk away with as much as half a million dollars after a weekend at certain conventions.

However, the conventions and their guests aren't the only ones benefiting from the comic conventions and fan festivals geek culture has come to love. Earlier this month, Walker Stalker Con hosted an event in Orlando which rounded up several key cast members from AMC's The Walking Dead to raise funds for the victims of June's Pulse Nightclub shooting in the Florida city.

"In less than eight hours, we raised almost a quarter of a million dollars for the One Orlando Fund," says James Frazier, Amell's partner at Heroes & Villains and the man behind Walker Stalker, in a statement to "Stephen left set at midnight, on a red eye his own expense, to be in Orlando and assist in raising as much money as possible for victims and their families."

Frazier and Amell's conventions, which aren't the only in the circuit to host charity events, passionately invite fans to events for fundraising on a near regular basis. "I haven't come across anybody on the convention circuit that does more to raise money for charities and non-profits than Stephen Amell," Frazier says.

Reedus, a frequent convention headliner, recently participated in a Benefit Ride hosted by the Georgia Film Industry. The event charged fans and fellow riders a fee to ride alongside Reedus and his Walking Dead co-stars such as Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Austin Amelio and contributed the funds to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The Walking Dead's leading man Andrew Lincoln rarely appears at conventions, but, when he does, the revenues are entirely donated to charity.

So, while the stars are getting paid, they're keeping in mind the folks in need who can't go out and pay off medical bills with selfies and autographs.