Top stars of geek films and TV shows can make up to $500,000 for a single weekend spent at a convention, according to Hollywood Reporter.  Those heady fees can go to stars like The Walking Dead’s Norman Readus , or Marvel film stars, according to the report, with other stars making six figures including The Walking Dead’s Andrew Lincoln (who donates his fees to charity), Star Wars star Mark Hamill, and any Doctor Who.   

Stars typically get a guarantee, which ranges from $5,000-$10,000 at the basic level up to $35,000-$250,000 for big draws, and earn additional fees on top of that based on the number and price of autograph and photo fees generated at the show.  Such fees can be $100 or more for an autograph, or for a photo with the fan.

For the convention organizer, autograph and photo fees pay for the star, who helps boost attendance and the revenues that come from the gate and other ways the show monetizes attendees (such as merchandise). 

Shows that have a heavy dose of these celebrity-based features definitely have a different feel than the traditional comic show, drawing money and time away from exhibitors, but bringing in more civilians, new customers that otherwise would have no contact with the core business.