CinemaCon News

CinemaCon 2014 is officially over, and hopefully by now, you've already read some of our reports on the various studio presentations. The only question remaining after all the free booze and food has been consumed is which studio and/or movie took advantage of the rapt audience of exhibitors to reap rewards from bringing their movies to CinemaCon and which ones just dropped the ball? For the most part, the summer blockbuster tentpoles already had gained a great deal of interest, though there doesn't seem to be nearly as much of them this year, which could allow room for other movies to sneak in and make money. The summer's best bet seems to be comedy and there are a lot of R-rated choices that could very well break out ala Ted or The Hangover in past years.

Anyway, read on for our final thoughts on this year's theater exhibitors' convention, its high and low points.

Batting clean-up on the final day of CinemaCon 2014 was Warner Bros' annual "The Big Picture" presentation, meant to showcase the studio's plethora of A-list stars and the fact that they tend to release the most movies per year, something that probably contributed to them become the #1 studio globally in 2013.

After an introduction by Warners CEO Kevin Tsujihara, Dan Fellman and Veronika Kwan Vanderberg, Warner Bros. Presidents of Distribution Domestic and International, did the honors, alternating between them to make introductions for the long list of movies and talent on hand to share it with exhibitors.

20th Century Fox launched CinemaCon Day 4 with a big musical number to get exhibitors excited about their upcoming animated sequel Rio 2 (April 11), as Ester Dean and B.O.B. came out with dozens of samba dancers to perform "Take You to Rio" from the movie. The number was followed by a few quick words from Fox's President of Domestic Distribution Chris Aronson, who then introduced the company's CEO and Chairman Jim Gianopulos, who got the honors of presenting 20th Century Fox's upcoming summer and fall slate.

CinemaCon's second studio presentation of Day 23 was the one from Sony Pictures and its subsidiaries, and it was quite an event with many of Sony's upcoming movies showing off their very first footage anywhere, covering most of the company's 2014 line-up. The presentation was hosted by Sony's President of Worldwide Distribution Rory Bruer, who seemed to be having some problems reading the introduction from the teleprompter, but after talking about Sony's great last quarter of 2013 (ignoring the rest of the year), he set-up what they have in store for the rest of the year.

The two major studio presentations on CinemaCon Day 3 were bisected by a special luncheon showcasing the work of filmmaker Christopher Nolan called "From Passion to the Big Screen: The Work of Christopher Nolan." Since Nolan's next movie, coming out in November 15, is the enigmatic Interstellar, one would think that he'd want to talk about that a little bit. Nope. Try as he might, interviewer Todd McCarthy, senior film critic for The Hollywood Reporter, kept asking Nolan direct questions about Interstellar, trying to get him to talk about the movie, only to get largely the same response, always with a smile mind you: "I don't want to say too much about Interstellar." This is a far cry from a few years back when Nolan was at then ShoWest ready to finally reveal what his next movie Inception was about, after an equally enigmatic teaser that had The Dark Knight fans scratching their heads.

Day 3 of CinemaCon 2014 began with Walt Disney Studios' presentation, a rather short and frankly, quite uneventful, affair that seemed to merely be a lead-in for them to screen Jon Hamm's "Bollywood baseball" movie Million Dollar Arm, which comes out on May 16. Disney talked about their upcoming slate, but the presentation mainly consisted of footage that's been seen in other places for the most part, except for their live action Cinderella, directed by Kenneth Branagh, for which they gave exhibitors the very first look at an impressive extended trailer.

It's Day 2 of CinemaCon (or Day 1.5 since Monday wasn't a full day), and it kicked off with this year's State of the Industry panel, brought to exhibitors by the letter "U" for Universal Pictures, who used the remainder of the time to show off not just their movies coming out this summer but also focusing on one movie opening later in the year and previewing a few movies opening in 2015. Universal have been having a particularly good year so far with breakout hits like Ride Along, Lone Survivor and Non-Stop and they look to have a particularly strong slate for the coming summer and fall that focuses on raunchy comedy and serious biodramas. The presentation was showcased with the first footage from Fast and Furious 7, 50 Shades of Grey, the comedy sequel Dumb and Dumber To, Angelina Jolie's Unbroken, the animated spin-off Minions, Luc Besson's Lucy starring Scarlett Johansson and more!

Less then a day after its global premiere during their CinemaCon presentation, Paramount Pictures has unveiled the first trailer for Hercules, a reimagining of the legendary mythological character starring Dwayne Johnson. Yesterday, had a chance to sit down with a small group of journalists to talk to Johnson about playing a character that's been a passion project for him going back over ten years to when he made The Scorpion King.

This year's CinemaCon has officially begun and Paramount Pictures decided to get exhibitors' attention earlier in the week while everyone was still fairly fresh (and sober) with a 90-minute presentation at the Colloseum at Caesar's Palace that mainly focused on three films: Hercules (July 25), starring Dwayne Johnson, the Michael Bay-produced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (August 8) as well as Bay's fourth installment of the popular blockbuster franchise Transformers: Age of Extinction (June 27).

CinemaCon is set to kick off at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas on Monday, March 24, and snuck in a bit early to see if we could see any new posters for upcoming movies. Honestly, there wasn't a hell of a lot that isn't already out there, which is disappointing, and some of the upcoming movies from the summer and fall merely have a poster of the logo.

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