Kicking Off the 2011 CinemaCon!


What is CinemaCon, you may ask? Long-time readers will probably know it better as ShoWest, the annual convention and trade show in Las Vegas where theater owners and exhibitors from across the globe congregate to learn more about the latest technology, and the studios use that opportunity to give their valuable partners an advance look at some of the movies coming out for the rest of the year.

PHOTO GALLERY: The promo posters and displays at CinemaCon 2011

This year’s panels and presentations are taking place at the enormous Caesars Palace Conference Center just across the Strip from the Paris Hotel and Casino that previously played host to ShoWest. This means that most of the movies and cool footage we’ll be watching in Caesars’ massive Colloseum Theater, which were told can hold something like 4,150 people. That’s where Cher used to perform regularly though now it’s been taken over by Celine Dion. (Where’s Russell Crowe to fight her off when you need him?)

Some of the movies being screened this year include Sony’s upcoming R-rated comedy Bad Teacher, starring Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake–she’ll be there, he probably won’t–(UPDATE: Sony is screening Zookeeper instead) Lionsgate’s action-thriller Warrior, which doesn’t open until September, and a special late night screening of Morgan Spurlock’s POM Wonderful Presents The Greatest Movie Ever Sold.

In between, we’ll be watching new footage from the upcoming film slate from Paramount, Walt Disney Pictures, DreamWorks and Warner Bros., all of whom have presentations of their summer and fall line-ups.

The two movies we’re most excited to see footage from during Monday evening’s Paramount presentation are Marvel Studios’ Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger, being that we’ve already been lucky enough to get previews of J.J. Abrams’ Super 8 and DreamWorks Animation’s two 2011 releases.

Of course, Disney’s big movie this summer is Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides but they also will have the first footage and a couple of surprise guests from a holiday movie we’re really looking forward to, which we can’t reveal just yet.

The newly revamped DreamWorks kicked-off their year with the relatively weak I Am Number Four but they’re bringing two other anticipated genre movies to the first CinemaCon with Hugh Jackman starring in the futuristic robot battle movie Real Steel and Colin Farrell starring in the Craig (Lars and the Real Girl) Gillespie’s remake of Fright Night, the latter showing its first footage. Both Disney and DreamWorks are showing their wares on Tuesday.

Warner Bros. has a lot of great stuff planned as they’re bringing footage from their own superhero movie Green Lantern, as well as stuff from the “Harry Potter” finale as well as showing the very first footage from the New Line comedy Horrible Bosses, starring Jasons Bateman and Sudeikis. We first realized what a huge success Todd Phillips’ The Hangover would be when the very first trailer debuted at ShoWest in 2009, and last year’s look at Due Date also received a warm reception, so of course, the prodigal son will be returning to his second home to premiere footage from his upcoming sequel The Hangover Part II.

In between movies and presentations, we’ll be trying to squeeze in as many interviews as possible, but because we’re not a fan of “counting chickens,” you’ll just have to wait and see who we all get for you.

Either way, 20th Century Fox may have already won the week because they have lined all four escalators up and down from the Conference Center with the logo from their upcoming X-Men: First Class, which means it will be the first and last thing every distributor will be thinking about as they enter or leave each day. Winning!

Check out the gallery of photos we’ve taken so far here!