Catching you up on some of our favorite things to come out of CinemaCon this week:
20th Century Fox
A Peanuts dance mix from DJ Enferno really woke up the crowd at Thursday morning’s first studio presentation, and the first clips from the 3D animated The Peanuts Movie from Blue Sky Studios brought Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the gang into a new dimension for a new audience.
50 Cent and Melissa McCarthy were up next with a remarkable “impersonation” of each other to introduce Spy (which many in the audience were lucky enough to catch at Tuesday night’s screening), but then the screens went dark and were taken over by scenes from the new Poltergeist reimagining — proving once and for all that clowns are not cute, but are in fact super creepy.
Other movies in the 20th Century Fox slate included the coming-of-age adventure story Paper Towns, the spy flick Hitman: Agent 47, the next sequel Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, a frightening new spin on the classic tale of Victor Frankenstein featuring Daniel Radcliffe, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Road Chip, and Josh Trank’s very cool looking reboot of Marvel’s Fantastic Four.
But three upcoming movies from Fox really stole the show. From Birdman director Alejandro González Iñárritu, the new Leonardo DiCaprio vehicle The Revenant is currently being shot in the remote Canadian wilderness using only natural light, and the footage was striking. Joy, also currently in production and starring Jennifer Lawrence, tells the story of a matriarch and her family over the course of four generations. Closing out the presentation was the global premiere of footage from Ridley Scott’s The Martian, featuring Matt Damon as an astronaut who gets stranded on a mission to Mars, and help is only 140 million miles away.
Universal is one of the studios that truly uses the full calendar year to its greatest advantage, and its slate of upcoming movies will continue that successful strategy. The hot news that they shared up front was that two of the biggest movies of 2015 so far — Fifty Shades of Grey and Furious 7 — will both be continuing franchises. Fans can once again count on spending Valentine’s Day weekend being whipped into frenzy with Fifty Shades Darker in 2017 and Fifty Shades Freed in 2018. In Furious star Vin Diesel’s heartfelt speech to the theater owners, he thanked them for being a part of the family that helped create history, and wanted them to be the first to know that Furious 8 will be out on April 14, 2017.
Elizabeth Banks then returned to the CinemaCon stage to talk about Pitch Perfect 2, producer Jason Blum and director M. Night Shyamalan introduced The Visit, director Baltasar Kormákur debuted the domestic trailer for the high-altitude adventure, Everest, and Guillermo Del Toro showcased his frightening new gothic romance, Crimson Peak.
Of course there was Seth MacFarlane, who described Ted 2 as, “a movie you can take your whole family to…if your family is over 18 and addicted to drugs.” And the ladies also ruled with comedies including Trainwreck from Amy Schumer and Sisters with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Then things got real as Ice Cube and Dr. Dre introduced their personal story of the American dream, Straight Outta Compton.
Universal has their fair share of animated flicks coming up as well, with Minions, where we finally learn where the little yellow guys come from, and The Secret Life of Pets (if you like a good thrash-metal-loving French Poodle, this movie is for you!). The animals quickly went from adorable to terrifying, however, as the presentation ended with a long look at the new Jurassic World. As Chris Pratt said, it’s “scary as hell, and the trauma should be experienced by mass groups of people.”
If there’s one take-away from all of the 2015 CinemaCon studio presentations, it is that there is an incredible slate of films on the horizon that were expressly created to be seen in the big screen movie theater environment. If you can picture going to your local movie theater and after every trailer saying, “Wow, I can’t wait to see that one!” — that was what the entire week was like here in Las Vegas. The sheer variety of great stories and visual spectacles coming soon to a theater near you are sure to draw movie fans in record numbers, and we look forward to being right there with them!