CinemaCon: A Breakdown (Part 1)

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CinemaCon has kicked off its fifth year celebrating the moviegoing experience. Starting on Monday 20th, we got Universal Pictures and filmmaker Elizabeth Banks screening one of this summer’s most eagerly anticipated films, “Pitch Perfect 2.” As part of the night’s Opening Ceremony, CinemaCon singled out two industry giants with a special presentation:

GEORGE LEVITT, National Amusements
JOHN LUNDIN, Carmike Cinemas



In the follow-up to 2012’s surprise hit, Universal’s first comedy of the summer finds the Barden Bellas back to pitch slap the world on May 15. “Pitch Perfect 2” is helmed by Elizabeth Banks, co-star and producer of “Pitch Perfect,” and features the entire cast returning again—led by Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Anna Camp, Brittany Snow, Skylar Astin, Adam DeVine, Alexis Knapp, Hana Mae Lee, Ester Dean and John Michael Higgins and Banks. They are joined by series newcomers Hailee Steinfeld, Chrissie Fit, Flula Borg and Katey Sagal. “Pitch Perfect 2” is produced by Paul Brooks, Max Handelman and Banks, and writer Kay Cannon returns to pen the next chapter.

Yesterday, Tuesday 21st, CinemaCon opened with the usual State of the Nation panel that was accompanied by the first studio presentation from Paramount Pictures, which mostly focused on their two summer tentpoles, Terminator Genisys and Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation, but also debuted the first footage from the under-the-radar comedy Daddy’s Home and name-checked movies going into 2016. 

After showing the normal sizzle reel of 2014’s top-grossing movies and speeches from MPAA President, Senator Chris Dodd and NATO President John Within, they went to the Paramount presentation which kicked off with the unmistakable voice of Arnold Schwarzenegger saying “I told you I’d be back” and as spotlights flashed in the audience, Schwarzenegger came out in full black leather wearing the Terminator sunglasses to introduce 12 minutes of extended footage from his return to the franchise, Terminator Genisys.


The footage was mostly extended from what we’ve seen from other trailers basically setting up the plot for the film and showing snippets of the biggest action sequences. It opened with a voiceover by Jai Courtney’s Kyle Reese talking about how the world was destroyed by Skynet on Judgment Day when the machines took over and how he was born after the event and found by Jason Clarke’s John Connor. Kyle’s narration was accompanied by a lot of great footage of the nuclear explosion that ended the world of man and a few battle sequences between John Connor’s human rebels and the robot factions, which include the familiar Terminator robots carrying machine guns and a few new machines we haven’t seen before.


After the footage, Schwarzenegger introduced Paramount Vice President of Distribution Rob Moore, who took control of the presentation from there, mostly talking about the movies coming out over the rest of the years and into 2016.  But first, he wanted to show the very first footage from the new Will Ferrell-Mark Wahlberg comedy Daddy’s Home, their reunion after 2010’s The Other Guys. Directed by Sean Anders and John Morris (Horrible Bosses 2), the movie still hasn’t been dated, but it looks like they’ve put together a really funny movie from the footage shown. The premise involves Ferrell playing the stepfather to two kids, married to Linda Cardellini who has to contend with the return of her first husband and the kid’s father, played by Mark Wahlberg.  It’s a premise that offered a lot of funny scenes of Ferrell trying to compete with the kids’ perfect father.

After that, Moore gave lip service to three fall horror-related movies, the return of franchises Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension and Rings and Scout’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (formerly Scouts vs. Zombies, which producer Andy Fickman just last week told us would have a name change). He also mentioned Michael Bay’s next film 13 Hours, which is being released over MLK weekend in 2016 (probably after the success of war movies Lone Survivor and American Sniper on that weekend). He mentioned Adam McKay’s The Big Short, currently filming in New Orleans with Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale and Steve Carell.

He then mentioned Star Trek 3, which is slated for July 8, 2016, with a pre-recorded introduction by producer J.J. Abrams and new director Justin Lin, but that was surpassed by an introduction from Ben Stiller in character as Derek Zoolander talking about next year’s Zoolander 2, which comes out February 12, 2016. It was a really funny intro that made a lot of jokes about exhibition and box office, so it was geared directly to the audience, but it also had Billy Zane coming out basically to stand there for a few seconds and then leave again. (It was a brilliant piece with some really funny writing presumably by Stiller and it’s a shame that it probably won’t be released online since it’s so specific to CinemaCon.)

Moore also brought up next year’s sequel Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 and showed the first images of the characters Bebop and Rocksteady, who will be introduced in the new movie coming out June 3, 2016.

Moore then introduced the next special guest who would present the first extended footage from Paramount’s potential summer blockbuster Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation Mr. Tom Cruise! He came out joined by his co-stars Simon Pegg and Rebecca Ferguson to set up the two clips that they’d be showing that day. The first clip is Cruise’s Ethan Hunt first encountering Ferguson’s Ilsa after being captured by the film’s bad guys, while the second involves a chase through the streets of Morocco.

mission_impossible_rouge_nation_03 mission_impossible_rouge_nation2

After the footage, Cruise and Moore came back to the podium to talk about the amazing A400 plane stunt we’ve seen in the trailer and to show that Cruise really did that stunt himself. Cruise talked a little bit about how they did it, saying that they had to shoot the stunt eight times to get all the right angles, before showing raw footage of the actor harnessed to the side of the plane by a single wire as he held on with both hands and did his best to act as the plane got up to speed and left the ground, although he admitted that he was “scared sh*tless” while doing it. Truly remarkable!

For more on this year’s ongoing CinemaCon, stay tuned to CriticsArena.

Source: Coming Soon

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