Last week theater owners, film studios and film stars alike invaded the Colosseum at the Caesars Palace hotel in Las Vegas. Studios including Warner Brothers, Paramount, 20th Century Fox, Disney and Universal, hosted presentations previewing their upcoming film slates with new details and unseen footage from some of their most secretive projects, which included films from Tomorrowland to Fifty Shades Darker.
While there were largely anticipated films, set for 2016 and 2017, flying back and forth. The studios also had no shortage of summer films to discuss. Disney’s films set to become the centerpieces of the summer box-office are Inside Out and Tomorrowland. Firstly the film we have all been hearing snippets about for over three years, Tomorrowland written by Lost’s Damon Lindelof and Mission Impossible’s Brad Bird is set to amaze audiences. The film follows former boy-genius George Clooney and gifted teenager Britt Robertson as they set out on a dangerous mission to unearth the secrets of, an enigmatic location caught between time and space.
As for the animated instant classic Inside Out, Pixar’s first film in two years, Disney screened the film in its entirety at CinemaCon and while we arent allowed to say anything until its premiere in Cannes next month, it was certainly worth the wait. Inside Out stars a cast of comedians, bringing their enthusiastic voices to the films five characters, the five emotions.
Universal is also set for summer with Jurassic World, the studio screened an exciting extended trailer for the film following events twenty-two years after the events of Jurassic Park on the island of Isla Nublar. The island is now a fully functioning dinosaur theme park called Jurassic World, as was originally envisioned by John Hammond. After 10 years of operation and visitor rates declining, in order to fulfill a corporate mandate, a new attraction is created to re-spark visitor’s interest, which backfires horribly.
Paramount has an action packed package of films for the summer including Terminator Genisys and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, which are both set to be major competition at the box-office with their existing fan base.
Focusing in the 20th Century Fox presentation. While Fox only has three major commercial summer movies including Paper Towns, Aloha and Fantastic Four, the studio lead the presentation with a multitude of awards contenders. Fox talked about David O. Russell’s Joy, which tells a story based on the life of entrepreneur Joy Mangano, portrayed by Jennifer Lawrence. Fox’s second contender is Ridley Scott’s The Martian, set on the surface of Mars and in a giant NASA facility the film is a strong contender for a Visual Effects Oscar. Thirdly, the most promising contender is The Revenant, directed by Birdman helmer Alejandro González Iñárritu and starring Leonardo DiCaprio. The studio screened sensational footage, which was shot in the Canadian wilderness while relying on the natural light alone.
Another studio showboating its strong awards contender was Warner Bros with it’s upcoming film, directed by Ron Howard, In the Heart of the Sea. The film based on Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick follows Owen Chase, portrayed by Chris Hemsworth, a crewman in 19th-century New England as he faces a harrowing battle for survival after an attack by a mammoth whale destroys their vessel and casts them adrift on the open sea.
Moving into the studio’s details about the 2016 and 17 slates, Universal perhaps unveiled the most major details for their 2016-17 slate. The first being confirming that Fifty Shades of Gray, which has snatched up $568 million dollars worldwide to date, will infact continue with two sequels ‘Fifty Shades Darker’ and ‘Fifty Shades Freed’. Vin Diesel later confirmed that confirmed that there will be a Furious 8, following this months release of the record breaking Furious 7, snapping up a billion dollars at the box-office faster than any other movie in history. Diesel said that they are “going to make the best movie you’ve ever seen.” The studio also announced a lot of release date changes to avoid competing with other major releases.
Alongside Inside Out and Tomorrowland, Disney as we all know has a breathtaking slate for the next three years. The studio gave us a look at footage from Marvel’s Ant-Man, with Paul Rudd, Disney screened a slightly extended trailer for the film. The studio also showed CinemaCon attendees a timeline of its movies over the next three years and we were not disappointed with titles like Toy Story 4, Star Wars: Rogue One and Guardians of the Galaxy 2 listed amongst a variety of other films.
Saving the best for last, Disney also talked about their most anticipated film, Star Wars. The presentation included a screening of the trailer for Star Wars: Episode VII, The Force Awakens. While, there was no new footage of the next installment in the franchise, there was one addition to the trailer the environment. Seeing the trailer inside the theater equipped with state of the part projection Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, it was breathtaking — even if you had already seen it online. At the end of the day Disney currently appears to have one of the most anticipated and sensational slates at this years conference, which is certainly prepared to conquer the box office and possibly the awards season.
Looking back on the four day event, it appears that we have three of the most exhilarating years of franchise cinema releases currently standing before us.
About the Author
Editor-in-Chief of Tastic Film Magazine James Rush.