Theater Owners, Studios and this year’s summer blockbusters flooded into the Colosseum theater at the Caesars Palace hotel in Las Vegas, for four days last week. The studios, which included Warner Brothers, Sony, Paramount, 20th Century Fox, Disney and Universal, presented attendees with exclusive footage from even some of their most secretive of projects and shared details for their 2015 slates, with the titles ranging from Godzilla to Fifty Shades of Grey.
However, Disney gripped tightly to their billion dollar breakers, with zero seconds of precious footage being screened of Star Wars: Episode VII or Avengers sequel Age of Ultron. Unfortunately Disney left Cinema Con attendees disappointed, keeping their cards close Disney unveiled the least of the studios, mainly because of their previous D23 Expo last year. Although the studio did give us a look inside their Pixar film Inside Out which certainly excited animation fans. Marvel wise the presentation only showed footage of their soon to be released films Captain America The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy. In light of the little revel of Disney’s slate the studio’s Alan Horn did attempt to calm the Star Wars anticipating Vegas audience and exhibitors by joking in his best Yoda voice “Patience, you must have.”
The presentation which everyone was clamoring about was Sony which decided to screen footage of almost their entire slate for the next cinema year. Including footage from their most cherished of franchise sequels The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which they showed thirty minutes from, including the first fifteen minutes of the film. Which received a great response from the audience. However, some where worried that Sony showed too much but no one was complaining. As much as we would like to just talk Spidey, Sony did bring along a package of footage from their other upcoming titles including Fury, Sex Tape, The Equalizer, the musical Annie, 22 Jump Street and James Franco and Seth Rogen’s comedy project ‘The Interview’.
Moving in the exhilarating direction of the Fox presentation, we got our first real look at anticipated Gone Girl and the rebooted X-Men franchise’s Days of Future Past. Both of which appear to be major box office titles and with Fox’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes its a trio of anticipated summer films not to miss. The presentation also included footage of Fox’s animated How to Train Your Dragon 2, Rio 2 and The Fault in Our Stars.
In the way of Universal’s show, they screened some of the first teasers for a group of its upcoming films including Dumb and Dumber To, Scarlett Johansson’s Lucy and concept footage from the long awaited fourth franchise installment of Jurassic Park entitled Jurassic World. On Universals comedy side they showed off footage from A Million Ways to Die in the West, Seth Rogen’s hypable ‘Neighbors’ which screened most recently at the SXSW Film Festival in mid-March along with sequels to Pitch Perfect and the Academy Award nominated Despicable Me. There is no doubt that Universal’s lead title is Fifty Shades of Grey which has been eagerly anticipated ever over the last year, although the studio flead on that title compared to their willingness to screen others with only a short amount of Grey footage being shown.
The word anticipated which was thrown around the convention like a beach ball, although was no more deserved than by the Warner Brothers presentation and their astounding, breathtaking masterpiece of a remake Godzilla. The footage showboated was compiled into an extended trailer packed with unseen footage from the film which was introduced by Godzilla Director himself Gareth Edward saying “We literally just finished the movie yesterday, Godzilla apologizes that he couldn’t be here today to present the film. He’s in a play on Broadway.” The presentation also gave some light with the studio discussing Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings, the long awaited Night at the Museum 3 and Guillermo Del Toro’s Book of Life for the first time without any footage – attendees were thrilled with the simple mention of the projects.
Paramount which kicked off the convention on May 24th, seemed to show one of their weakest summer slates in a while, especially compared to the other studios, with Transformers 4, Hercules and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on their front. However despite being the least anticipated these franchises have been extremely successful in their previous incarnations and instalments and this summer might just pay off for the Paramount.
Towards the final hours of the convention, the winners of the Cinema Con annual cinema Achievement Awards, which where announced on March 27th, were revealed with Breakthrough Performer of the Year going to Chris Pratt and the Star of Tomorrow awards going to Shailene Woodley and Chadwick Boseman.
So after looking back over the four day long event, we certainly have one stellar summer slate to look forward to in the coming months.
About the Author
James Rush is the Founding, News & Chief Editor for TFM.