Tuesday , April 23 2024

CinemaCon 2016: Walt Disney Studios, Universal Pictures, Lionsgate, and the Big Screen Achievement Awards

Formerly known as ShoWest until it was renamed in 2011, CinemaCon is the trade show held by The National Association of Theatre Owners at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Over four days, the movie studios make presentations about the latest and (hopefully) greatest films they are about to release to their partners, the theater exhibitors.

Walt Disney Studios

Walt Disney and Lucasfilm are expanding the Star Wars universe with the much-anticipated Rogue One, set before the events of Episode IV. And of course, Episode VIII will continue the story of the Skywalker family

Disney went through their vaults and will be releasing live-action versions of The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast and are remaking Pete’s Dragon. Sequels coming this year and beyond include Alice Through the Looking Glass, another Pirates movie, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Cars 3, and Thor 3. Andrew Stanton came out to not only introduce Finding Dory, but screened the first 27 minutes of the film in which Dory searches for her family. Little Dory is absolutely adorable and I hope we see more of her.

New stories from Disney include Moana, directed by John Musker and Ron Clements, who directed the studio’s smash hits The Little Mermaid and Aladdin. It stars Dwayne Johnson and features songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Mira Nair directs The Queen of Katwe and Steven Spielberg adapts Roald Dahl’s The BFG. Doctor Strange is introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the Black Panther will be returning in a leading role.

Universal Pictures

The studio will be releasing the video game adaptation Warcraft and the novel adaptation The Girl on the Train. Jason Bourne returns in the appropriately titled Jason Bourne, and comedian Kevin Hart’s What Now? is a concert film he recorded at a football stadium.

Illumination Films had two extended previews for the audience. The first 10 minutes from The Secret Life of Pets, which takes viewers into yet another world humans aren’t aware is occurring around us, and the first 20 minutes from Sing, where a koala (Matthew McConaughey) holds a music competition like American Idol in order to raise funds. Both look like they have potential to be hits with families. Also coming out are Benedict Cumberbatch as the Grinch, and next year Despicable Me 3 will be released, introducing Groo’s twin brother and their nemesis is Balthazar Blatt, an ’80 child star.


Inspired by Chris Rock’s Top Five, Tyler Perry is releasing Medea’s Halloween. Nerve is a truth of dare game watched through social media that gets out of control. Damien Chazelle’s La La Land looks to have great style, but since I was not a fan of his previous effort Whiplash, I am cautious. The studio plans on returning familiar properties with reboots of the Power Rangers and Robin Hood, and in 2017, John Wick: Chapter Two sees our “hero” go to Rome.

Director Peter Berg and actor Mark Wahlberg team up for two “based on true events” films. Deepwater Horizon is about the men on the rig during the infamous BP Oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. After that comes Patriots Day about the Boston Marathon Bombing.

Unfortunately, the presentation was supposed to conclude with a screening of Now You See Me 2, but concern over a left-behind backpack caused the event to be aborted about 20 minutes in.

Big Screen Achievement Awards

Have you ever heard someone include Big Screen Achievement Award winner on their resume? That’s because this event is just an excuse to keep celebrities around Vegas a little bit longer for the opportunity for the attendees to possibly meet them. The best example of this is the ladies from Bad Moms winning Female Stars of the Year minus Pinkett Smith who went home. I am sure she doesn’t care, but why not include her with the rest of the cast?

For those interested, here’s the list of “winners”:

Female Star of Tomorrow – Gina Rodriguez

Male Star of Tomorrow -Stephen Amell

Breakthrough Director of the Year – Nate Parker

Comedy Stars of the Year – Zac Efron, Anna Kendrick and Adam DeVine

Producer of the Year – Jason Blum

CinemaCon Icon Award – Susan Sarandon

CinemaCon’s Vanguard Award – Keanu Reeves

Rising Star of the Year – Jack Huston

The Award of Excellence in Acting – Bryce Dallas Howard

Breakthrough Performer of the Year Award – Dave Franco

Ensemble of the Universe Award – The cast of Independence Day: Resurgence: Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Maika Monroe, Jesse Usher, Sela Ward, Vivica A. Fox, and Brent Spiner.

Male Star of the Year – Jesse Eisenberg

Female Stars of the Year – The cast Bad Moms: Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Christina Applegate, Kathryn Hahn, and Annie Mumolo.

To see what other studios had to offer earlier in the week, read this.

About Gordon S. Miller

Gordon S. Miller is the artist formerly known as El Bicho, the nom de plume he used when he first began reviewing movies online for The Masked Movie Snobs in 2003. Before the year was out, he became that site's publisher. Over the years, he has also contributed to a number of other sites as a writer and editor, such as FilmRadar, Film School Rejects, High Def Digest, and Blogcritics. He is the Founder and Publisher of Cinema Sentries. Some of his random thoughts can be found at twitter.com/GordonMiller_CS

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