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CinemaCon 2017: Sony Pictures, STX Entertainment

Held at Caesar’s Palace, CinemaCon is the official convention of The National Association of Theatre Owners.  The movie studios conduct presentations to get their exhibition partners excited about the products they will soon have to offer them.

SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT

Chairman Tom Rothman started off the festivities with a vulgar dig at Netflix, which made me wonder if Sony has any product on the streaming. If so, the crack makes him look like a phony.

Sony began their presentation with Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver starring Ansel Elgort as a getaway driver for a bank-robbery crew. They screened an impressive action sequence as he drives through the streets of Atlanta, immersed by the music in his headphones.   Sony has decided to move up the release date to Jun 28. If the film sustains the intensity, it should be awesome, but I wouldn’t be surprised by a spike in car chases

The Dark Tower is a fantasy tale from the Stephen King series. I don’t know the books, but it seems a young kid taps into a mythical world where a gunslinger (Idris Elba) battles a man in black (Matthew McConaughey), who I hope isn’t simply Death or the Devil.

SONY ANIMATION

The Smurfs return but this time it will be fully animated as a small group head to The Lost Village. The Emoji Movie is still a thing. Granted, I doubted The LEGO Movie and was wrong about that, but I still am not sure about this one. We’ll find out in July, so Sony must feel good having that come out the middle of summer. At the end of the year, the studio is releasing Nativity-themed The Star. Next year, sees the release of the animated/live action Peter Rabbit based on Beatrix Potter’s story.

Sony is handling the international distribution of Blade Runner 2049, so Ryan Gosling introduced a clip and the cinematography look phenomenal. The second trailer for Spider-Man: Homecoming debuted and it showed Peter Parker learning how to be a hero. Another films coming soon include horror films Cadaver and a Flatliners remake, actioner Proud Mary, and the raunchy comedy Rough Night.

The presentation concluded with Dwayne Johnson and his cast mates Jack Black, Karen Gillan, and Nick Jonas introducing Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. There’s an interesting twist to their characters as well as how the board game has been updated for the times. The film is set to open Dec. 22

STX ENTERTAINMENT

They are distributing The Circle, which looks at the Info Age and who uses that info. The trailer looks like a thoughtful sci-fi tale that speaks to today. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is based on the ’60s French comic, which director Luc Besson has been a fan of since his father introduced him at the age of 10. The new trailer looks visually amazing and seems like a big screen is the optimal viewing experience.

Writer/director Aaron Sorkin and star Jessica Chastain were on hand for Molly’s Game, a real-life story about a woman who ran high-stakes, exclusive poker games before the government came after her. Sorkin found it appealing, thought Molly’s book was “cool and a lot of heart”. Chastain liked that is speaks to female power.

We also got a trailer for Jackie Chan’s The Foreigner, a father seeking revenge to his daughter against the powers that killed her. Shailene Woodley will star in Adrift, a survival at sea story. Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg are reteaming for Mile 22, a fictional action movie. Both appeared. Den of Thieves is a crime/action film with Gerard Butler opening January. Mila Kunis appeared to promote the sequel Bad Moms Christmas out in November.

STX FAMILY

Under Animation, Robert Rodriguez will be bringing the Ugly Dolls to the screen in 2019. Eddie Murphy will voice a bull whose son wants to be a rodeo clown in an untitled project. Having an impressive pedigree, Elton John, Tim Rice, and Andrew Lloyd Weber are working on Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat.

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 Publisher of Cinema Sentries. Some of his random thoughts can be found at twitter.com/ElBicho_CS

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