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CinemaCon 2017: Universal Pictures, Focus Features

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.

UNIVERSAL PICTURES

The executives want to remind theater owners that the box-office on Split, 50 Shades Darker, and Get Out have already led to great quarter

Illumination has Despicable Me 3 coming. Steve Carrell harassed the executive conducting the interview and talked about the voices he did for identical twin brother Dru, a higher-pitched Gru, with blonde hair. The audience was presented some entertaining, never-before-seen footage.

As The Mummy was presented, it was revealed that it took two days and 64 takes for the zero-g stunt in the plane. A new trailer shows the film offers a scary experience beyond the action.

The ladies get some time in the spotlight. Girls Trip finds four African American ladies heading off to New Orleans for Essense Fest and the comedy shenanigans that ensue. Charlize Theron stars and also was a producer on Atomic Blonde, based on an unpublished graphic novel from Oni Press, Five days before the Berlin Wall drops, MI6 sends her character over there for some mayhem. The action presented looks intense.

Fate of the Furious found Vin Diesel leading the panel with almost the entire cast (no Dwayne Johnson). Diesel revealed this was going to be start of a trilogy. He was moved when talking about the late Paul Walker and the franchise moving on. In a nice touch, the audience got to see the whole movie. While I can’t review it yet, I will say it’s a return to form for the franchise and should make a lot of fans happy.

FOCUS FEATURES

The studio got things off to a great start with a quality lunch. Director Stephen Frears and Dame Judi Dench have the historical drama Victoria and Abdul about the friendship between Queen Victoria and a young Indian man. Director Colin Trevorrow and Naomi Watts presented The Book of Henry from a 20-year-old screenplay. The trailer showed a scary, mystery, but the elements of abuse may turn folks off.

Director Sofia Coppola and stars Kirsten Dunst and Colin Farrell introduced the trailer to their remake of The Beguiled, which previously starred Clint Eastwood. The film has a wonderful Southern Gothic look. Gary Oldman was on hand for Darkest Hour, set during the five weeks during WWII when Britian almost succumbed to Nazi tyranny. Oldman is amazing as Winston Churchill. He disappears under the make up. Just from this clip, I imagine he’ll be talked about during awards season.

Charlize Theron presented a jaw-dropping 10-minute fight/action sequence from Atomic Blonde that had me wishing they had shown the whole thing. I can’t wait to see the rest.

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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