Monday , October 26 2020
After a strong year at the box office, Universal tries to match it with the following films.

CinemaCon 2019: Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures had a great year. The latest How to Train Your Dragon passed $500 million; Green Book, Oscar winner for Best Picture, passed $300 million; Us passed $170 million, and Grinch is the highest Xmas-related release. In fact, it;’s been a good decade as they’ve made over $6 Billion in the past 10 years.

Illumination presented The Secret Life of Pets 2, which finds Harrison Ford making his animated debut. Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish star and no mention is made of star of the first film, Louis CK. It’s set for a June 7 release. A Dog’s Journey, starring Dennis Quaid and Jen Caruso, has a bizarre premise as Bailey the dog’s soul transports into other dogs in order to stay in touch with his owner’s granddaughter.

On May 31, Octavia Spencer is Ma, a lunatic who buys alcohol to lure kids into her basement and she becomes a horror in their lives. Marsai Martin pitched Little when she was 10, a body-swapping comedy about a mean executive who ends up in a young girl’s body. The extended trailer looks funny.

Danny Boyle is on hand for Yesterday from a script by Richard Curtis. When power goes out around the world, a guy gets hits by a bus and he’s the only one who knows the Beatles, so he uses their music to attain fame. Lily James is his girlfriend. Am curious how this could happen and how the story gets resolved. Star Himesh Patel came out to play “Yesterday,” demonstrating what a great voice he has.

Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and the three young stars from Good Boys. It’s yet another outrageous movie about boys in sixth grade. DreamWorks Animation presented work-in-progress footage of Abominable. Everest is a lost Yeti, who meets Yi, a teen who helps him return home. Everest seems to be a magical creature so it’s curious why it needs help.

Focus Features offers the first trailer of Downton Abbey, which returns viewers back to world of the TV series. Paul Feig’s Last Christmas stars Emilie Clarke and Henry Golding, and was written by Emma Thompson. It is based on the Wham! song and includes other George Michael songs including an unreleased one. It looks like a sweet film from what they showed.

Director David Leitch brought a sneak peek of Hobbs & Shaw, the ninth Fast and Furious film and the first spin-off. It honors the franchise’s themes of family and home and showcases the stars’ cultures of London and Samoa as they go around the world and “blow shit up.” They wanted to make something fun, and it is supposed to be bigger and badder, which is a high bar with this series. The new trailer looks as over the top as it needs to be and got a rousing reception from the audience.

Queen & Slim is directed by Melina Matsoukas in her first feature outing and written by Lena Waithe. Jodi Turner-Smith and Daniel Kaluuya hit the road after killing a cop. Amblin is producing Sam Mendes’ WWI epic 1917.

The Les Miserables (2012) team returns to the world of Broadway musicals with Cats. The audience gets alook at the production which featues an impressive cast. Jennifer Hudson sings “Memories.” I don’t know the musical, but do know this classic song and she delivers a powerful performance.

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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