The Big Screen Is Back is the sentiment being promoted at CinemaCon 2021. The industry as been hit hard by the pandemic, especially with many studios using the opportunity to pivot their films to their streaming services. CinemaCon has also been hit hard. The event was cancelled last year and not only was it postponed from the spring, but it’s also a smaller event. There’s not as many exhibitors as evidenced by how spread out the booths are on the two show floors. It’s surely hard to due business with films delayed, worldwide manufacturing slowed, and everyone wearing masks per the state mandate. Have to imagine the international and celebrity attendees will be lower from previous years.
Josh Greenstein, President of the SPE Motion Picture Group, says day and date of films appearing in theaters and streaming is “devastating,” which naturally gets a roar. Tom Rothman comes out and promotes Free Guy, the Ryan Reynolds comedy which is in theaters. While patting themselves on the back for focusing on the theatrical experience, they both conveniently fail to mention the sale of Hotel Transylvania 4 to Amazon for $100 mil.
The Spider-Man 3 trailer finds Peter Parker wanting people to not know about his secret identity, which was revealed in the previous movie by Mysterio. Peter goes to Dr. Strange for help, but their tampering opens up the Multiverse, allowing the villain Doctor Octopus (Alfred Molina) from Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy to crossover. In other Spider-Man film news, Sony will be following up their animated smash hit with Into Spider-Verse 2 as the logo reveals, no new footage of Venom: Let There Be Carnage and new material from Morbius that focuses on the vampire aspect. There are rumblings it will be pushed from October to January 21, 2022.
Also coming from Sony is Uncharted, the adventure film based on the video game starring Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg. There are three book adaptations, Denzel Washington’s A Journal for Jordan, New York Times bestseller Where the Crawdads Sing, and the war film, Devotion. Brad Pitt works with director David Leitch on Bullet Train, in a fight scene that brings to mind John Wick on a train.
Closing the presentation was Ghostbusters: Afterlife with director/co-writer Jason Reitman and his father Ivan, who is a franchise producer and director of the first two films. To the audience’s great surprise, they introduced the film, which went over well with the audience.