Thursday , June 20 2024

CinemaCon 2023: Universal Pictures; Focus Features

Donna Legley, Chairman of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, announced that The Super Mario Bros. Movie was soon to pass $1 billion at the worldwide box office soon

Christopher Nolan received a big round of applause, no this audience appreciating his efforts in getting Tenet a theatrical release. Oppenheimer is a dramatic tale with twists as American race against other Nazi Germany to develop world-destroying tech. The story offers no easy answers. The sights and sounds of the film show Oppenheimer leading the team that creates the power to destroy the world before our enemies get it. There’s black and white footage of Robert Downey Jr. investigating how testing information at Los Alamos leaked to the Russians. Looks like an impressive endeavor.

Chris Mellandri, CEO of Illumination, presents two animal-themed projects. Migration is about the timeless tradition of the great family road trip, but here it’s a family ducks. Kumail Najiami stars as a scared father not wanting to leave the safety of their pond. His wife is played by Elizabeth Banks, and they have a rebellious son and a wide-eyed daughter. Trouble occurs when they fly the wrong way and end of in the city.

Will Farrell and Sophie the dog, who voice and play Reggie, introduce Strays. Will is very funny. They present am extended look which is absolutely ridiculous as Reggie is abandoned in the city. If there’s any question if this is a family film, Reggie and a few city dogs attempt to take him home so he can bite his human’s dick off. On the way, they getting wasted on magic mushrooms.

Blumhouse presented a first look at David Gordon Green’s The Exorcist: Believer, the sixth film in the franchise and a direct sequel to the first film. It looks super spooky as two young girls get lost for three days in the woods and it appears some evil has taken over their bodies. Ellen Burstyn returns as Chris MacNeil to help the families.

DreamWorks Animation presents something old, something new in their upcoming roster. Ruby Gillman: Teenage Kraken is a female-empowerment story. Ruby is a kraken who creates an identity separate from her mother and grandmother by posing as a human kid in school even though she is a magical sea creature that battles against evil mermaids. I was a little confused by the sneak peek that was shared. In Trolls Band Together, the third in the series, the sneak peak stars Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick brought shows Branch’s (Timberlake) long lost brother shows up and they have to rescue another brother. While the studio is a ways from finishing the animation, fans will be happy to learn it will have five new original songs. Kung Fu Panda 4 will see Po (Jack Black) faces his biggest challenge ever, finding his warrior replacement. He has to go to the big city to confront the Chameleon, a sorceress who can summon villains from the past. Unfortunately, too early in the process for footage.

Focus Features led with the next trailer of Wes Anderson’s “Asteroid City”. In the new scenes, the military wants to contain the news of an alien encounter. In Big Fat Greek Wedding 3, the family travels to Greece to encounter dad’s old friends in what looks like a charming reunion. Alexander Payne reunites with Paul Giamatti in The Holdovers. Giamatti is the leader at a prep school, but one young man has to stay over the holiday break. The pair along with the school chef connect and learn from each other. Sounds a bit corny but I have faith in Payne. Set for release September 22, Ethan Coen and Tricia Cooke present Drive-Away Dolls. It looks like fun modern neonoir as two girls needing a getaway to Florida mistakenly given the wrong car, leading to bad guys pursuing them.

Fast X Cast members Jordana Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, and Sung Kang took us down the franchise’s memory lane. The Vin Diesel joined, apparently needing his own entrance. He says Fast is the longest franchise with the same characters played by the same actors, and that “The Fast films have been the most successful films of each of our directors’ careers.” Fast X Part 2 is coming 2025.

And for 2024, they showed footage of director David Leitch’s The Fall Guy, based on the TV series. He was joined by stars Emily Blunt and Ryan Gosling, who look to being having a lot of fun as former lovers reunited in this action comedy about a stuntman.

Although a tad anticlimactic, the panel closed with behind-the-scenes footage of the adaptation of the Broadway musical Wicked, which is being divided into two parts, Part 1 set Nov. 27, 2024 and Part 2 for Dec. 25, 2025 release.

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

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CinemaCon 2024: Universal Pictures; Focus Features

Universal and Focus shows what's in store for 2024 and beyond.