CinemaCon 2019: STXFilms Presentation Recap

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(Photo: STX Films)

STX Films kicked off the presentations on Tuesday morning at CinemaCon in Caesar's Palace's Coloseum with a promise to “turn up the dial” with their upcoming slate.

STX Chairman Adam Fogelson took the stage to discuss the upcoming films. “We’re providing a home for stars and storytellers who make mid-budget films,” Fogelson said, complimenting the filmmakers efforts by their large box office returns. “We continue to be proud of our record of making movies for, and with, and by women.” The slate will reflect STX’s progress.

This Friday, The Best of Enemies will hit theaters. “At a time in our world where virtually everyone is virtually angry at everyone else,” the movie arrives and discusses human values. Among those who have seen the movie and enjoyed it is John Legend, who offered his voice to an original song for the film.

A reel for the film begins playing.

Next, Fogelson turns his attention to Diane Keaton by citing titles her long-running and impressive resume. She will be starring in a film for STX Films about a competitive cheerleading squad, titled Poms. Its “the perfect film for Mother’s Day Weekend and beyond.”

A trailer plays for Poms. In it, Keaton’s character leads a movement in the Sun Springs community to start a cheerleading squad.They go through an audition process were Keaton is anything but impressed by the wide array of skill sets on display. They hire some young help after forming a team of eight and enter a competitive cheerleading contest for 18+.

Fogelson introduced Diane Keaton to the stage following the trailer. “The thread has been that I got the job,” Keaton said of her career. “I have accepted every job that I’ve been offered! .. I was auditioned for Jack Nicholson in Going South and he went with somebody else!”

As it turns out, Keaton was once cut from a cheerleading team. “It didn’t go well,” Keaton said. “If I show you my legs, you’ll see why. The knees, they’re skinny. There’s no strength in these legs! When we were rehearsing, I was the one who just couldn’t get it right! I know you don’t care but I was having a hard time working on it!”

Fogelson helped Keaton of the stage before turning his focus to Chadwick Boseman of Black Panther success. He will appear in an STX Films title with 21 Bridges. The Russo Brothers will produce this film.

A trailer for the film plays. Boseman plays a dedicated detective. They’re hunting killers and have a very limited amount of time to find them — so they close down Manhattan’s bridges, trains, and subways.

Boseman took the stage to discuss the film. “Several things, I would say that it was a combination of being able to have a fast paced action movie,” Boseman said. “When I read the script, O could tell that this was gonna be a ride. It’s a ride when ou watch it. At the same time, it took me back to my theater days where you have the fast-paced language…I lived in New York for years. I feel like this movie sort of captured that sort of things.”

Boseman went on to compliment the cast of 21 Bridges. “The whole thing has been a great experience,” he adds. “You see those roles in there and just start to think, ‘Who could do this?’”

Boseman studied the NYPD and LAPD to prepare. “I did both,” he said. “I should actually compare the two. It’s different. I’m not gonna do that, that’s a whole… It was, at times, it was a lot of fun hanging out with them. At other times, it was horrific, some of the things that you experience them talking about and showing you. It definitely out me in the mind state of the character. One of the things they talked about a lot was just how the job affects them personally. That’s definitely an element of this film that we try to stay true to.”

Next up is Dave Bautista’s My Spy movie. The first trailer for the film plays.

Bautista’s character is not good with people. He’s good at fighting and killing. His name is J, and he blows stuff up, but his boss played by Ken Jeong thinks he isn’t cut out for “intelligence.” JJ gets caught be a 9-yar-old during a secret operation and wants to kill her but gets caught saying that, too. He ends up being friends wither. He trains her about lying, so she tells two: “I like your tattoos,” and “I believe you’ve never taken steroids,” with two blinks after each to indicate she is lying. Their relationship blossoms, he bullies kids in dodgeball and at an ice rink, but works on social skills with the little one’s help.

Bautista and Chloe Coleman, the actress portraying 9-7ear-old Sophie took the stage. “She’s keeping me calm,” Bautista said. “I didn’t realize there’s so many people here!”

“I would say that a lot of people were swearing because we were able to raise $155 dollars,” Coleman said. Bautista thinks he donated more than that to their set’s swear jar himself.

The first time Bautista met Fogelson, he came back to the office with an ice cream cone. It was a child-sized ice cream cone. Bautista went on to help produce the film.

“You let me contribute, you kept your word, and you were so easy to deal within so supportive from Day One. Me being involved, down to everything, down to the casting of this beautiful young talented woman, was just amazing for me.”

Bautista and STX Films have more projects coming up which will be announced soon.

Fogelson turns his attention to the studio’s early success with The Boy. They are making sequel titled Brahms - The Boy II, starring Katie Holmes.

In the trailer, Holmes’ character has been mute for five months following a tragedy. They have taken him out to a house in the woods for a change of scenery. They come across a castle-like house but the son is hesitant to look at it. Inside the house, Holmes’ character looks for her son and finds him wearing a creepy mask for a jump scare. The boy found the Brahms doll out in the woods. The son explains that Brahms told him his name himself.

Holmes took the stage to discuss. “This was pretty terrifying to make, like when we were working with the doll,” Holmes said. “I love dolls. I had a conflict because I have so many. Growing up, I had a lot of baby dolls. I never thought of a doll being creepy and now I have to rethink everything.”

What about the script got her on board? “I was really excited to work with Lakeshore again and STX. I felt like this was a story about a mother and her child and this evil presence that is influencing her child and how that is such a universal fear for every parent. How do you stop that when you have that instinct/ Playing this character, to m, felt very exciting because I felt ike it wa very real and something every parent can relate to.”

Next is a look for Guy Ritchie’s The Gentlemen. The trailer starts with Charlie Hunnam getting blackmailed a a foul-mouthed sequence alongside Hugh Grant. Matthew McConaughey is the boss and he refuses to accept any deals. It’s very stylish. When McConaughey’s underground criminal organization is discovered, a war begins.

Charlie Hunnam and Henry Golding take the stage to discuss their work.

Colin Firth and Judy Walters’ The Secret Garden is up next. It is targeting a spring launch for 2020. The first look plays. It is a vibrant, colorful journey of adventure and learning.

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Other upcoming films: Jennifer Lopez is making two films Hustlers starring Constance Wu, Cardi B, Julia Styles, Lili Reinhart, and Keke Palmer. It will release this fall. Countdown is a micro budget horror film coming this year. Horizon Lane is coming. Kevin Hart is developing two more films after the success of The Upside. Gerard Butler will retime for Greenland. Mad Moms’ Moms is on the way with Cheryl Hines, Susan Sarandon and Christine Baranski. Alicia Keys is developing a dance movie Work It. Vin Diesel is developing Muscle. Awkwafina and Ike Barinholz are starring in Crime After Crime.

Last is discussion of the studio’s upcoming Uglydolls movie. It is STX Films first entry into the animated film space. It is an animated musical with a stacked cast including Nick Jonas and Blake Shelton. Kelly Clarkson and Pitbull are on hand to discuss the film.