On Wednesday evening, Universal Studios and Focus Features shared a presentation at CinemaCon in Las Vegas. The presentations, aimed at showcasing their upcoming slate of films, took place in the Coloseum at Caesar's Palace before various theater owners, employees, and manufacturers. Outside of the Coloseum, posters and LED screens boasting images from Halloween Kills, Sing 2, Dear Evan Hansen, and more were plastered all over the venue. It was preceded by a short presentation of Vista Cloud and its new technologh which aims to connect moviegoers for a longer, more intimate shard experience.
CinemaCon is not an event with tickets made available to the public. Attendees either work for or with movie studios, work in or around a movie theater business, or are a credentialed member of the press. Since the event is not open to the public, we wanted to do our best to bring the best of CinemaCon to you (like this thorough recap of the Warner Bros. panel, for example).
The presentation began at 4:30pm PT. Below is a live recap of the Universal and Focus Features slate previews! It is being written and updated in real time.
Universal & Focus Features
The presentation begins with a sizzle reel, looking back at the films from Universal and Focus. It shows footage from F9, Back to the Future, Jaws, Jurassic Park, and more. Jim Orr, Universal's President of Domestic Theatrical Distribution takes the stage. "As you just saw from that opening reel, we take great pride in saying we have released 25 films," since March of 2020, he points out. He goes on to add that Candyman is opening in theaters this Friday. He introduces Veronica Kwan Vandenberg to take the presentation forward, who thanks several members of the Universal team for helping distribute movies. She points out there wil be no footage from No Time To Die but confirms it will release in international theaters in September. "To date, F9 has grossed more than $529 million internationally," she notes, with the film still opening in other markets soon.
A clip from the Fast family plays, thanking theater owners. Vin Diesel, Jordana Brewster, John Cena, Sung Kang, Justin Lin, Ludacris, and more are a part of thanking them for their work in movie theaters. Orr comes back to the stage, promising looks at 8 films today. A presentation of the slate begins, with a long video running through all of it.prevnext
First on screen is Matthew McCounaghey, celebrating that everyone enjoys going to the movies. "As the lights went dar for quite a whie, the crowds were forced to stay home," he says. "Sadly we did lose a few theaters along the way but most of you found ways to power through." He thanks the people who kept the lights on so they could come back to the movies, specifically naming Alamo Drafthouse for offering a unique experience for moviegoers. He hopes Sing 2 can be enjoyed in theaters this December.
John Rogers from Alamo Drafthouse introduces footage from Sing 2 from his theater inn Austin, Texas. First, he runs through the stacked cast and its new musical talent which includes Halsey and Bono. Footage plays, description below!
A porcupine sings on stage in a blue auditorium, guitar in hands. "I still... haven;t found... what I'm lookin' for..." Meanwhile, a tiger is backstage, reluctant to join, but seemingly motivsated by the crowd rallying. He starts strumming. Buster is excited too hear the guitar play as his star is emerging. A gorilla goes through intense oerformance training. The characters are dealling with some embarrassment and need new confidence. Johnny, the gorilla, is told he will never be great during a dueling performance by all of the other animals rally with him. It concludes with the tiger and porcupine performing together, back to back.prevnext
Jamie Lee Curtis takes the screen. "I was only 19 years old," she says of her 1978 Halloween debut. "I cherish the time I spend watching movies in the theater. Making movies is challenging but watching movies is a delight and an escape that we all need. Nothing can stop the theatrical experience We need to gather together and laugh and cheer and cry and scream and, in my case, hide from the Boogeyman." She is at a theater in Ketchum, Idaho. Rick Kassler has been running this Magic Lantern theater for more than half of a century. "As a kid, Rick would show movies to other kids at a projector set up at his house," she says. "I was there for Halloween and Knives Out and I hope to see you all next year for the end of our saga with Halloween Ends."
The footage begins to play!
Kids are on a set of swings. A woman asks them if they're alone but they tell her a man in a creepy white maskk has been trying to pla hide and seek. She sees Michael Myers standing by a car. The people in the car are spooked and a woman runs out of bullets trying to stop him. He calmly shows them they're doomed, just by being there. The housefire is on the screen. Judy Greer findds out Myers survived and we see him cutting someone down with a massive handsaw. Many of the survivors of Michael Myers are coming together, with the screen being spllit for them between then and now. They find bodies. They find a map. The bodycount shows a map to Michael's childhood home. There is a fight in Greer's home who tells Michael to take her. Laurie has a knife, and declares, "I want to take his mask off and see the life leave his eyes," in a hospital gown. In another shot, she wrestles with his mask to end the trailer.prevnext
The Black Phone
Ethan Hawke takes the screen, recalling his work with Scott Derrickson on Sinister. He was happy to reunite with him for The Black Phone and he explains that it has scared him simply in the script. The first look at the film is introduced. Description below!
Kids debate whether or not a legend of a missing kid is true. Ethan Hawke emerges from a can, dropping groceries and his hat, laughing in front of a kid. He's a "art time magician." His face has white paint on it. He asks, "Woud you like to see a magic trick?" Cut to the kid's school and the kids are informed that Finney Blake has been abducted. In a basement, the boy tries to use a black phone but is greeted by Hawke's character in a white devil mask. He is unbothered and not worried about the kid attempting to defend himself. He gets a call later and another boy declares," Don't hang up," as his bloodied ghost spirit stands beside him. The kids who were previously victims of this man are trying to help him escape. His friend, outside, trres to find him. Bottles are launched from nothing across the room, shattering on the wall around the boy still locked in the creepy, dark, brown basement. The spirits over the phone encourage the boy to use the phone as a weapon. He has to stand up for himself and he tries to leave, right out the front door, but there is a lock. The man wakes up, with his eye showing through the mask.prevnext
Lupita N'yongo introduces footage from her new film The 355, which she describes as a global spy thriller with quite a few wonderful locations. The video is tossed Zai, an employee at Regal Atlantic Station in Atlanta. The movie has an all-star female cast who come together as super spies under the direction of Simon Kinberg.
Chastain's character explains to another that this new weapon is digital. She needs help stopping it from tearing down the world. She is given an opportunity to form a team, which consists of Lupita N'ongo, Diane Kruger, and Penelope Cruz. Sebastian Stan plays an aid for the group who gets caught in the action, as well. They ultimate infiltrate a high end event, similar to a vain of an Ocean's movie. There is a ot more hand to hand combat and gunplay than a heist film would normally call for. The spies' families get caught in the crossfire. The women interrogate a man, shooting him in the femoral artery and offering to only save him if he cooperates. "We put ourselves in danger, so others aren't," Cruz determines. A wrapping shot concludes the traier, showing three of the women standing back to back, armed and ready to defend themselves.prevnext
Jennifer Lopez introduces footage for the upcoming Marry Me film. It opens in theaters in February of 2022, seeing Lopez's character find herself unexpectedly involved with a character played by Owen Wison. The trailer shows that Lopez's character is a famous musician, scheduled to get married to another. When he is caught cheating on her, she decides to just get married to Owen Wilson's character who was in the crowd. They then have to find a way to make it work or get out of it. He invites her to his school's dances, as he's a teacher. He deals with her being around other attractive, successful celebrities and worries she might be interested in someone else.prevnext
Jake Gyllenhaal takes the screen. He jokes that he worked with a "little known, independent filmmaker," in Michael Bay. He describes Ambulance as a "rip roaring" title and he hopes people get to experience it in theaters. He goes on to thank 86-year-old Catherine, a theater greeter, for her work in theaters and the impressions it has left on him and others. He points out she watches a new movie every week. "I'm 86 and I have no plans to retire," she says. "I love this job." She introduces the first trailer ever seen! Footage description below.
The trailer opens with Yahya Abdul-Mateen II trying to get ahold of help on the phone. He is a war veteran and is not getting any aid, as his wife and kid are his responsibiiity. He goes to a garage loaded with extravagant cars, owned by Gyllenhaal's character. Gyllenhaal's character is brash, yelling a joke, "You're not supposed to be in here! Rich people don't like when you come in here unexpectedly, it makes them feel guilty!" Yahya explains that he needs some help but Jake offers more than he asked for. He wants to rob a score worth millions of dollars. A squad rols out to rob the bank, Yahya was reluctant, but joins. The heist is going off when a police officer approaches. Jake has to let him in and ultimately has to add him to the hostages. He is slick and suave at times but also eradic and energized in the role. It goes sideways when another cop outside sees what is happening. Gunfire ensues. Robbers are dropped. An escape follows. The first cop tangles with Jake. Yahya has to shoot him. Jake sees the instant mistake here. Yahya wants to help the cop, Jake wants to run.The second cop finds him, Eiza Gonzalez tries to rescue him as a medic. A manhunt ensues with lots of gunfire. It is action-packed and shot with ambitious style, as a Michael Bay film is. Jake Gyllenhaal has been wearing a suit the entire time. Together, Yahya and Jake try to escape in the ambulance, and Jake just wants to get everyone home. They have to decide on whether to allow Eiza to help the cop to save them from the charges of killing an LAPD cop or not. Jake ends up helping the cause. "That hostage and that cop are keeping us alive," Jake declares. He won't let her leave. They are chased by helicopters. He eventually is seen breaking, opening fire chaotically. The chase leads to Jake and Yahya fighting each other, physically, as the escape possibilities seem non-existent. Ambulance takes the screen, as theirs crashes through a barrier of police cars.prevnext
The Bad Guys
A trailer for The Bad Guys is introduced. The all star cast plays a group of animals who have to rob a bank. The Big Bad Wol is their leader and he's sick, wearing suits, driving nice cars, and having a styled little mustache. He helps an old woman and she thanks him for it, making him realize that being good might actually be an enjoyable thing. Together, they have to decide whether they're going to be friends, whether they're going to be good people, or what other options they have. It's a fun-looking, chaotic movie with some unique animation style, car chases, and fun animal designs of snakes, spiders, a wolf, a whale, and more.prevnext
Lisa Bunnell takes the stage following a presentation of Dear Evan Hansen. Bunnell is the President of Distribution at Focus Features. She starts by complimenting Universal's presentation and, specifically, the inclusion of theater employees. "It's really an example of putting your money where your mouth is," she says of the "beautiful," presentation. This turns to a message from filmmakers who have worked with Focus Features, including Edgar Wright who notes that he loves movie theaters so much that he went back to a theater recently to see a movie that he owns on blu-ray.
Last Night in Soho plays a trailer. A young girl is in London, revealing she loves it here and would live here in the 60s if she could live anywhere in the world. This happens. She is transported, in a dream, to the 60s in London. She imagines herself as Anya Taylor-Joy's character in this world, living an extravagant life with Matt Smith's character. It turns out, she is seeing the past and witnesses a murder in her dreams. In real time, she believes she can solve the murder and eventually confronts the much older version of the murderer.
Kenneth Branaugh introduces footage from his new movie Belfast, which he says is his "most personal" film ever. The exclusive Belfast trailer debut plays.
Robert Eggers introduces a trailer for his movie, The Northman. A young boy is sworn to remember the "oath to right the wrong," in a vibrant viking world. His father calls for him to avenge him, should he ever, "fall by the enemy sword." In a snowy woods scene, his father is hit with an arrow before an invading group approaches and eventually executes him. Chaos ensues in villages, fields, and around beautiful settings as revenge is sought. It's a visceral looking viking tale.
The Focus Features presentation wraps with a new look a Downtown Abbey: A New Era. Orr wraps it by pointing out they have Puss in Boots returning, She Said, and the next chapter "in a franchise that has dominated screens for more than 30 years."prevnext
Jurassic Word: Dominion
In footage from the set of the original Jurassic Park movie, Jurassic Park director Stephen Spielberg explains a mosquito to a young cast member. The cast remembers the "energy on set," as Laura Dern put it. Jeff Goldblum remembers it. Chris Pratt remembers watching it. "I cried the first time I saw dinosaurs," Bryce Dallas Howard says.
"Jurassic World: Dominion is a celebration of the franchise. It concludes a story that Stephen Spielberg started in 1993," directo Colin Trevorrow says.0comments
"It is everything we could've ever hoped for and more," Dern says. The footage shows the original cast, referred to as "legacy characters," interacting with the "World characters," in many instances."
The movie will ask the question, "If dinosaurs lived amongst us, would you be safe?" Trevorrow explains. "And the answer is no." A mosasaur emerges form the ocean to eat an entire helicopter. A raptor runs across a building top. A T-Rex is in a city. Stunts. Falling. Vehicles flipping. Sam Neill and the entire cast face to face with a T-Rex in the woods. There is a lot of footage of Neill, Goldblum, Dern, Pratt, Howard, and more all together. The dinosaurs are brilliantly brought to life, seemingly combining modern visual effects with practical opportunities to have a created T-Rex on the set and in camera. It was colorful, thrilling showing of the film.prev