Back in the day, when CinemaCon still was known as ShoWest, Adam Sandler was the conference’s standard bearer for A-list celebrity. In 1999, he won Comedy Star of the Year (for “The Waterboy”); in 2003, he received the conference’s Male Star of the Year (for “Punch-Drunk Love”). His popularity persisted once the conference was rebranded: In 2013, he took the stage on a chariot to promote “Grown Ups 2,” and won the Star award again in 2014 (“Blended”). Don’t expect to see him this year; he’s just signed his second four-picture deal with Netflix. However, the show that once helped define his career goes on.
CinemaCon hosts about 5,000 NATO exhibitors, studio chiefs and marketing staff, independent producers and distributors, concessionaires, agents, and press. When they’re not engaged in the battle over who owns the moviegoing audience, they expect the rituals to remain the same: Major studios present show reels, sneak-peek screenings, and their stars. This dog-and-pony show is key to selling movies to exhibitors, and to building careers.
Here’s a breakdown of the studio presentations by day, along with some highlights of what — and who — we expect to see.
Sony: Ansel Elgort (“Baby Driver”); “Spiderman: Homecoming.”
STX: “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” (Cara Delevingne and Luc Besson), “A Bad Moms’ Christmas” (Mila Kunis), “Molly’s Game” (Jessica Chastain and Aaron Sorkin).
Paramount: “Transformers: The Last Knight.”
Disney: Sneak screening of “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.” TBD: Sneaks of the studio’s “Star Wars,” Marvel, and animation slates.
Universal: “Get Out” (Jordan Peele), “The Mummy” (Tom Cruise).
Focus: “The Book of Henry” (Colin Treverrow, Naomi Watts), “The Beguiled” (Sofia Boutella, Kirsten Dunst, Sofia Coppola, and Colin Farrell), “Atomic Blonde” (Charlize Theron), “The Darkest Hour” (Gary Oldman).
Warner Bros: “Dunkirk,” “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword,” “Wonder Woman,” “Justice League.”
Fox: “Alien: Covenant,” “Snatched” (Goldie Hawn), “War For Planet of the Apes,” “Kingsman: The Golden Circle.”
Amazon: “The Big Sick” (Kamail Nanjiani),”The Wall” (John Cena), Todd Haynes’ “Wonderstruck,” Woody Allen’s “Wonder Wheel” (but don’t expect him).
Lionsgate: Sneak screening of “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” (Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson).