HONG KONG -- Marvel, monsters and Maleficent were the three standouts at Disney’s CineAsia presentation, with an industry audience treated to new footage of Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Monsters University and the Angelina Jolie-starring take on the Sleeping Beauty villain.
Response from industry delegates, who have gathered at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center for the three-day trade event, was enthusiastic, as Disney’s sales and marketing vp (APAC/Russia) David Kornblum kicked off proceedings with on-set interview clips and a humorous Tony Stark/Robert Downey Jr. sequence from Iron Man 3, which is shooting in Beijing.
Visuals from the Thor sequel, directed by Alan Taylor (Games of Thrones) and slated for a November 2013 release, also were unveiled onstage alongside brief introductions to 2014 Marvel productions Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy.
The other film given a lot of screen time was Pixar’s Monsters University, the June 2013 sequel -- or prequel -- to Monsters Inc. (which will be rereleased in 3D throughout the world early next year). Again, the audience reacted warmly to the sequences, which chronicle the college years of the original film’s two protagonists, Mike and Sully.
Maleficent, from the Disney label, also was introduced with an interview segment from Jolie interwoven with behind-the-scenes footage of the star and her cast, which includes Elle Fanning. The first character photos from Saving Mr. Banks also were displayed, with Tom Hanks playing Walt Disney and Emma Thompson as writer P.L. Travers, whose novel Mary Poppins was sought by the studio as source for a film adaptation.
But the biggest surprise hit with viewers at the presentation probably was the animated Planes, a spinoff to the Cars franchise. The audience lapped up the one comedic sequence being shown -- which includes elements that no doubt will prove to be very endearing to Chinese audiences. The film is slated to open August/September 2013.