Putting on a ShoWest

Star-studded galas, screenings, luncheons fill event

LAS VEGAS — Sobering new data showing a slump in movie admissions gave way to star-studded galas and animated pic screenings as ShoWest wound to a close here last week.

The four-day confab got its true kickoff March 6, when Motion Picture Assn. of America prexy Jack Valenti delivered a speech to exhibitors on the state of the industry. DreamWorks chose March 7 night for a screening of summer toon “Shrek” and a small after-party. Among the attendees were company principal Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Duchovny and Orlando Jones, stars of upcoming DreamWorks comedy “Evolution.”

March 8’s events capped ShoWest in memorable fashion. At noon, Warner Bros. hosted a luncheon and product reel attended by a roster of stars such as Denzel Washington, John Travolta, Clint Eastwood and Chris Rock.

Right after the Warners event, Disney invited a select few across the street to Bellagio for a screening of “Atlantis” and an abbreviated version of Cirque de Soleil’s hit show “O.” An unbilled Michael J. Fox, lead voice of “Atlantis,” also took the stage, receiving a standing ovation.

The closing-night gala featured stars and execs patting each other on the back and bestowing an array of ShoWest Awards. The dais featured such luminaries as Russell Crowe, producer David Brown and director Wolfgang Petersen.

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