Studios tease market with blockbuster clips

Exhibitors from around the world got a taste of what to expect in 2008 from four studios on Monday’s International Day at ShoWest.

Andrew Cripps (Paramount), Veronika Kwan-Rubinek (Warner Bros.), Mark Zucker (Sony) and Duncan Clark (Universal) strutted their stuff at the Paris Hotel’s Theater Des Arts venue and, of course, it was the CGI, explosions, revved-up soundtracks and gross-out comedies that had auds licking their chops.

So, what played?

Paramount: Indiana Jones is back, and that about says it all. The “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” clip got everyone excited, as did a long and loud trailer for “Iron Man” featuring the classy ensemble of Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Terrence Howard and Jeff Bridges. On the toon front, “Kung Fu Panda” will fill the void since there’s no “Shrek,” as will “Madagascar 2,” though probably on a lesser B.O. scale.

Sony: There’s no “Spider-Man” this year, but another superhero looms: Will Smith in “Hancock,” about a down-on-his-luck Angeleno who possesses unusual powers. And don’t forget James Bond, who returns with “Quantum of Solace.” Sony also showcased the comedy that got the most laughs: “Step Brothers,” with Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly playing grown men who have to learn how to get along now that their parents have married. Studio also showed off “You Don’t Mess With the Zohan,” starring Adam Sandler; the low-cost thriller remake “Prom Night”; and the stoner comedy/action/adventure “Pineapple Express,” with Seth Rogen.

Universal: Sequels and a musical phenomenon dominated U’s presence, with “Hellboy 2” and the next “Mummy” movie getting some screen time alongside “Mamma Mia!,” with Meryl Streep. “Wanted” stars Angelina Jolie, Morgan Freeman and James McAvoy as a team of highly skilled assassins, and “Baby Mama” has the “Saturday Night Live” mojo of alum Tina Fey, who pays current “SNL” cast member Amy Poehler to carry her child to term. But funnier was the clip from “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” about a guy who just can’t shake — or get away from — his ex. Pic stars Jason Segel. Studio also teased — without clips — Ron Howard’s “Frost/Nixon” and Clint Eastwood’s “The Changeling.”

Warner Bros.: Warners was more in tune with local productions, as the studio highlighted films certain to get play abroad due to cultural themes and country-specific ideals. “The Red Baron” (Germany), “Cosas insignificantes” (Mexico), “Chandhini Chowk to China” (India) and “Les Bronzes” (France) were the highlights.

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