CinemaCon Buzzmeter: What’s Hot and Cold in Las Vegas (Final Update)

War for the Planet of the
YouTube screenshot

Hollywood’s top studios gathered in Las Vegas to preview their upcoming films to theater owners and the media. Here’s the buzz from Caesars Palace, where CinemaCon wrapped on Thursday:

CINEMACON BUZZMETER
WHAT’S HOT AND COLD AT THIS YEAR’S EXHIBITOR CONFAB IN VEGAS:
“BLADE RUNNER: 2049”
Visually stunning, with a few sly nods to Ridley Scott’s 1982 original and a super creepy Jared Leto. Sign us up. (Sony/WB)
“DUNKIRK”
The Christopher Nolan WW2 drama looked epic in every sense of the word. (Warner Bros.)
“THE RED SPARROW”
Jennifer Lawrence spy thriller oozes sex and intrigue. (Fox)
“WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES”
A big, fat surefire summer smash. (Fox)
“AQUAMAN”
The superhero film hasn’t shot yet, but that didn’t stop DC from showing images of its production design. This dreamy, arresting underwater world looks like it could be a comic book breakthrough. Fingers crossed. (Warner Bros.)
“ATOMIC BLONDE”
Charlize Theron looks badass as a Cold War spy. An action hero is born. (Focus)
“THE BEGUILED”
Dreamy, sultry, and Southern. This erotic drama weaves a spell. (Universal/Focus)
“DOWNSIZING”
Sure to go down as Alexander Payne’s most bizarre film. Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig as a couple who decide to shrink themselves in order to live the good life. The 10 minutes that screened were out there, but hilarious and compelling. (Paramount)
“THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS”
Exhibitors were thrilled with the over-the-top stunts, humor and icy villainess Charlize Theron, opining that it’s better than “Furious 7.” (Universal)
“MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS”
Star studded Agatha Christie mystery sparkles with an infectious sense of fun. (Fox)
“THE HOUSE”
Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler comedy about parents who turn to crime to pay for their kid’s college has the marking of an R-rated summer comedy smash. (Warner Bros.)
“THE MUMMY”
Scary, sexy, cool. Tom Cruise looks a tad too adrenalized, but this remake doesn’t skimp on the gotcha moments. (Universal)
“BAYWATCH”
A gag where Zac Efron’s dim bulb life guard examines a dead man’s genitals is worth the price of admission. (Paramount)
“HITMAN’S BODYGUARD”
Samuel L. Jackson gets most of the laughs as a hitman bonding with his bodyguard, played by a restrained Ryan Reynolds. (Lionsgate)
“JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE”
The filmmakers would have us believe that “Jumanji” is a beloved property. That may or may not be the case, but the combination of Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, and Jack Black should translate into a big global hit. (Sony)
“THE GREATEST SHOWMAN”
Hugh Jackman musical looks like catnip for the “Chicago” and “La La Land” crowd. (Fox)
“PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES”
Tuesday’s screening left exhibitors praising the visual effects, Johnny Depp’s performance and a lively story viewed as a significant improvement on the fourth film, 2011’s “On Stranger Tides.” (Disney)
“WONDER WOMAN”
Still a bit dreary, but Gal Gadot has star power to spare. (Warner Bros.)
“ANNIHILATION”
Hard to know what’s going on in this Natalie Portman thriller, but it sure looked scary. (Paramount)
“SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING”
Lots more Michael Keaton as the villainous, Tony Stark-hating Vulture. Tom Holland has a wide-eyed appeal that could offer a fresh take on a familiar hero, but after five different Spider-Man movies, there’s a risk of fatigue. (Sony)
“ALIEN: COVENANT”
Undeniably scary, but basically a rehash of previous trailers. Plus, “Prometheus” under-delivered on its terrifying marketing campaign. (Fox)
“DESPICABLE ME 3”
By the numbers spot for the animated sequel. Doesn’t matter though. This sequel will make bank. (Universal)
“SUBURBICON”
George Clooney takes a cudgel to Eisenhower era conformity. It looks offbeat, well shot, and very, very bloody. (Paramount)
“VALERIAN”
Luc Besson’s passion project looks a lot like the French director’s “The Fifth Element.” There are outrageous aliens, a Day-glo color palate, and Rihanna in a nurse’s costume. Looks dangerously out there. (STX)
“THE DARK TOWER”
Some cool standoffs between Idris Elba, as a heroic gunslinger, and Matthew McConaughey as the villainous Man in Black. But the plot seems very convoluted and it’s opening in a crowded summer season. This may just be for die-hard fans of Stephen King. (Sony)
“JUSTICE LEAGUE”
Zack Snyder clearly got the memo that “Batman v Superman” needed a humor injection, but the jokey trailer still seemed like a joyless affair. (Warner Bros.)
“MOLLY’S GAME”
Aaron Sorkin makes his directorial debut in this thriller about a corner-cutting entrepreneur (Jessica Chastain) who dreams up a high-stakes poker game. Tough to see how this breaks out barring awards buzz. (STX)
“THE BOOK OF HENRY”
It’s a film about a boy genius! No, it’s a mystery! No, it’s an awards-bait drama! What it looks like is a mess. (Focus)
“GEOSTORM”
Wretched CGI and an utterly derivative plot, this Gerard Butler disaster movie looks like “Sharknado” with a slightly bigger budget. (Warner Bros.)
“THE EMOJI MOVIE”
Why? Just why? (Sony)
Hot, extremely positive
ice cold

 

Pictured above: Fox’s “War for the Planet of the Apes,” which opens nationwide July 14, 2017. 

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  1. ainatomy says:

    What about Garry Oldman as Churchill from Focus that looked amazing and Jackie Chan’s The Foreigner – very positive reaction from the audience … and King Arthur ? Did you guys actually attend before writing this ? Kind of immature in terms of your discriptions

  2. higcast says:

    ‘Downsizing’ should be on the top of all these movies.. it’s different, unique, weird, original, creative and the most interesting movie in 2017

  3. navtej singh says:

    dunkirk and blade runner is all i care for, nolan and Villeneuve never disappointed me

  4. Sam A says:

    Fast and Furious? I’m hearing some positive buzz so far, but Variety’s verdict?
    Wish Theron all the best with Atomic Blonde. I want to see more female led action movies where women really get stuck in and dont just flip people with their thighs, so I hope it does well.

    • ASFan says:

      They didn’t post one for Pirates either. Maybe an embargo has something to do with it, in spite of Twitter reactions.

  5. Plastic says:

    Emoji movie looks better than anything Georgie has done in recent years.

  6. ASFan says:

    What’s the buzzmeter on Disney’s movies?

  7. tred says:

    -Valerian is a well know property in Europe and should do well;
    -Jumanji with Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart has Robin Williams spinning in his grave so fast you could use him to sharpen knives!
    – Baywatch will suffer the same fate as Dax Sheppard’s CHIPS

  8. Rick Urban says:

    What is this “buzz” based on?

  9. Joe says:

    You have some of the studios wrong. Valerian is STX. Annihilation and Suburbicon are both Paramount.

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