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‘T3’ reel wows in Cinema Expo

Seven-minute clip excites Sony, WB

AMSTERDAM — Extended clips from “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines” and “The Last Samurai” highlighted closing-day seshes Thursday at Cinema Expo 2003, capping a week marked by marketing pep rallies and clarion calls to fight movie piracy.

Warner Bros. bows “T3” domestically on Wednesday, with Sony handling international. So latter distrib used a seven-minute clip from the highly anticipated action sequel to highlight its presentation at the exhib trade show here.

“All of us at Sony and Warner Bros. are out of our minds with joy,” said Mark Zucker, senior exec VP of Sony’s international distribution.

Some believe that this summer may produce a record five pics surpassing $200 million in domestic B.O. thanks in part to the Arnold Schwarzenegger starrer, and cheering for the long “T3” trailer seemed clear evidence European exhibs are up for a big run as well. Topliner’s somewhat predictable “I’m back” line played especially well.

Also featured in the hour-plus Sony product presentation was “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle,” which Sony unspools Stateside today and worldwide throughout July. Sony/Revolution titles were also tubthumped, including the holiday season’s Julia Roberts starrer “Mona Lisa Smile.”

Sony, Warners screenings

Sony screened suspenser “Identity” in its entirety. And later in the day, Warners screened fall actioner “Matchstick Men,” a laffer starring Nicolas Cage as a slightly dysfunctional con man.

Screening of the Ridley Scott-helmed pic was preceded by a Warners show reel of upcoming pics such as family fantasy “Looney Tunes: Back in Action,” automotive actioner “Torque” and Clint Eastwood-helmed “Mystic River.”

Distrib offered a six-minute clip from Tom Cruise starrer “Samurai,” a 19th century Japanese drama set for fall release. Cruise and helmer Edward Zwick offered taped on-location greetings, with pic still lensing.

Thursday’s screenings and others earlier in the week collectively served notice that Cinema Expo aims to match domestic cousins ShoWest and ShowEast in featuring major upcoming movies, organizers said.

“The show was brought to a new level this year,” said Robert Sunshine, chairman of organizer Sunshine Group Worldwide. “The film companies have come to realize what an important venue this is. Every major company has basically done a marketing presentation.”

Attendance holds

Final attendance figures were even with last year at about 1,100, Sunshine said. Exhibit hall participation was also roughly flat at some 248 booths.

Even treading water reps big success under current conditions, organizers said. Industry consolidation and economic stagnation in some markets put substantial show growth out of reach.

Several seminars at Cinema Expo addressed topical industry issues such as movie piracy and the slow rollout of digital cinema. On Thursday, industryites were talking about the arrest of a person who’s confessed to uploading to an Internet chat site an improperly obtained copy of “The Hulk.”

“It points out that piracy is not just a problem of organized crime, but also of the consumer who doesn’t know that a seemingly benign sharing of the information can have dramatic consequences,” said National Assn. of Theater Owners prexy John Fithian. “We have the same problem with our employees. We have to make sure they realize the ramifications of their sharing any (movie) content.”

Theater owners are being encouraged to boost projector-booth security and limit the number of persons allowed to attend technical screenings, Fithian said.

Digital doings

D-cinema discussions included an announcement by Digital Cinema Initiatives chief Chuck Goldwater that the studio consortium aims to encourage even higher-capacity distribution and image-resolution standards than the current so-called 2K model.

DCI has been working to construct a uniform set of engineering standards for d-cinema. Efforts aim to find compromise on tech issues among studios most bullish on digital, such as Warners and Fox, and the more cautious, such as Paramount and Universal.

An awards ceremony and banquet closed the trade show Thursday evening. Event saw Famke Janssen (“X2”) feted as international star of the year and Stefan Arndt (“Goodbye Lenin!,” “Run Lola Run”) as European producer of the year.

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