×

CinemaCon Exhibitors Look to Franchises to Float Box Office

Studios raise the tentpoles to hopes of a heavy-hitting summer season

With the domestic box office trailing the 2012 pace by double digits, CinemaCon’s Monday bow in Las Vegas comes at a crucial time before summer tentpole season starts in a few weeks.

Final day will underscore the import of the four-day event with Lionsgate assuming the mantle of the seventh major for the first time since it acquired Summit last year and went on to top $1.2 billion in domestic grosses for the year.

The studio has prepped a full-scale presentation for the Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace, including footage from “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” expected to be among the year’s top grossers when it opens Nov. 22, along with “Red 2,” “Now You See Me” and “Ender’s Game.”

“It’s a very competitive time for distributors,” said Richie Fay, Lionsgate’s president of domestic distribution. “Your reels and trailers really need to be polished.”

Paramount’s opening night presentation included footage from “Star Trek Into Darkness” and “World War Z” along with a sneak preview of Michael Bay’s “Pain & Gain” (opening April 26). On Tuesday Warner Bros. plans to show footage  from three powerful titles: “The Hangover Part 3,” “Man of Steel” and “Pacific Rim.”

Fox will show its cop comedy “The Heat” the same day, and Wednesday will see screenings of Disney’s “Monsters University” and CBS Films’ “The To Do List.” Sony and Universal have opted to keep their offerings under wraps. Sony’s likely to show footage from “After Earth,” “White House Down,” “Grown Ups 2” and “The Smurfs 2”; U’s reel will probably feature “Fast & Furious 6,” “Despicable Me 2” and “R.I.P.D.”

The footage includes a trio of updates to franchises. The five “Fast and Furious” films have taken a combined $1.6 billion in worldwide grosses; the 11 “Star Trek” movies have cumed $1.46 billion; and the two “Hangover” titles totaled $1.05 billion.

For exhibitors, the presence of plenty of potential blockbusters should be reassuring. Fay, a top exec with the AMC chain before moving to Summit in 2007, recalls that technological advances were particularly impressive when the event was called ShoWest.

“Seeing ‘Jurassic Park’ with Dolby sound was breathtaking, and seeing 3D evolve from ‘Chicken Little’ to ‘Avatar’ has been really memorable,” he added.

More Biz

  • Shanghai Disneyland

    Shanghai Disneyland Closes in Response to China Virus Outbreak

    Shanghai Disneyland will close its doors Saturday as a reaction to the spread of a form of coronavirus that has now killed 26 people in mainland China. The resort complex, which normally operates 365 days per year and welcomes more than 10 million visitors annually, announced Friday afternoon local time that it will shutter the [...]

  • Why the Oscars, Emmys Shouldn't Try

    Grammys Deny Allegations of ‘Rigging’ Nominations

    Among the many allegations in ousted Recording Academy chief Deborah Dugan’s bombshell complaint Tuesday was a claim that the nominations are marred by what she has described as “rigging.” The example in the complaint points to the 2019 Best Song category, where an unidentified artist who was represented by a board member moved from the [...]

  • Annabella Sciorra

    Weinstein Lawyer Aims to Poke Holes in Annabella Sciorra's Account

    Harvey Weinstein’s defense attorney sought to poke holes in Annabella Sciorra’s testimony on Thursday, highlighting her training as an actor in a bid to undermine her credibility. Attorney Donna Rotunno had previewed that line of argument in a CNN interview before the trial, which prompted the prosecution to accuse her of disparaging the witness. “In [...]

  • Lindsey Elfenbein Variety

    Lindsey Elfenbein Promoted to Variety's Managing Director, Global Summits and Strategic Partnerships

    Variety has promoted Lindsey Elfenbein to managing director, global summits and strategic partnerships. Elfenbein joined the trade publication in 2014, where she has exponentially grown the conference business. Elfenbein is responsible for driving global revenue across Variety’s summit series. Her contributions have led to the creation of new ventures including the Silicon Valleywood Summit with [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content