Less is rarely more in the major business.
Warner Bros. rounded out the CinemaCon studio presentations with a lengthy bang, corralling filmmakers and stars to introduce the studio’s 2014 slate for summer and beyond.
Highlights included an exclusive extended first look at Clint Eastwood’s tuner “Jersey Boys,” as well as a retrospective of Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” series, which ends this year with “The Hobbit: There and Back Again.”
Eastwood came onstage to introduce the musical, joking that he’s old enough to remember all the different iterations of CinemaCon.
“I want to thank all of you here, and your parents, as well, when it was ShoWest,” Eastwood quipped, adding that the sound system at Caesars Palace’s Colosseum is a perfect place to introduce his film.
“We had a lot to live up to,” Eastwood said of “Jersey Boys.” “This sound system is blowing me clean out of my seat. Actually it’s the first time I’ve really been able to hear.”
While Eastwood made the trek to Las Vegas, Jackson introduced the “Lord of the Rings” material, which included a few shots from “There and Back Again,” via a previously taped message.
In addition to both of those films, Warners had lots of other star wattage, including Johnny Depp, who was with “Transcendence” co-star Morgan Freeman; Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler (“Blended”); Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis (“Jupiter Ascending”); Ben Falcone and Melissa McCarthy (“Tammy”); and “Godzilla” director Gareth Edwards.
Sandler and a very pregnant Barrymore were especially entertaining on stage, as they were joined by the film’s helmer Frank Coraci, who directed the pair 16 years ago in “The Wedding Singer.”
“I’m creating life and I started crying at the destruction in that trailer,” Barrymore said referring to the “Godzilla” footage that screened just prior.
Sandler, meanwhile, joked that he had thought of a name for Barrymore’s baby: Little CinemaCon ‘Cinnie’ Barrymore.
Introducing the weighty list of talent and films was Warners chief Kevin Tsujihara, along with domestic distribution prexy Dan Fellman and Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, head of international distribution.
“We couldn’t be successful without the support and help from all of you here,” Tsujihara said. “The energy and emotional momentum that grows out of an audience as we laugh and cry together can’t be matched.”