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‘Vacation’ Sequel Draws Big Laughs at CinemaCon

Thirty-two years after Chevy Chase starred as Clark Griswold in “National Lampoon’s Vacation,” the “Vacation” sequel drew big laughs from exhibitors at Warner Bros.’ CinemaCon presentation Tuesday.

Ed Helms, who plays Clark Griswold’s son Rusty, introduced a well-received clip after bantering with co-star Christina Applegate.

“I am super-trashed right now,” he quipped. “We think we’ve made an edgy but heartfelt comedy.”

Steele Stebbins, who plays a foul-mouthed younger brother to Skyler Gisondo’s character, could be a major scene-stealer when “Vacation” opens July 31.

“Vacation” faces formidable competition, opening on the same date that Paramount launches Tom Cruise’s “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation.” Cruise wowed the CinemaCon crowd earlier Tuesday with footage of the star hanging on a jet plane while it was taking off.

John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, who are making their directorial debut, told Variety that it was unthinkable to make the film without Chase and Beverly D’Angelo, who return as Helms’ parents in the sequel.

The duo began work on the script in 2008 and — in the wake of scoring a major hit with the R-rated “Horrible Bosses” — persuaded New Line to give them a shot at directing. Shooting was set to start in 2013 but delayed to make an R-rated film rather than PG.

“We thought that we would be able to make a film that was more truthful,” Daley said. “So we can have the mom saying the F word and we can have the younger brother tormenting his older brother more realistically. Most everyone has taken a road trip with their family — I took mine when I was 7 from New York to L.A. in an Oldsmobile.”

However, a Chris Hemsworth nude scene did not make the final cut, Daley admitted.

Leslie Mann plays Rusty’s sister Audrey Griswold, who was played by Dana Barron in the 1983 original. Chris Bender and David Dobkin are producing. Jeff Kleeman is exec producing. The original was a hit in 1983 with more than $60 million in domestic grosses.

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