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CinemaCon Buzzmeter: What’s Hot and Cold in Las Vegas

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

Lady Gaga ignites the screen and Bradley Cooper shows some impressive musical chops. Tears will be shed and Oscars may be won. (WB, Oct. 5, 2018)
Bohemian Rhapsody
By far the best received footage at Fox’s CinemaCon presentation, Rami Malek nails Freddie Mercury’s dynamism. (Fox , Nov. 2, 2018)
First Man
“La La Land” team of Ryan Gosling and Damien Chazelle reunite for Neil Armstrong biopic that looks like a serious awards season contender. (Universal , Oct. 12, 2018)
It looks just as funny and inventive as the 2004 original with Samuel L. Jackson again stealing the movie as Frozone. (Disney, June 15, 2018)
A slam dunk. Disney concluded its presentation with three minutes of live-action footage that mirrored the “Circle of Life” opening from the 1994 film. (Disney, July 19, 2019)
Night School
Footage of the Kevin Hart-Tiffany Haddish comedy got the biggest laughs at CinemaCon with Haddish stealing this movie. (Universal, Sept. 28, 2018)
Boy Erased
Powerful footage of Lucas Hedges as a gay teenager pushed by his parents to undergo conversion therapy. (Focus Features, Sept. 28, 2018)
Michael Myers is back to his slasher ways. Terrifying teaser provoked audible screams. (Universal, Oct. 19, 2018)
Mary, Queen of Scots
Focus ended its CinemaCon presentation with powerful footage from the historical drama, which will likely get Saoirse Ronan her fourth Oscar nomination. (Focus Features, Dec. 7, 2018)
Solo: A Star Wars Story
CinemaCon attendees saw a satisfying look at the first encounter between Han Solo and Lando Calrissian. (Disney, May 8, 2018)
Claire Foy (“The Crown”) appears to be an excellent replacement for Rooney Mara as with her intense yet low-key interpretation of Lisbeth Salander as she unravels corruption and perversion in Sweden. (Sony, Nov. 9, 2018)
A straightforward tear-jerker about a faithful doggie getting lost and making lots of friends as she tries to find her way home. (Sony, Jan. 11, 2019)
Spike Lee’s surprisingly amusing drama about at a black cop in Colorado infiltrating the KKK during the 1970s. (Focus Features, August 10, 2018)
Perhaps the biggest surprise at CinemaCon – a profanely funny trailer for a noir murder comedy trailer set in the worlds of puppets with Melissa McCarthy and Bill Barretta and Brian Henson directing. (STX, Aug. 17, 2018)
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
The ubiquitous rampaging dinosaurs are back for more familiar action-packed prehistoric mayhem. (Universal, June 22, 2018)
Alita: Battle Angel
Offers a unique look with an anime character in a dystopia brought to life by Rosa Salazar. (Fox, Dec. 21, 2018)
VFX are still being perfected, but director James Wan’s vision of Atlantis is undeniably compelling. Bigger problem is DC’s spotty track record. Is this another “Wonder Woman”…or “Suicide Squad”? (WB, Dec. 21, 2018)
CGI versions of Winnie the Pooh and friends return to the adult world of AA Milne in a touching story that should connect with family audiences. (Disney, Aug. 3, 2018)
This fifth film in the Conjuring universe, this creepy atmospheric horror film set in a convent looks effectively scary. (WB, Sept. 7, 2018)
Beautiful Boy
Powerful footage of Steve Carell and Timothee Chalamet in a drama about a son’s drug addiction in a thoroughly depressing scene. (Amazon, Oct. 12, 2018)
M. Night Shyamalan’s film, which brings together characters from “Split” and “Unbreakable,” came off as ambitious but confusing (Universal, Jan 18, 2019)
Spectacular footage but a depressing story of the perils of ocean sailboating that we saw in Robert Redford’s “All is Lost.” (STX, June 1, 2018)
Any excitement about the adorable pachyderm was extinguished by Disney’s decision to hold off on showing Dumbo in flight. (Disney, March 29, 2018)
Footage of the massive pre-historic shark felt vaguely familiar, though Jason Statham appears to liven up the narrative of this late summer release. (WB. Aug. 10, 2018)
Jennifer Garner returns to her “Alias” roots, playing a vigilante mom who — somewhat ludicrously — tracks down and kills everyone who killed her daughter. (STX, Sept. 7, 2018)
Luca Guadagnino’s horror remake won’t be for everyone: CinemaCon audiences were grossed out by Dakota Johnson’s ballerina tortured by unseen forces. (Amazon)
Life Itself
CinemaCon attendees were thoroughly underwhelmed by Dan Fogelman’s drama about several generations of families in New York and Spain. (Amazon)
Mark Wahlberg plays some kind of kick-ass government operative in this Jason Bourne-retread. Snooze. (STX, July 20, 2018)
This symbiote story seemed vaguely toothless. Too many laughs, too few scares. (Sony, October 5, 2018)
Will Ferrell showed up at CinemaCon as his usual wacky self, imitating Celine Dion, and the footage came off as a mish-mash of mystery, drama and comedy misfires that evoked few laughs. John C. Reilly co-stars. (Sony, Dec. 21, 2018)
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again
Not even Cher can make up for the puzzling decision to kill off Meryl Streep’s character. ABBA music and sumptuous island settings don’t seem as appealing without the world’s greatest actress. (Universal, July 20, 2018)
Mortal Engines
CinemaCon attendees were baffled by footage of Peter Jackson’s post-apocalyptic world of moving cities attacking each other. (Universal, Dec. 14, 2018)
Might have been cool if Disney hadn’t killed it two years ago with the “Jungle Book.” This has flop written all over it. (WB. Oct. 19, 2018)
CinemaCon attendees were extremely underwhelmed by this animated comedy spoof on superheroes. (WB, July 27, 2018)
Hot, extremely positive
ice cold


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