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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 underway:

CINEMACON BUZZMETER
WHAT’S HOT AND COLD AT THIS YEAR’S EXHIBITOR CONFAB IN VEGAS:
THE LION KING
Talk about a home run. Disney offered a glimpse at stunning footage of a young Simba and Mufasa basking in a photorealistic African savannah. Add the prospect of Donald Glover and Beyonce singing classic hits, and this remake looks to be huge. (Disney, July 19, 2019)
TOY STORY 4
Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and crew look just fine in new hands. The toy’s first big adventure without Andy still captures all the magic from the first three films. Fourth time’s a charm! (Disney, June 21, 2019)
IT: CHAPTER 2
“You’ll float, too.” The tagline of Stephen King’s terrifying adaptation likely applies to its box office numbers as well. Both generations of the Losers’ Club took the stage in Vegas, promising to haunt audiences once again. (WB, Sept. 6, 2019)
HOBBS & SHAW
Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham pick up their four-wheeled toys and play in their own sandbox in this “Fast and Furious” spinoff, a world in which two trucks hitch together with a rope and grappling hook to yank a mid-flight helicopter out of the sky. And then the action starts. (Universal, Aug. 2, 2019)
GEMINI MAN
Will Smith and Ang Lee make for a powerful duo. The dramatic footage that uses cutting-edge technology to see Smith fighting his younger self was enough to wow the crowd at CinemaCon. (Paramount, Oct. 11, 2019)
GOOD BOYS
Footage of Seth Rogen’s raunchy comedy starring Jacob Tremblay as an innocent teen who lets the f-bombs fly got huge laughs in the crowd. (Universal, Aug. 16, 2019)
THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2
The sequel looks just as funny and adorable as the first. Add Tiffany Haddish as a feisty Shih Tzu named Daisy, and Universal has pet-lovers salivating. (Universal, June 7, 2019)
JOHN WICK 3
Keanu Reeves on a horse, relentless gunfire, karate chops. a knife-fight on motorcycles, a choreographed German Shepard attack, a cute little pit bull and a flawless Halle Berry. Take our money, Lionsgate. (Lionsgate, May 17, 2019)
TERMINATOR: DARK FATE
Mackenzie Davis, Gabriel Luna and Natalia Reyes join franchise mainstays Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton in a sequel that looks gritty and satisfying thanks to director Tim Miller. (Paramount, Nov. 1, 2019)
ROCKETMAN
Taron Egerton channels Sir Elton John, fabulous eyewear and all, in the fantasy musical. Renditions of hits like “Your Song,” “Crocodile Rock” and “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” make it feel like an all-out rock concert. (Paramount, May 31, 2019)
JOKER
The Crown Prince of Crime received a warm reception in Vegas. Joaquin Phoenix’s gritty take on the Joker dulled skepticism about the DC origin story.(WB, Oct. 4, 2019)
KNIVES OUT
Rian Johnson’s long-gestating “dinner party from hell” thriller looks part Hitchcock chamber drama and part crime story with a dash of “Clue.” Daniel Craig, Jamie Lee Curtis, Chris Evans, Toni Collette are just a few who star. (Lionsgate, Nov. 27, 2019)
FORD V. FERRARI
Matt Damon and Christian Bale play an engineer and race car driver in bed with Ford, struggling to build an automobile to defeat the dominant ride of the 1960s — the Ferrari. We’d bet this one cruises through awards season. (Fox, Nov. 15, 2019)
DETECTIVE PIKACHU
If Ryan Reynolds can pull off his same snarky charm from “Deadpool,” the Pokemon adaptation could become a hit among fanboys. (WB, May 10, 2019)
CATS
Not a frame of footage was played, but Tom Hooper showed exhibitors a production wheel of a twirling Taylor Swift, belting Jennifer Hudson and a dancing Jason Derulo. The scene-stealer was Judi Dench, who drove home the point that this isn’t an abstract concept — everyone is playing an honest-to-god cat. (Universal, Dec. 20, 2019)
UGLYDOLLS
The animated adventure about a band of misfit sockpuppets could be a crowd-pleaser with families. Plus, it features all-new music from Kelly Clarkson, Nick Jonas, and Blake Shelton. (STX, May 3, 2019)
YESTERDAY
The premise seems simple enough: What if you were the only person in the world who knew John, Paul, George, and Ringo? But iconic renditions of Beatles songs might not be enough to prevent the film from feeling too cheesy. (Universal, June 28, 2019)
ALADDIN
Guy Ritche’s take on the Disney classic tows a thin line between captivating and cringy. Can Will Smith’s Genie hold a candle to Robin Williams’ epic role? (Disney, May 25, 2019)
MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN
Ed Norton directs and stars in this drama about a 1950s private detective with Tourette’s. The rough trailer screened sucked the oxygen out of the room. (WB, Nov. 1, 2019)

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