The duo behind hit comedies like “Superbad,” “Pineapple Express,” and “Sausage Party” took the stage at CinemaCon, the annual exhibition trade show taking place in Las Vegas, to tease what Rogen refers to as their “most refined, cultured work to date.”
“Ever since we made ‘Superbad,’ our work, we think honestly has very much matured over the years,” Rogen told the crowd of theater owners at Caesars Palace. “We’re growing up. I’m wearing a suit.”
The young stars of the film — Jacob Tremblay, Keith Williams, and Brady Noon — told the audience they were relieved to be in the presence of grown-ups.
“We’re super glad to be with adults because we’re not even allowed to see our own movie,” Tremblay joked of the film, which likely secured a hard R-rating. “But not anymore. We finally get to watch it because we’re with a room full of adults. So if you wouldn’t mind signing the release that’s coming around…”
Peter Levinsohn, president and CEO of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, introduced the cast. Before Rogen and crew took the stage, Levinsohn mused about the “disruption” roiling the theatrical business, alluding to the media consolidation taking place and the rise of streaming services.
“This reinvention process can be really exciting,” said a decidedly unenthused-sounding Levinsohn. His remarks were frostily received by the audience of theater owners, many of whom are none too pleased with the changes taking place in the business.
“It’s hard to follow such an electrifying presentation,” Rogen joked of Levinsohn’s clearly well-rehearsed remarks. “Nobody wants to follow Led Zeppelin, but someone has to do it.”
Before the trailer rolled, Tremblay threw in one final disclaimer: “We apologize for what we’re about to do and say. Please believe this is not us, but our characters.”
The footage starts with Tremblay’s character telling his friends, “We’re in sixth grade now. We need to start doing sixth-grade things.”
Those “sixth-grade things” involve shenanigans like intentionally smuggling drugs, learning how to kiss, and running from the police. Yet despite the many times the boys drop f-bombs, they retain an innocence.
One moment in the trailer that played particularly well in the room unfolded as the boys hid out in a tent made out of sheets. Tremblay’s character’s younger sister pops in to assert her drug knowledge, saying, “I know what cocaine is.”
“Annabelle’s been watching ‘Dateline,'” the three whisper among themselves. “She knows what cocaine is.”
“Good Boys,” which premiered at this year’s SXSW Film Festival, hits theaters on Aug. 16. During the studio’s presentation to exhibitors, Universal showcased footage and brought out big names for upcoming titles, including the “Fast and Furious” spinoff “Hobbs & Shaw,” with Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham; “Last Christmas,” a rom-com starring Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding, and Emma Thompson; and “Cats,” the big-screen adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tony-winning musical.