Time to fire up the private jets and saturate Burbank’s airport with chauffeured Suburbans — all the major studios are headed back to CinemaCon.
The annual convention of movie theater owners has committed all the major players and notable mid-sized film operations to present at the annual Las Vegas gathering — a delightful mix of executives and superstars mingling with penny slot players and rowdy bachelorette weekenders.
Walt Disney Studios, Universal Pictures, Paramount, Warner Bros. and last year’s holdout Sony Pictures Releasing will all present their big-screen wares to exhibitors at Caesars Palace Las Vegas come August 23-26, according to a Friday email from organizers.
Focus Features, Lionsgate, Amazon acquisition MGM and its distribution arm United Artists Releasing will also be in the fold following last year’s convention cancellation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A notice from the National Organization of Theater Owners, who stage the annual event, noted that these were the participants “to date,” suggesting more companies may enter the fold. Safety protocols will also be in place, mandating proof of a coronavirus vaccination or negative test result within 48 hours of attendance.
This year’s convention was pushed from a planned rain date in March, when the global outlook for moviegoing was bleak (though none so much as the wide shuttering in 2020). As vaccinations rolled out across the U.S. and confidence in public events increased, skies seem to be clearing for both theater owners and studios sitting on stockpiles of new films.
Staged in Caesars’ Colosseum theater, CinemaCon sees gimmicky stunts, star cameos and plenty of exclusive footage to tantalize theater owners for the film season ahead.