Abrams has had one gravity-defying year. He’s the mastermind behind the “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which is close to hitting $1 billion at the global box office. He’s no stranger to bringing life to old franchises; he rebooted “Star Trek” with two feature films and has been a producer on the previous two “Mission: Impossible” movies. “10 Cloverfield Lane,” his followup to found footage monster-attack movie “Cloverfield,” hit theaters earlier this year. But that’s not all that’s going on with this mega-producer in 2016. His newest film as producer, “Star Trek Beyond,” will hit theaters this summer. He is also among those backing Screening Room.
Male Star of Tomorrow
Amell, star of the CW’s “Arrow,” where he plays the titular role, is looking to change screens with his upcoming role as Casey Jones in “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.” His Arrow has crossed over on other superhero-themed shows including “Vixen,” “The Flash” and “Legends of Tomorrow.” Amell began his career in 2004, earning brief roles on TV series such as “Queer as Folk” and “Degrassi: The Next Generation.” He found work consistently in the years succeeding his appearances in “The Vampire Diaries,” “The Practice” and “Hung.” He voiced the character in the video games “Injustice: Gods Among Us” and “Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham.” Amell has also earned nominations from the People’s Choice Awards and Teen Choice Awards for his “Arrow” role among other noms and trophies through his career.
Christina Applegate, Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn & Annie Mumolo
Female Stars of the Year
Kunis, bell, applegate, Hahn and Mumolo are joining forces in STX’s untitled female-centric moms comedy “Bad Moms,” which is scheduled for an August release. Applegate has gained a name for her roles in the “Anchorman” franchise, “Samantha Who?” and her 2002 guest appearance on “Friends,” which earned her an Emmy. Kunis has lent her voice to “Family Guy” and starred in films like “Black Swan” and “Ted.” After breaking onto the scene as the title character in the crime-drama series “Veronica Mars,” Bell has appeared in numerous films and TV shows, including “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” alongside Kunis. Bell co-stars with Mumolo in the upcoming comedy “The Boss.” A co-writer on “Bridesmaids,” Mumolo has starred in “This Is 40” and “Afternoon Delight,” which provided a starring vehicle for Hahn, a standout in such films as “Stepbrothers” and “This Is Where I Leave You.”
Producer of the Year
The founder and CEO of Blumhouse Productions, Blum made a name for himself making large profits off films with smaller budgets like the “Paranormal Activity” and “Insidious” films. But he’s also behind such heralded fare as “Whiplash,” which earned a best picture Oscar nomination, and HBO telepic “The Normal Heart,” for which he won an Emmy Award. His busy slate for 2016 includes the third installment in “The Purge” series, titled “The Purge: Election Year,” plus “Ouija 2,” “Viral” and “Stephanie.” Meanwhile his Crypt TV is expanding.
Male Star of the Year
Eisenberg is one of Hollywood’s speed talkers — he worked his way through Aaron Sorkin’s “The Social Network” with dry precision and earned himself an Oscar nomination. This year he tackled legendary Superman supervillain Lex Luthor in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” His aggressive and twitchy take on Luthor is unconventional and different from previous onscreen representations of the iconic head of LexCorp. The multifaceted actor has also written and starred in three plays. Last year, he debuted his first book, “Bream Gives Me Hiccups.” Later this year, he’ll be reprising the role of J. Daniel Atlas in “Now You See Me 2” and for his second project with Woody Allen and third with Kristen Stewart, “Café Society,” which will open Cannes in May.
Courtesy of Warner Bros.
Bryce Dallas Howard
CinemaCon Award for Excellence in Acting
Howard may be the daughter of renowned actor and director Ron Howard, but she’s forged her own identity as a critically acclaimed actress. Her performance n 2011’s “The Help” got her a nom for supporting actress at the NAACP Image Awards, along with a SAG Award as a member of the ensemble. She also made running in heels look like a walk in the park in 2015’s mega-hit “Jurassic World.” Even though she’s being honored this year for her acting, she’s also completed successful work behind the camera including producing the Sony Classics film “Restless” and campaigns for Canon’s Project Imagination. Her upcoming projects include mining drama “Gold.”
Breakthrough Performer of the Year
Franco became known as more than just James Franco’s brother with winning performances in films like “21 Jump Street” and “Warm Bodies.” This year he’ll reprise his roles in sequels to two of his hits with “Now You See Me 2” and “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising.” He’ll also play Montgomery Clift in “Zeroville,” directed by James, and appear in “Nerve” from “Catfish” filmmakers Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman. He stars opposite his brother, who also directs, in “The Disaster Artist,” which will bring to life he story of the worst film of all time, “The Room.”
Courtesy of Lionsgate
Rising Star of the Year
Huston has a heavy weight to carry — his last name. Born into Hollywood royalty even if he was raised on the other side of the pond, he made his debut in the “Spartacus” miniseries. He landed a role on “Boardwalk Empire” as a disfigured WWI vet and was upped to series regular in a matter of five episodes. Most recently, he embodied George Wickham in this year’s zombie classic novel mashup “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.” Although he had to bow out of the “The Crow” remake due to scheduling conflicts, he captured the coveted role of Judah Ben-Hur in the remake of the 1959 film “Ben-Hur.” His recent trajectory, and future roles – including war film “Yellow Birds” alongside Jennifer Aniston and Alden Ehrenreich – make him the Rising Star of the Year.
Courtesy of Lionsgate
Cinema Icon Award
With a film and television career exceeding 40 years, there is no mystery why CinemaCon would honor Sarandon with the Cinema Icon Award. Sarandon made her debut in 1970’s “Joe,” before appearing the same year in the soap opera “A World Apart.” Since then, she has shown an astonishing range appearing in dramas and comedies for both film (“Thelma and Louise,” “The Client”) and TV (“Bernard and Doris,” “You Don’t Know Jack”). Throughout her career, Sarandon has consistently proved herself to be a skilled and talented actress, receiving five Academy Award nominations and a win for 1995’s “Dead Man Walking.” She has also received two Bafta nominations, winning for her role in “The Client.” Over the years, Sarandon has used her star power to bring attention to social and political causes. In 1999, she was appointed as a Unicef Goodwill Ambassador and in 2006 received the Action Against Hunger Humanitarian Award. Sarandon next stars alongside Rose Byrne in the upcoming drama “The Meddler,” which hits theaters April 22.
Female Star of Tomorrow
With the starring role in an acclaimed, Golden Globe-winning comedy series and a blossoming film career materializing before her, Rodriguez is swiftly making a name as a versatile actress. Before she was stealing America’s heart as the loveable title character on the CW’s “Jane the Virgin,” Rodriguez was starring in various short films and landing small roles in series like “Law & Order,” “The Bold and the Beautiful” and “Army Wives.” She broke onto the scene as the talented hip-hop artist, Majo Tonorio, in 2012’s “Filly Brown.” Though she’s spent the majority of her budding showbiz career in TV, Rodriguez has recently branched out in film. The Golden Globe winner is starring opposite Mark Wahlberg in the disaster drama “Deepwater Horizon,” which is set to release in late September. In 2017 she’ll join Natalie Portman in Alex Garland’s “Annihilation,” which will mark her most high-profile film role to date.
Courtesy of CW
Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox, Bill Pullman, Maika Monroe, Sela Ward & Jessie Usher
Ensemble of the Universe Award
Two decades after the first “Independence Day” took audiences on a thrill ride, a new cast (Hemsworth, Goldblum, Pullman, Ward, Fox, Monroe and Usher) are preparing to shake things up again with “Independence Day: Resurgence” out June 24. Hemsworth has proven he is more than capable of handling a lead action role after his stellar performance in “The Hunger Games” franchise. Goldblum, Pullman and Fox are back for more alien invasions after starring in the 1996 “Independence Day” film alongside Will Smith. Like her co-stars, Monroe isn’t new to alien invasions after her performance in “The 5th Wave” which had a theatrical release in January. Ward adds “Resurgence” to her 3-decade-long resume which includes action-packed films “The Fugitive” and “The Day After Tomorrow,” while “Resurgence” will be Usher’s first major action/adventure film.
Anna Kendrick, Zac Efron & Adam Devine
Comedy Stars of the Year
This summer Kendrick, Efron and DeVine are teaming up in the raunchy comedy “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates.” Kendrick and DeVine are both social-media sensations, having cultivated distinct styles — quirky realness with no filters. Kendrick burst on the scene as the smart new hire in Jason Reitman’s “Up in the Air” with George Clooney. DeVine got his start with the sketch-comedy group Mail Order Comedy. Kendrick and Devine also starred together in the a capella smash-comedy “Pitch Perfect,” which was a ca-awesome. Kendrick is working on the third installment of the “Pitch Perfect” series while DeVine continues to rake in laughs with hit TV comedies “Modern Family” and “Workkaholics.” Efron, who first gained mega-traction with the Disney Channel’s “High School Musical,” is starring in “Neighbors 2” and taking a deep dive into the film remake of “Baywatch.”
Courtesy of 20th Century Fox
Breakthrough Director of the Year
Actor-turned-filmmaker Parker is on the up-and-up. He earned a coveted spot on Variety’s 10 Actors to Watch list back in 2012 following a year of two Sundance film premieres and a leading role in the George Lucas-produced adventure film “Red Tails.” Also known for his performances in “Beyond the Lights” and “The Great Debaters,” the thesp wrote the script and stepped behind the camera and to direct the Sundance Film Festival hit “Birth of a Nation” — an antebellum Virginia-set drama that centers on Nat Turner’s slave rebellion. Parker also stars as Turner. Though the film marks Parker’s directorial debut, it’s expected to be a major contender come 2016 awards season. The filmmaker also recently announced plans to launch a film school this fall at Wiley College in Marshall, Texas. Parker announced that his school will offer a comprehensive approach, starting with a pilot program for 30 high school and college students.
CinemaCon Vanguard Award
Reeves boasts a very diverse career — he’s played everything from love interest to demon hunter to a half-Japanese/half-English samurai. And that’s barely scratching the surface. He’ll soon be seen Nicolas Winding Refn’s “The Neon Demon” alongside Elle Fanning and Christina Hendricks, reprising the role of legendary ex-hitman John Wick in the sequel to the hit film with the same name and playing Dr. William Beckham in the eating-disorder dark comedy “To the Bone.” But acting isn’t his only skill — he’s narrated “Anyone Can Quantum,” which features Paul Rudd and Stephen Hawking playing chess infused with the concept of the unpredictability of quantum mechanics.