CinemaCon: Warner Bros Brings Lots of Stars, Lots of Trailers

2015 CinemaCon: Warner Bros Presentation Recap
CHRISTINA APPLEGATE as Debbie Griswold, SKYLER GISONDO as James Griswold, ED HELMS as Rusty Griswold, STEELE STEBBINS as Kevin Griswold, CHEVY CHASE as Clark Griswold and BEVERLY D’ANGELO as Ellen Griswold in New Line Cinema’s comedy “VACATION,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

Warner Bros Pictures’ CinemaCon presentation was easily the most star-studded of the 2015 event, with everyone from Magic Mike XXL cast members to Sly Stallone to Man From U.N.C.L.E.’s Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer taking the stage at Caesars Palace to promote the studio’s upcoming slate of films. CinemaCon is the annual gathering of theater owners and studios normally bring out their big guns to help hype their slate of feature films. Given the fact Warner Bros had more films to promote than any other studio represented at the Las Vegas gathering, it was appropriate they brought in more big name stars to help build the buzz on their lineup.

Taking the stage to talk about that huge slate was Warner Bros Chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara who said he was incredibly proud of his studio’s lineup of films. Tsujihara acknowledged that WB is bucking the trend by increasing their slate of films in production while other major studios are decreasing the films they greenlight. Tsujihara also said key to the new releases are 10 films from DC, three LEGO movies, and at least three Fantastic Beasts/J.K. Rowling’s projects. The broad slate of films means the studio can continue their relationships with acclaimed filmmakers including Clint Eastwood who scored the biggest box office success of his lengthy career with American Sniper.

After discussing Warner Bros Pictures’ outlook for the future, Mario Lopez took the stage to handle the job of introducing clips and talent from WB’s 2015 and 2016 films. Here’s a recap of Warner Bros Pictures’ film presentation:

Hot Pursuit: Stars Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara were first up, promoting their roadtrip comedy which finds Witherspoon playing a cop who is charged with protecting Vergara. The pair joked that because they look so much alike it would be easy to confuse who is who. They also traded jokes about not being able to understand one another’s accents and said they had fun shooting the film which, per Vergara, features strong and sexy female characters (she stressed the ‘strong’).

Mad Max: Fury Road: Tom Hardy, Nicholas Hoult and Charlize Theron were on hand to show off a trailer for the film. While Hardy portrays the film’s titular character, it was Hoult and Theron who handled the very quick introduction.

San Andreas: Dwayne Johnson and Carla Gugino were greeted by enthusiastic applause (Johnson’s no stranger to the CinemaCon crowd) as they hit the stage to promote the big budget disaster movie. Playing to the crowd, Johnson pointed out that most of the people in attendance seemed to have been enjoying Vegas’ free alcohol. He also compared losing his virginity to an earthquake, teasing Gugino that she was there for both events and saying it was the “best 20 seconds of her life.” Turning their attention back to discussing San Andreas, Gugino said the film’s an amazing combination of elements and is an epic, massive, incredible adventure that’s also about a fractured family. Gugino won the crowd’s support by proclaiming this is a movie meant to be seen in a big theater. Johnson added, “We wanted to make a movie that shook your theater.”

Entourage: The main stars of Entourage – Adrian Grenier, Kevin Connolly, Kevin Dillon and Jerry Ferrara – joined their director Doug Ellin to briefly chat about how making the movie was like getting back together with your high school buddies. They then revealed a lengthy trailer with a bit of new footage.

Magic Mike XXL: Channing Tatum, Matt Bomer, and Joe Manganiello were among the Magic Mike sequel stars to come to the Coliseum stage in Vegas. They were fully clothed but teased the audience with what appeared to be the beginning of one of their strip tease routines. Unfortunately, they stopped before any actual skin was exposed. All of the talent from the films represented had key talking points, and Tatum pointed out that the Magic Mike crew also had been provided info on what to say about their movie. Laughing, Tatum said talking points weren’t really necessary as it’s a film about male strippers – and that’s all anyone really needs to know. A new trailer debuted with the hashtag #comeagain prominently displayed.

Vacation: I confess I wasn’t excited about the prospect of a new Vacation film after all these years, but the trailer won me over. It was genuinely funny and in keeping with the tone of the original Griswold adventures. Ed Helms and Christina Applegate represented the comedy, with Helms kicking off their trailer introduction by saying, “Vegas…I’ve never been here before.” Helms recalled how he saw the original film by spending his hard-earned babysitting money on a ticket to watch it in a theater. Applegate countered with her memory of being famous at the time and getting a screener sent to her which she watched with Molly Ringwald. Helms said this new film finds his character and Christina’s getting into more trouble than Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo did in the original movies. Plus, this new Vacation has Chris Hemsworth and his abs. And in the trailer those abs are put on display as a shirtless Hemsworth poses beside Helms and Applegate’s bed. Of all the trailers screened during the presentation, the Vacation trailer received the loudest applause.

Man From U.N.C.L.E. – Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer were dressed in expensive tailored suits to present a new trailer for the 2015 version of the classic TV series. Looking handsome, Cavill and Hammer said director Guy Ritchie captured the humor of the show and dubbed this new take Man From U.N.C.L.E. for a new generation. Cavill and Hammer had a hard time figuring out who was supposed to say what off the teleprompter, but eventually made it through their introduction in order to show off a new trailer.

Black Mass: Johnny Depp’s busy filming the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie so it was up to director Scott Cooper (Out of the Furnace, Crazy Heart) to promote the upcoming film based on the life of Whitey Bulger. Johnny Depp plays Bulger and at CinemaCon Cooper said he delivers a “performance for the ages.” The trailer was impressive and showed that after a series of missteps Depp could be back on track. Cooper further explained Black Mass is a film about the bonds of brotherhood and loyalty set around the largest scandal in the history of the FBI.

Creed: Sylvester Stallone, Michael B. Jordan, and director Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station) were on hand to discuss the new Rocky film that focuses on Apollo Creed’s son, played by Jordan. Sly revealed that he believed Rocky’s journey was over until he heard Coogler’s idea about passing the torch on to Apollo’s son. Stallone emphasized this is not Rocky 7 but instead is a beginning of a new journey. “My story has been told,” said Stallone. Coogler explained the idea came from his father’s love of the Rocky movies, and said that that relationship with his own father formed his life. And Coogler also said that while he’s releasing this trailer for the CinemaCon audience, he’s still busy editing the movie.

Edgar Ramirez in Point Break
EDGAR RAMIREZ as Bodhi in Alcon Entertainment’s action thriller “POINT BREAK,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. (Photo © 2015 Warner Bros Entertainment)

Point Break: Point Break showed off an extreme sports-heavy trailer that proves this isn’t a remake of the 1991 film. A few members of the stunt team were in the audience and stood up to accept applause, while cast members Luke Bracey and Teresa Palmer were introduced but didn’t speak about the movie.

Trailers were also screened for Into the Heart of the Sea, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Pan, The Intern, The Gallows, and We Are Your Friends without cast members in attendance.

-By Rebecca Murray

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