CinemaCon 2017: From Blade Runner to Transformers, here are the winners and losers from this year’s show
Who came out on top at the trade show in Vegas?
The biggest movie studios descended upon Las Vegas last week for CinemaCon and was ready to wow theater owners with their best. However, there are some that walked away the biggest winners and some that fizzled away. Who is positioned to make a box office killing and who will end up taking a hit? Here’s a look at some of the winners and losers at this year’s CinemaCon.
WINNER: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
To close out the Sony presentation, the cast of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle came on stage to present the world premiere of the film’s trailer. Even though the majority expected the film to be a total disaster, many of us were pleasantly surprised. First of all, Kevin Hart, Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, and Jack Black are playing video game avatars controlled by stereotypical high school kids. The entire premise is hilarious to watch on screen. In other words, imagine Jack Black portraying the mannerisms of a hot blonde chick. Another key point is the touching tribute paid to Robin Williams’ character, Alan Parrish.
LOSER: Transformers: The Last Knight
Even though Paramount showed a whopping 20-minutes of footage during its presentation, the footage failed to make an impact. Much of the criticism stems from the lackluster action, unamusing jokes, and tiresome Michael Bay aesthetics. On the positive side, the King Arthur storyline is intriguing enough to warrant a watch.
WINNER: Blade Runner 2049
Luckily for the CinemaCon crowd, we got not one but TWO different pieces of footage. International distributor, Sony Pictures, unveiled a reel showcasing the beautiful aesthetics of the film. Roger Deakins (Skyfall) and Denis Villeneuve (Arrival) have recaptured the grand scale and vision of the original film. Not an easy feat, by any means. Not to mention, Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford appear to form a formidable on-screen duo. Domestic distributor, Warner Bros., unveiled a behind-the-scenes look at the film. Everything that we saw was shot using practical effects. Very impressive, indeed.
LOSER: The Dark Tower
Admittedly, I know nothing about the series except that it’s written by Stephen King. Nevertheless, the footage shown during the Sony presentation was a bit lackluster. Matthew McConaughey doesn’t seem menacing or dangerous as The Man in Black. On a positive note, Idris Elba’s Gunslinger had some of the best scenes in the entire reel. The action scenes involving him are dynamic and breathtaking. All in all, the teased storyline and The Man in Black didn’t sell me on the film. Thankfully, Idris Elba is there to keep the film intriguing for us newcomers.
WINNER: The DC Extended Universe Slate of films
Surprise! As much as we’ve criticized the DCEU for its drab movies, their upcoming slate looks ready to right the ship. First of all, Wonder Woman looks amazing. Warner Bros revealed footage that had a lot of heart, humor, and action. The chemistry between Gal Gadot and Chris Pine is palpable. Although there were rumors that Wonder Woman is having issues, the footage shown quells said rumors. It looked like a lot of fun.
Next, the concept art for Aquaman looks stellar. James Wan’s “dogfight” idea sounds incredible and the concept art for Atlantis looks spectacular.
Finally, the Justice League footage that was shown is the same as the trailer—with one big difference. This scene shows you why The Flash may be the best character in the film. Fans of the Quicksilver scenes in the X-Men series should love the scene involving The Flash and Wonder Woman. As Wonder Woman is falling to grab her sword, time slows down as the crowd sees The Flash rushing towards to the sword. With one minor touch, the sword begins to change course towards Wonder Woman. How’s that for teamwork? Overall, the DC Comics fans should start to get excited about the next three films.
LOSER: The LEGO Ninjago Movie
Although The LEGO Ninjago Movie trailer was really funny, what Warner Bros showed during their presentation wasn’t. Unfortunately, the footage screened was devoid of all the things that made The LEGO Movie franchise so entertaining: hilarious puns and gags. As a matter of fact, there were little to no laughs during the entire showing.
WINNER: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and The Fate of the Furious
Out of the entire trade show, these two screenings surprised us—literally and metaphorically. The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise had progressively gone downhill after each movie. Surprisingly, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales was actually good. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer and directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg have gone back to the basics for a pleasant result.
The Fate of The Furious screening wasn’t expected at all. Vin Diesel and the cast of Fate of the Furious (minus The Rock) surprised the CinemaCon crowd with a screening of the movie. What we got is a return to form for the franchise after the tumultuous production of Furious 7. All in all, it’s got heart, emotion, and of course, thrills.
LOSER: King Arthur: The Legend of the Sword
Whatever you thought of the final trailer for King Arthur, not many were not impressed. The footage shown during the Warner Bros presentation had a mix of gritty realism with fantastical elements. It’s a good example of an oxymoron. Judging by what was shown, the fusion of two vastly different themes hasn’t sold us yet. Regardless, if anyone can pull this off it’s Guy Ritchie, Charlie Hunnam, and Jude Law.
BEST IN SHOW: 20th Century Fox
If you’re wondering why none of the Fox films are on the list, that’s because the entire movie slate is quite impressive. Alien: Covenant, The Greatest Showman, War for the Planet of the Apes, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Ferdinand, and Murder on the Orient Express were all impressive. Not only did Fox’s slate impress but the studio also had the best presentation out of the Big 5—Disney, Warner Bros, Paramount, Sony Pictures, and Fox.
The presentation kicked off with an energetic dance routine from ILuminate to the dubstep remix of “There’s No Business Like Show Business.” At the end of the routine, Fox distribution chief Chris Aronson revealed himself as “one of the dancers.” To top it all off, conveniently placed members of the audience got up to dance in the aisles to the main song in The Greatest Showman to close out the show. Truly, Fox was the greatest showman during CinemaCon 2017.
WORST IN SHOW: The Walt Disney Studios
Let’s be clear, Walt Disney Studios has the strongest lineup of movies coming out this year. Period. Disney is expecting to see a lot of money roll in with their slate of movies. That being said, their “presentation” during CinemaCon was one big giant disappointment. After essentially teasing Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Thor: Ragnarok footage, the crowd saw very little. In fact, their entire presentation was rushed and took about 30 minutes to present everything. The first thing to remember is that the average presentation time is about an hour and a half. For this reason, Disney is put at the bottom of the list.
- Annabelle: Creation
- Atomic Blonde
- Baby Driver
- Spider-Man: Homecoming
Beauty and the Beast, Logan, and Kong: Skull Island have all grossed over $500 million worldwide and we’re only four months into the year. As a result, 2017 is shaping to be one of the biggest years ever for Hollywood and it’s only getting better.
What movie are you looking forward to this year? Sound off with your thoughts in the comments section below!