CinemaCon Shines Again with Lots of Star Power
CinemaCon, the four day annual convention of NATO (National Association of Theater Owners), returned to Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas from Monday, April 23rd through Thursday, April 26th bringing with it the latest word on films, lots of celebrities promoting their movies and receiving awards and the industry’s latest in technological advances.
As an added bonus this was the first time in more than a decade that every major film studio including: Paramount, 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., Lionsgate, Universal, Disney and all of their partners Pixar, DreamWorks and Marvel Entertainment participated in the event.
Formerly known as ShoWest, the convention gives theater owners previews of upcoming films being released by the studios and a chance to hear from the stars and filmmakers associated with them. Some of the celebrities who appeared this year included industry icons Jerry Bruckheimer, Ang Lee, Tim Burton, Christopher Nolan, and Martin Scorsese (who received the ‘RealD Innovation in 3D’ award), and actors Mila Kunis, James Franco and Johnny Depp.
Just like last year Paramount Pictures kicked off the opening nigh festivities by teaming up with DreamWorks Animation and showing selections from their upcoming 2012 slate in “Paramount Pictures – Celebrating 100 Years of Outstanding Moviemaking”. This was followed by an Opening Night Dinner Reception held in conjunction with Christie, Dolby Laboratories and IMAX. Celebrities on hand for the presentation included D.J. Cotrona, Adrienne Palicki and Dwayne Johnson, director Jon Chu and producer Lorenzo de Bonaventura from “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” Chris Rock from Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted,” and Chris Pine and director Peter Ramsey from “Rise of the Guardians.”
Director Martin Scorsese was the third recipient to be honored with the ‘RealD Innovation in 3D Award’ by RealD Inc., one of the leading global licensors of 3D technologies, for his work on the five-time Academy Award winning film “Hugo,” which was based on Brian Selznick’s best-selling novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret and starred Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Chloe Grace Moretz and Jude Law. RealD Chairman and CEO Michael V. Lewis presented the award to Scorcese during a special luncheon. “’Hugo’ set a new bar for innovative use of 3D, representing a leap forward in 3D filmmaking by utilizing 3D techniques to draw audiences into the story in ways unobtainable in 2D,” said Lewis. “With his work on “Hugo” Mr. Scorsese has embraced 3D as a creative tool and demonstrated its true potential to bring a life-like and fully immersive world to the big screen,” he added.
Some of Scorsese’s comments in response to receiving the award included, “I had a fascination with 3D that goes back to the View-Master. I’d always dreamed of making a film in 3D. It’s like a combination of theatre and film. There’s something 3D gives to a movie that takes you to another land.”
Past award honorees have included James Cameron and Jon Landau for their work on the top-grossing worldwide feature film of all-time, “Avatar,” as well as Henry Selick, Laika and Focus Features for their work on the feature film “Coraline,” the first stop-motion animated feature ever produced from inception in 3D.
Some of the other highlights during the event included the dinner honoring Jeffrey Katzenberg with the 2012 ‘Pioneer of the Year’ Award and the CinemaCon Final Night Talent awards where several stars were honored during the closing evening festivities. Jack Black served as the official master of ceremonies at the dinner accompanied by special guests Cameron Diaz and Antonio Banderas, who spoke on behalf of Katzenberg.
For over a decade Cameron Diaz and Antonio Banderas lent their creative talent and voices to DreamWorks Animation’s Shrek franchise, the top-grossing animated film franchise of all time. With Diaz as Princess Fiona and Banderas as Puss in Boots, “Shrek,” “Shrek 2,” “Shrek the Third,” “Shrek Forever After,” and most recently the Academy-Award® nominated “Puss in Boots” have amassed over $3.5 billion worldwide. Jack Black has brought to life Po the panda in DreamWorks Animation’s Academy-Award® nominated films “Kung Fu Panda” and “Kung Fu Panda 2,” which have grossed over $1.2 billion worldwide.
The Pioneer of the Year 2012 Honorary committee includes David Geffen (Founder/Owner of Geffen Pictures), Jim Gianopulos (Co-Chair / CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment), Brad Grey (Chairman/CEO of Paramount), Bob Iger (President & CEO OF Disney), Gerry Lopez (CEO of AMC Theatres), Michael Lynton (CEO of Sony Corporation of America), Barry Meyer (Chairman/CEO of Warner Bros), Ron Meyer (President and COO of Universal Pictures), Amy Miles (CEO of Regal Cinemas), Amy Pascal (Co-Chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment), David Passman (CEO of Carmike Theatres and current President of National Association of Theater Owners), Jeff Robinov (President of Warner Bros), Tom Rothman (Chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment), Stacey Snider (Co-Chairman and CEO of Dreamworks), Steven Spielberg (Principal Partner of DreamWorks) and Alan Stock (CEO of Cinemark Theatres).
On Thursday the glitz and glamour continued with the presentation of the following awards prior to the closing night ceremonies. They were as follows:
Career Achievement Award SYLVESTER STALLONE, Male Star of Tomorrow TAYLOR KITSCH, Female Star of Tomorrow CHLOE GRACE MORETZ, Rising Star of 2012 DIEGO BONETA, Comedy Star of the Year ANNA FARRIS, Distinguished Decade of Achievement in Film CHARLIZE THERON, Award of Excellence in Film Making JUDD APATOW, Cinema Icon Award MICHELLE PFEIFFER, Female Star of the Year JENNIFER GARNER, Male Star of the Year JEREMY RENNER, Action Star of the Year DWAYNE JOHNSON and Breakthrough Performer of the Year JOSH HUTCHERSON.
Wrapping up here’s an overview of some of the upcoming films you’ll be able to see these award winners in: Chloe Grace Moretz and Michelle Pfeiffer star in Warner Bros. “Dark Shadows,”, which is being released on May 11th; Sylvester Stallone will be back igniting the screen in “The Expendables 2” on August 17th for Lionsgate; Universal Pictures has two upcoming films with Taylor Kitsch, “Battleship” on May 18th followed by “Savages” on July 6th; Diego Boneta will be appearing in New Line Cinema’s eagerly awaited “Rock of Ages,” which will be released by Warner Bros. on June 15th; comedy star Anna Farris will be seen next on May 16th in Paramount’s “The Dictator”; Charlize Theron graces the screen again in Universal Pictures “Snow White and the Huntsman” on June 1st; “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” will be released by Walt Disney Studios on August 15th showcasing Jennifer Garner’s talents; Jeremy Renner debuts in the Bourne franchise on August 3rd when “The Bourne Legacy” is released by Universal Pictures; the latest 2012 premiere Judd Apatow’s next film for Universal titled “This is 40” arrives in time for Christmas on December 21st; while CinemaCon’s Action Star of the Year Dwayne Johson will be seen soon in Paramount’s “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” on June 29th. Breakthrough Performer Josh Hutcherson already drew audience attention in March when Lionsgate released the box office hit “The Hunger Games.”