The Stars Will Be Shining at CinemaCon Next Week

Published On March 22, 2011 | By admin | Blog Post

For me, one of the most fun events I had the pleasure of covering in 2010 was ShoWest, which was held at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas.  Aside from NAB this was the biggest entertainment related event I attended.  When it returns next week from March 28-31, 2011 there will be several major changes.  First, it is now called CinemaCon and the new venue for the festivities is Caesar’s Palace, which will be hosting more than 6,000 motion picture theater industry professionals.  The Coca-Cola Company is going to be the Official Presenting Partner and as before there will be an exhibit area, luncheons and dinners, screenings of new films and many networking opportunities.  One of the highlights from last year was being present at the Q&A held before the Awards Ceremony on the last night when I had the chance to be part of the interview session with Jerry Bruckheimer, Todd Phillips, Amanda Seyfried and many others.  This year no one is sure of exactly what to expect because of the changes, but I’ll be back with several reports starting sometime next week.

On that note, I thought I’d mention some of the entertainers who are going to be honored with the inaugural CinemaCon Big Screen Achievement Awards next week during the gala awards program on Thursday, March 31st in The Coliseum at Caesars.  Since we’ve been receiving updated press releases every week announcing who the honorees are going to be,  I’ll follow up with more names and information before the show starts on March 28th.

Tyler Perry – CinemaCon Visionaary Award:  After making the announcement CinemaCon’s Managing Director Mitch Neuheuser noted “From the moment he burst onto the entertainment scene almost ten years ago, Tyler Perry has single-handedly changed the landscape of stage, screen and television with bravado, confidence and tremendous commercial and critical success.”

Joe Drake, President of Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Division added, “Tyler is the very definition of a visionary.  He has literally created everything he has based on a vision that was uniquely his, and one that he worked tirelessly to bring to life despite all kinds of barriers.  We are so proud to be in business with Mr. Perry, who couldn’t be more deserving of this honor.”    

Perry himself commented, “I am so pleased to be recognized with this award from CinemaCon.  The success of the industry depends on whether exhibitors can see movies through fans eyes, and anticipate what they want.  I’m honored to be receiving this honor from the exhibitors who have helped me provide a great movie-going experience to my fans from the beginning.”

The honoree’s latest film “Madea’s Happy Family,” will be in theatres on April 22nd.  Written and directed by Perry, who also stars as Madea and her brother Joe, other cast members include Loretta Devine, Shad “Bow Wow” Moss, David Mann and Cassi Davis.  Growing up in poverty, Perry’s diary about his thoughts and experiences led to his writing a musical I Know I’ve Been changed in 1992, but it wasn’t until five years later when he was broke that his luck changed in 1998 when the play began a limited church fun.  After that Perry began a run of eight plays in eight years.  Madea first debuted in 2000 with “I Can Do Bad All By Myself” leading to three more plays followed by Perry’s jump to the big screen in 2005 with Diary of a Mad Black Woman, which debuted at #1 nationwide.  Subsequent hits including “Madea’s Family Reunion,” “Daddy’s Little Girls,” “Why Did I Get Married” and “For Colored Girls” have met with both commercial success and fan support and Perry has expanded his brand and ventures to include books and television.  Recently he has signed on to produce “We the Peoples” for Lionsgate and will play the title character in Rob Cohen’s “I, Alex Cross.”

Russell Brand

Russell Brand – CinemaCon Comedy Star of the Year:  Since playing rocker Aldous Snow in 2008’s “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” Brand has developed a following by entertaining audiences around the world with his unique characterizations and comedic timing.  Now he will soon be seen filling theatres with laughter again on April 8th with the release of Warner Brothers Pictures romantic comedy “Arthur”   Taking a fresh look at a classic story that was done in 1981 with Dudley Moore in the lead, Brand will be reinventing the role of Arthur Bach, an irresponsible, but loveable billionaire who is forced to choose between entering into an arranged marriage that will ensure keeping him in the manner to which he has become accustomed or choosing to pursue his true love and an uncertain future. 

Following the success of “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” Brand later reprised the role of Snow in the hit comedy “Get Him to the Greek,” starring opposite Jonah Hill. Most recently, he lent his voice to the Easter Bunny in “Hop,” and Dr. Nefario in the hit animated feature film “Despicable Me.” He has also starred, alongside Helen Mirren, in Julie Taymor’s adaption of “The Tempest,” and in “Bedtime Stories,” with Adam Sandler and Keri Russell. His writing debut, My Booky Wook: A Memoir of Sex, Drugs, and Stand-Up, became a huge success in the United Kingdom, before being released in the U.S. where it stayed on the New York Times’ bestseller list for five consecutive weeks. The follow up, My Booky Wook 2: This Time it’s Personal, was published in 2010.

 Helen Mirren – CinemaCon Career Achievement Award:  Soon to be sharing the screen with fellow CinemaCon honoree Russell Brand in “Arthur” on April 8th, Mirren is cast as Arthur’s nanny Hobson, although in the earlier film that character was a butler played by John Gielgud.  Mitch Neuhauser commented, “A consummate actress, Helen Mirren has entertained audiences around the globe for over four decades with her stunning performances on the big screen.  With an incredible diversity in role selection, Mirren has graced the screen in such memorable movies as ‘The Queen,’ ‘The Last Station,’ and the ‘The Madness of King George,’ and, more recently, in 2010’s summer action hit ‘Red,’ to name just a few. We can’t wait to see what Helen has in store in her comedic turn in ‘Arthur.’”

Mirren has won international recognition for her work on stage, screen and television and swept the Academy, Golden Globe, BAFTA and SAG Awards along with every major critics’ award for her performance in “The Queen.”  She has also received Oscar Nominations for her acting in “The Madness of King George,” “Gosford Park” and “The Last Station”.  She has also won an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe and a SAG Award for her performance in HBO’s “Elizabeth I” and earned two Emmy and three BAFTA Awards for her role as Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison in the popular series “Prime Suspect.” 

I’ll be back with more details about CinemaCon later on in the week before blogging about the event itself after March 28th.

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