The annual CinemaCon event is almost upon us. Organized by the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), CinemaCon is an event for NATO members, and an opportunity for movie studios to showcase their upcoming film slates. It’s an industry event that is not open to the public, but lucky for you, That Hashtag Show will be on-hand to cover the proceedings and relay any important film news.
CinemaCon 2023 runs from Monday, April 24 through Thursday, April 27. There’s a trade show floor with a number of vendors peddling candy, comfortable theater seats, new projection technology, and more. There are also a number of small-scale panels covering various aspects of the industry, and big studio showcases featuring celebrity guests, new trailers, and occasionally new announcements.
The studio showcases are the most interesting aspect of the event for non-industry people, and that’s what we’re going to focus on here. Anything shown at CinemaCon isn’t guaranteed to release to the public. However, for anything that isn’t released, we’ll do our best to provide a description of it for you.
Sony Pictures Entertainment (April 24)
Sony has a few significant film releases coming up over the next year or so, but with the spotlight on the film division, Sony may showcase some of its lesser-known upcoming films as well. The studio could offer a glimpse of It Ain’t Over, coming in May from Sony Pictures Classic, before jumping into the big guns.
What most of the people in attendance will be looking for is new footage of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse; which may be coupled with an early look at Beyond the Spider-Verse as well. Generally speaking, studios stick to releases coming within the next 12 months. Given these two films are so closely connected, it wouldn’t be out of the question to see new footage from both.
The first footage for Kraven the Hunter is likely to show up as well, although given its October release date, that may not make it out to the public. The same goes for any potential footage shown for Madame Web or El Muerto. Considering El Muerto hasn’t filmed anything yet, and will likely end up being delayed from its current January 12, 2024 release date, at best star Bad Bunny could make an appearance, and concept art could be shown as well.
Sticking with the Marvel movies, everyone is waiting for an official announcement of Spider-Man 4 with Tom Holland. Given that Sony is distributing this film instead of Disney, CinemaCon would be an ideal place to announce the movie and provide early details. That’s far from a confirmation, but the possibility is certainly there.
Sony will also likely highlight Gran Turismo, The Equalizer 3, the next Ghostbusters movie that just started filming recently, The Book of Clarence, and possibly Napoleon.
Warner Bros. Pictures (April 25)
In addition to an early screening of The Flash, Warner Bros. will be on hand to showcase its films that are coming over the next year. Barbie will be out in full force as WBD will want to secure as many theater screens as possible since it will be competing directly with Universal’s Oppenheimer when it releases on July 21. Expect new footage and a number of stars from the film to be on hand to really push the movie to theater owners.
Dune: Part 2, Blue Beetle, and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom are also likely to be heavily featured during the WB showcase, with an emphasis on the DC films. It’s no secret that WBD currently has some cash flow problems, so the company needs to get as much momentum behind these films as possible. While they have the attention of theater owners, WBD will promote these DC films to the best of their ability.
The new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie, Wonka, should also be front and center. New footage for Meg 2: The Trench, The Nun 2, and The Color Purple are also likely to be showcased as well. There’s a chance we’ll hear about Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim animated film, and even the Mad Max: Fury Road prequel, Furiosa, but most of these films will not be in a great state so early on. If any footage is shown, it will be minimal, or likely shots with unfinished effects. Furiosa is actually pretty far along, but it won’t release until May 24, 2024, which means WBD may wait until CinemaCon 2024 to really showcase this one.
Walt Disney Studios (April 26)
Disney will have a screening of The Boogeyman as part of its studio showcase, but there will be time to showcase upcoming films from Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, and Pixar. Expect new footage for The Little Mermaid, Elemental, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, Haunted Mansion, Wish, and Elio. June is a very crowded month, so we’re expecting a big emphasis on Elemental and Indiana Jones to get as many screens for those two movies as possible.
The Little Mermaid should also take center stage, but we may not see much on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. With the film releasing the week after CinemaCon, showtimes are already set, so putting a lot of time into that movie won’t change much for theater owners. The Marvels is a different story though. Since we just got a new trailer for the film, we could see an extended scene, and possibly some of the stars stepping onto the stage to help promote the film.
Snow White finished filming a year ago, so we could see a fair amount of footage from that film, or simply the first trailer. Anything on the movie isn’t likely to make it out to the public since the release is still nearly a year away. And with no Star Wars movies coming until 2025, Lucasfilm might mention the three recently announced Star Wars movies, but we aren’t expecting much more than that.
Universal Pictures and Focus Features (April 26)
Universal and Focus Features will share the stage on Wednesday. On the Universal front there will likely be a huge focus on Oppenheimer as it battles against Barbie for control of theaters during the July 21st weekend. Five Nights at Freddy’s and The Last Voyage of the Demeter are likely to get new footage, and possibly see some stars trotted out on stage as well. The new Trolls movie, Trolls Band Together, and The Fall Guy with Ryan Gosling are also likely to get some love.
The Fast and the Furious franchise usually has a very big presence at CinemaCon, and this year will likely be no different. Expect Vin Diesel and the crew to be out in full force as Fast X is set to hit theaters in just a few weeks.
For Focus Features, Book Club: The Next Chapter, Asteroid City, and My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 will likely be the highlights. Drive-Away Dolls and The Holdovers could get their first trailers as well, but these are unlikely to be released to the public. Lisa Frankenstein, the directorial debut from Zelda Williams, and written by Diablo Cody, could also make an appearance and finally get a release date.
Paramount Pictures (April 27)
Paramount doesn’t have a lot to showcase, but what the studio does have is huge. Transformers: Rise of the Beasts and Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One will get a lot of time at the Paramount showcase. Expect Tom Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie to be on-hand, or at least offer a video message to the theater owners in attendance with an extended scene or new trailer on offer, and maybe even a glimpse of Part Two.
It’s about time for a new Transformers: Rise of the Beasts trailer, but the CinemaCon audience could also see an extended scene as well. Paramount will be looking to push Transformers hard to make up for the rapid box office decline of the last few films in the franchise. To many, Rise of the Beasts looks like more of the same, so it will be up to Paramount to prove that’s not the case.
The new Martin Scorsese film, Killers of the Flower Moon will also be showcased, likely with the first trailer from the October release. We could also get an extended look at Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, with some of the stars of the animated film in attendance.
A Quiet Place: Day One just wrapped filming, so some footage will likely be shown, but it may be limited to a single scene, or a quick sizzle reel. It’s unlikely the CinemaCon crowd will get a full trailer for this one. The same could be said about the upcoming PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie and The Tiger’s Apprentice animated films, as they may not be far enough along to show very much at CinemaCon.
Lionsgate (April 27)
Lionsgate will be screening Joy Ride at CinemaCon, meaning the studio will only have about 30 minutes to highlight its upcoming films. The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes could see its first trailer released at CinemaCon, but that’s unlikely to go public. The Expendables 4 and Saw X will also probably have trailers or footage of some sort.
The John Wick spin-off, The Ballerina is still over a year away, but Lionsgate might throw out a quick teaser as well, just to cash in on all the good will John Wick: Chapter 4 earned with theater owners.
Once again, we’ll be on-hand for CinemaCon all week, so keep an eye on That Hashtag Show for more coverage coming your way!